We all know that every event we put on our calendar is not a one-size-fits-all. For instance, in addition to a typical in-person or video meeting, many people block out time to work on projects, some have a sign-up schedule, etc. What many people don’t know is that Google Calendar events allow you to choose from several options when putting information on your calendar. See brief descriptions and images below. Note that some of the options we’re going to discuss are only available with school or work accounts.
Option 1: Event
The most common type of Calendar entry, events are typically used to note meetings with others. Users can invite up to 200 individual email addresses or use a Google Group to invite more. Users have options to have in-person, phone, and video meetings. In addition to date and time, event listings can include location addresses paired with Google Maps and users can add details and files to the description. If users have the mobile app on their devices, users can join phone and video meetings on the go.
Option 2: Focus Time
Being a great multi-tasker isn’t always the best way to work during the day. One of my go-to actions in the office is to schedule dedicated time to work on projects. With the “Focus Time” feature in Google Calendar, users can block out time periods with the option to block notifications. Allocating uninterrupted time for certain tasks can increase both efficiency and productivity.
Option 3: Out of Office (OOO)
My team relies on work from each other each day. One of the kindest things a colleague can do is mark themselves as Out of Office if they are going to be unreachable at a time of day they are normally in the office. OOO is a perfect tool for small things like a doctor’s appointment or an extended time such as a vacation day(s). Gone are the days where I sit waiting on a response before moving forward, not realizing the person I’m waiting for is not going to respond until tomorrow. OOO tells me that I’ll either need to wait for a response or find a different person to answer a question. You can also set your working hours in Calendar. Times outside your working hours will show as OOO. You can go even further in Gmail – If you are out for an extended period of time, be sure to turn on Vacation Responder so those outside your organization will be notified that you’ll be delayed in your responses. Want to learn more about Vacation Responders? Check out tip #3 in our Our Favorite 5 Gmail Settings blog article.
Option 4: Tasks and Reminders
I find myself with a to-do list every day. I add those to-dos as tasks to my calendar so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night realizing I forgot to do something. Tasks are great ways to keep lists of things you need to do. Reminders are similar but don’t let me add a description to them.
Option 5: Appointment Scheduler
This new feature of Google Calendar is a HUGE game changer for the workplace. Replacing “Appointment Slots,” Appointment Scheduler allows users to create a link with specific times on their calendar that others can sign up for. Customization features include buffer times between appointments, collecting specific information such as the reason for the meeting request, and even a booking page. If you haven’t tried this yet, we’d highly recommend taking it for a spin.
There you have it! All the ways you can enter time events on your Google Calendar. If you don’t see one of the features mentioned above, reach out to your Google Workspace Administrator and ask if it can be added.