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How Google Calendar Can Make Your Life a Lot Easier

How Google Calendar Can Make Your Life a Lot Easier

If I didn’t have Google Calendar I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. Google Calendar keeps me in tune, organized and updated on everything going on. To be quite frank, Google Calendar is the compass to my day. I try not to store any information in my head and use the calculated risk of storing these on offline and on-line devices, so Google Calendar helps me effortlessly know what I have to do during my day. In this article, I intend to lead you through the benefits and functions of Google Cal, as well as touch on what other uses the tool has that aren’t showcased commonly.

Newbie?

After signing into your Google account, head over to

Google Calendar where you will be presented with this interface. Google Calendar is easy to use; you will be allowed to choose how to view by either day, week, month, or even agenda. Visualizing the whole week is very useful, and will allow you to effortlessly add events to the calendar, monitor which calendar you are viewing and using, and search your events to discover what you have related to a particular keyword. Screenshot 2014-10-25 at 15.31.29

    Once you get started with Google Calendar, here are some super neat features that you need to know to get the most out of this valuable tool.

    1. SMS support

    Google Calendar allows you to get your event updates straight to your mobile phone. This is great for on the go, however can get annoying if you have internet connection. Access via Settings > Mobile Setup

    Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.03

      2. Offline support

      Google Calendar can also go offline, for those times when WiFi can’t get to you and the 3G and 4G can’t handle it. This is super useful if you have a Chromebook as well! Access via Settings > Offline.

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      Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.24.36

        3. Print to PDF

        Some people love to print; this little tool will allow them to print their calendar! This is great for the paper fans out there. This is a neat little tip to get it out in your hands and marker penned up! Hit that “More” button at the top.

        Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.27.59

          4. Format change

          This is a useful knack if you want to change the feel of the page. You might prefer your calendar more squashed or more open up to you. Put it to Comfortable though, and you’ll feel right at home. Access by hitting the cog in the top corner and easily change the density of your display.

          Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.33.18

            5. Quickly add event details

            You need to be a speedy speedster in this world to make it. In the organization of your calendar, Quick Add will super charge the process of adding events to your calendar. It’s super clever. Access by pressing Q on the keyboard when Google Calendar is open.

            Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.39.24

              6. Search

              People forget search sometimes. They panic, freak out and then miss out on simply hitting a few keys and finding their activity or event. Stop panicking and make use of that top bar!

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              Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.37.52

                7. More calendars

                Has your life become really routine and want to add some reminder spice to your calendar? Click the arrow next to “My Calendars” and it will have an option to “Browse Interesting Calendars.” From here you should be able to find those exciting new ways to make your life more fun and keep in touch with everything.

                Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.45.34

                  8. Color schemes

                  It’s all about the color coding. Make things exciting by changing the colors of your calendar and events. This can really set those creative and impulsive people off on their day. Click the arrow next to each calendar and choose your preferred color to make it more visually impressive.

                  Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.47.57

                    9. Send to a buddy

                    Sharing is important, and making sure your friends don’t clash with your life and you don’t clash with their calendar is vitally important. Hit “Send to a friend” on the same option list as above and get to sharing your exciting events with your friends and family.

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                    Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.54.15

                      10. Get reminders

                      Even when you focus your brain power onto that task of checking your calendar, things can still be forgotten. But chances are that you will check your email account or your SMS inbox. Time to add a feature that will help nag you to look and overview what you have got in the day. With these options you’ll never say that you forgot. Access the reminders by going to Settings > Calendars > Reminders and Notifications.

                      Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 09.57.16

                        11. Make it a video call

                        When adding an event, this super cool feature will allow you to notify yourself whether the event will be physical or via a video call. This is very useful when it comes to making sure whether you should be able to contact this person in a quiet surrounding. Access  via Add > Event > Video Call.

                        Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 10.00.32

                          12. Discover labs

                          Labs is a very sneaky feature and it will allow you to be a real nerd in the process. This is a chance to see what features are “unreleased” but Google is working on in the background. Some of these are useful and will allow you to see what works for you. Go to Settings > Labs.

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                          Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 10.02.56

                            13. Start a meeting

                            The duration of a meeting is important. Sometimes you plan for a one hour meeting, but it ends up lasting a lot longer than you predicted. “Speedy meetings” is a feature which allows you to focus on meeting efficiency. Thirty minute meetings end five minutes early, and one hour meetings end 10 minutes early. That way you don’t go over your allotted time.

                            Screenshot 2014-10-30 at 10.10.07

                              14. Dim events

                              In the photo above you can see the option to dim past or recurring future events. This helps to remove distraction from the equation, allowing you maximum productivity when looking at your calendar.

