Google Calendar FAQ & Essentials Video

Need some help with Google Calendar? Find out the Google Calendar essentials in our 
Google Calendar Essentials Video and get answers to the most frequently asked questions about Google Calendar.
 
Google Calendar

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Google Calendar Essentials Video How-to

Google Calendar Essentials Video Content

Learn the essentials for using your Google Calendar.

01:21 - Activities covered in this video
01:51 - Create and edit events
05:45 - Invite guests
06:35 - Find a time
07:45 - Suggested Times
09:10 - Share a calendar
10:10 - Share a calendar with specific people
11:45 - Create a secondary calendar
13:18 - Add a friend's/colleague's calendar
14:35 - Resource Calendars for Google Apps for Business and Education
14:50 - Create a Resource Calendar
16:15 - Add and share a Resource Calendar
17:09 - Use a Resource Calendar
18:26 - Reminders and Notifications
18:55 - Set default reminders
20:18 - Set specific reminders
20:35 - Notifications
21:35 - Google Calendar Offline
21:41 - Requirements for Google Calendar Offline
22:33 - Configure Google Calendar Offline
23:15 - Google Calendar Offline Settings
23:43 - Use Google Calendar Offline

What is Google Calendar?

Google Calendar is part of the Google Apps package and is, unsurprisingly, a calendar app. It was first launched in 2006 and officially left its extended beta during 2009. Google Calendar allows users to create events for specific dates and times, set reminders, invite guests, set events to recur, and more. Google Calendar is primarily web-based, but there is also an Android app available.



Why did Google create Google Calendar?

Google created Google Calendar to complement their suite of productivity and office software and offer an alternative to Microsoft Outlook and its other competitors. Google Calendar allows users to manage their time and events within Google software, while collaborating with others, making it a vital part of the Google Apps service for any business.


How does it compare to the alternatives?

The main alternatives to Google Calendar are Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCalendar. The main advantage for Google Calendar is that because it is entirely browser-based it, uses very limited system resources and your data is accessible on any internet-enabled device. Unfortunately, it does not feature tentative event timings unlike Outlook.


How much does it cost?

The service is available for individual users free of charge, with all of its features included. It is also available as part of Google’s Apps for Business package that starts at £3.30/user/month.


How do I sign up?

If you already have a Google account then you can start using Calendar immediately by visiting https://www.google.com/calendar and sign in. If you don’t yet have a Google account then visit https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount and create your account first.


Is it available in all countries?

Google Calendar is currently accessible worldwide, and also supports more than 30 languages.


What are the requirements for using Google Calendar?

Google Calendar is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. The latest major releases of each of these browsers are supported, but there may be compatibility issues with older browser versions. Google support major releases as soon as they come out, and immediately cease support for the third-oldest version, so make sure to keep whatever browser you use up to date.

In addition, JavaScript and cookies are both required to be enabled on any browser.


What about using it on Android?

For Android users, getting hold of Google Calendar couldn’t be easier. Just visit the Google Play store and search for the official Google Calendar app, which also comes pre-installed on many Android devices. This app offers most of the features of the web application but is designed with easy touchscreen navigation in mind.



Can I use Google Calendar on my iPhone and iPad?

You can sync your Google Calendar account to a number of other calendar apps, including iCal. That means that you can manage your calendar and all your events from within iCal and see all of those changes in effect when you sign in to Google Calendar in your web browser.

To sync Google Calendar with iCal follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device and navigate to Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Tap ‘Add Account’ and select Gmail.

  2. Enter your Google account username and password.

  3. Tap ‘Next’ and make sure that ‘Calendar’ is switched on on the next screen.

That should be it, and you should now see your Google Calendar events appear in your Apple iCal.


Am I stuck with only one calendar?

Not at all, Google calendar allows you to set up multiple calendars, and separately colour code each one, making it simple to keep your work events separate from personal projects, or anything else. It’s also possible to set some calendars to be shared while keeping others private - so you can keep a collaborative calendar running without having to give anyone access to your personal events.


How do I add a new calendar?

To add a new calendar use the drop-down next to ‘My Calendars’ on the left of the screen, and select ‘Create new Calendar’. From here, fill out the relevant details, select whether to make it public or private, who to share it with and you're done.


How do I share a calendar?

When making a new calendar, there’s the option to share it with specific people based on email addresses. Simply enter someone’s email address, select how much control they’ll have over the calendar, and that’s it.

To share an existing calendar with someone else, simply use the drop-down arrow next to its name, then ‘Share this calendar’ and add people as above.


Can I share my calendar with non-Google users?

Absolutely - select Calendar settings from the drop-down for a specific calendar. From here, go down to ‘Calendar Address’ and select the HTML option. This will give you a URL that you can share with anyone who doesn't have a Google account so that they can see your calendar. Be aware that tis makes the calendar viewable to anyone who can access the link, so anyone in the world can see it.


Does Google Calendar come with any existing calendars?

Yes: use the drop-down next to ‘Other Calendars’ on the left-hand side, and then select ‘Browse Interesting Calendars’. From here you can add national holidays for a variety of countries, prominent sport fixtures, and others such as the weather, phases of the moon, and more. You then have the option to either preview these calendars, or subscribe to add them permanently to your calendar view.



What viewing options are there?

Google Calendar offers plenty of options here. The default settings are to view a day, a week, or a month at a time, but there’s also a custom option that you can set from 2 days to 4 weeks. To alter this, go into Settings, and scroll down on the General tab until you reach ‘Custom view’.

Within this Settings screen you can also choose whether to display weekends or not, what day the week should start, and which screen you want Google Calendar to default to when you open it.


Can I use Microsoft Outlook with Google Calendar?

Yes, if you pay for Google Apps for Business, you can install Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, which you can find here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gappssync/

This is only applicable to Google Apps for Business users, and free Google Calendar users will not be able to sync up to Outlook.


How secure is my data in Google Calendar?

Google stores all of your Google Calendar data encrypted, meaning that it’s safe from any unwelcome eyes. In addition to this encryption, you retain full ownership of your data. That means you aren't just signing everything away to Google by using their service.


What are the Calendar Labs?

You can find the Google Calendar Labs under the gear-shaped drop-down at the top right of your calendar page. These are experimental additions to Calendar that have not been incorporated into the main product, but which may prove incredibly useful to you and your business. For example, you can set the calendar to hide the morning and night, since you won't be holding meetings then. Another great Lab allows you to attach documents to meetings and events to make sure that everyone gets the documents that they need. Finally, the ‘next meeting’ add-on let’s you know how far away your next event is, and what the details are.


Can I embed my Calendar on a website?

Yes, if you go into Calendar Settings for the calendar that you want to embed and scroll down to ‘Embed this Calendar’, there is an iframe that you can paste into your website. This comes with a number of customisation options, including colour and size.


What about keyboard shortcuts?

You can find a complete list of Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts here: https://support.google.com/calendar/answer/37034?hl=en


Can I integrate Tasks?

Google Tasks is a powerful task management app, and it has fantastic integration with Google Calendar. Simply click on the drop-down arrow by ‘My Calendars’ and select ‘Tasks’ to add your tasks directly to your calendar. This allows you to see tasks set on their due date, and allows you to easily cross off your accomplishments for the day.


How do I set the timezone for my calendar?

Simply click on the gear icon at the top right and enter Settings. From here you can change your current time zone and give it a label. It’s also possible to add a second time zone at this point, in case you regularly work in two time zones, or your business operates in two time zones.



What is quick add?

Quick add is a Google Calendar function that allows Calendar to convert your input into an event. You can simply enter relevant event details in one text box as you create your event, and Google Calendar will extract dates, times, locations, and more, to create your event for you.


Why can't I see all my events on my smartphone, tablet or other mobile device?

Google Calendar syncs one month into the past and one year into the future. You will see recurring events that go beyond these limits but not single events.


How do I restore deleted events and appointments from my Google Calendar?

  1. Sign in to https://calendar.google.com/ (this feature is only available on the desktop web version)
  2. Hover your mouse over the calendar you want to restore the deleted event from
  3. Open the pop-up menu that appears and choose Trash or Bin
  4. Select the events you want to restore and use the Restore selected events button

Return to your calendar and the restored events will appear immediately

Note: deleted events are only available for 30 days after deletion, after the 30 days they are gone forever.


How do I display Week Number and Day numbers

Google Calendar provides both day numbers, called Day of the Year and week numbers, all you need to do is subscribe to these calendars.

  1. Use the drop-down menu on the right of Other calendars and choose Browse interesting calendars

  2. Once Interesting Calendars open choose the More option

  3. In More you can Subscribe to both Day of the year and Week Numbers


How do I find Tasks as I can only see Reminders

Google Calendar now provides Reminders for desktop (the same reminders that are available in Google Now, Google Keep and Inbox by Gmail). If you have tried Reminders on the desktop Google Calendar you just need to switch back from Reminders to Tasks.

Use the drop-down menu on the right of the Reminders and choose Switch to Tasks


Google Calendar - Switch from Reminders to Tasks


How do I delete an event on Google Calendar

Open the event and use the Delete button

Google Calendar - Delete an event


How do I find a Calendar ID in Google Calendar

You can use the calendar ID to add events to the calendar by adding the calendar ID as a guest to an event. Here's how you can find a calendar ID in Google Calendar and then you can add it to your contacts to give it a more memorable name.

  1. Hover your mouse over the calendar on the left (under My Calendars or Other Calendars)

  2. Open the pop-up menu that appears and choose Calendar settings

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the settings and you will see the Calendar address section and the Calendar ID listed on the right (it looks like an email address)

Google Calendar - Find Calendar ID


How do I set default event notifications

You can set up to 5 different default event notifications in Google Calendar:

  1. Hover your mouse over the calendar on the left (under My Calendars or Other Calendars)

  2. Open the pop-up menu that appears and choose Calendar settings

  3. Go to Edit Notifications and change or add the default notifications you have and you can choose either Notification (either a desktop pop-up or mobile app notification), Email or SMS (Google Apps for Work/Education or Unlimited) and set to minutes, hours, days or weeks before.

Google Calendar - Set Default Event Notifications


How do I set default event notifications

You can set up to 5 different default event notifications in Google Calendar:

  1. Hover your mouse over the calendar on the left (under My Calendars or Other Calendars)

  2. Open the pop-up menu that appears and choose Calendar settings

  3. Go to Edit Notifications and change or add the default notifications you have and you can choose either Notification (either a desktop pop-up or mobile app notification), Email or SMS (Google Apps for Work/Education or Unlimited) and set to minutes, hours, days or weeks before.

Google Calendar - Set Default Event Notifications


Delete all events from Primary Calendar

You can not delete your primary calendar but you can delete all the events from it:

  1. Hover your mouse over the calendar on the left (under My Calendars)

  2. Open the pop-up menu that appears and choose Calendar settings

  3. Scroll to the Delete calendar section and use the Delete all events in this calendar link.

  4. In the Delete all events dialogue box confirm Yes, I definitely want to delete all of the events on my calendar and use the Delete all events button.

Google Calendar - Deleye all events from Primary Calendar