                              15. Add your calendar to your website

                              Nick Nikolaiev, co-founder of Casual.pm (one of top five favorite productivity services), always says in blog posts that managing your team is key. Making sure that your team members can see your calendar is very important. One feature that is super useful is the ability to let others have access to your calendar so that they can book appointments with you and see whether you’re free or busy. You can click on “Share your Calendar” as you’re hovering over a visible calendar to access the tool to share that calendar. Add this to your website or at the bottom of your email for more effective results. This also helps you look professional and eager to be productive.

                              Screenshot 2014-10-26 at 22.57.54

                                Featured photo credit: sunrise_calendar_hero/Imore.com via cdn.imore.com

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                                Published on November 19, 2020

                                15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                                15 Great Macbook Accessories To Improve Productivity

                                When looking to improve your workflow, you need to have a proper computer. And one of the most appealing computers out there is macbooks. These sleek transportable computers allow you to work anywhere at any time and provide a lot of functionality to their users.

                                But sometimes, that’s not enough. In so many cases, you’re looking for more.

                                While you could go for some productivity apps, there are actually a lot of macbook accessories available that will make your life easier in many ways. These extra accessories will allow your macbook to charge faster, hold more data, or keep it safe and protected while you travel around.

                                Beyond that, there is a wide variety of accessories to pick from as many companies have jumped onto the bandwagon of supply to macbook users. Below we’ve listed off some of the greatest macbook accessories that’ll benefit your computer.

                                What Makes For Great Macbook Accessories?

                                Before getting into the list, we wanted to go over the criteria for what makes for great macbook accessories. The items that we’ve picked from this list will have the following criteria:

                                • Reasonably priced – Accessories themselves shouldn’t break the bank compared to the large initial investment of a macbook.
                                • Usability – All these accessories are practical in various situations, however, they also have extra features that make them useful in a few situations beyond their obvious functions.
                                • Compact – Workflow is also about space in most circumstances. As such, anything that’s too bulky doesn’t help much. These accessories are either large on purpose – for storage of other items – or are nice and compact so they won’t get in the way.

                                A USB Drive To Store Files Quickly Without Accessing The Cloud

                                  While you can always access the Cloud at any time, sometimes accessibility can be cumbersome or it takes time. Instead of trying to access files that way, getting a USB flash drive can save you plenty of time. Especially if your work entails providing presentations.

                                  The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive is great as it offers USB-C and USB-A connectors allowing you to plug into virtually any device and transfer files and more between computers. Also, USB drives boast several hundred gigabytes these days making them solid storage devices.

                                  Buy SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive here.

                                  Compact Charger That Does More Than Charge

                                    Your default charger that comes with your MacBook is a good option for a charger, but these days chargers can offer so much more. This can help you speed up your workflow as you can be charging other devices or using the charger for other uses beyond charging.

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                                    In the case of the Anker PowerPort charger, it is more compact than the default charger. It also offers another USB-C connector allowing you to rapidly charge another gadget with it.

                                    Buy Anker PowerPort charger here.

                                    Port Adapter For Those With Multiple Devices

                                      One of the hard restrictions with a macbook is that it only has two USB-C ports. This is manageable for people with fewer gadgets but if you’re the kind who has several, it can interrupt your workflow if you need a particular device and you can’t charge it or access it.

                                      In this situation, a port adapter from Satechi can help. It offers multiple USB-C ports allowing you to use multiple devices. This can also help in organizing cords which we know can disrupt work. If the USB-C ports aren’t enough, it also comes with an SD card reader and ethernet cable port too.

                                      Buy Satechi Multi-Port Adapter here.

                                      A USB Cable That Isn’t As Intrusive Or Cumbersome To Use

                                      The USB-C cable that comes with Macbooks is small and is used to hook to an external monitor. By adding more length to them, you can have better cable management. One option that we found to be ideal was the Nomad Kevlar cable which offers enough length to do what you want while giving you more space to work with.

                                      Buy Nomad Kevlar USB-C Cable here.

                                      Screen Cleaning Your Laptop To See What You’re Doing

                                      Dust, particles and splotches are to be expected on laptop screens after a while. While you can work around these, sometimes they can obscure your vision at times. The same can apply to all devices these days.

                                      The only problem with many solutions on the market is that they can damage screens. Fortunately, we found a screen cleaning solution that doesn’t harm screens. ScreenDr Professional screen cleaning kit comes with a spray that’s safe for screens and an antimicrobial microfiber cloth to ensure you make the most of the spray.

                                      Buy ScreenDr Professional Screen Cleaning Kit here.

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                                      Card Reader That Speeds Up Photo Transfer Time

                                        If you’re looking for a standalone card reader for your work, getting a device designed for photo transferring and reading is essential. One of the best macbook accessories in this category we found was the Vanja card reader.

                                        This one is able to read SD and MicroSD cards while also transferring the pictures to a computer with ease thanks to its USB-C and USB 2.0 port options. It’s also small making it easy to carry around and is cheap to buy making it a great choice to pick up if you deal with plenty of pictures.

                                        Buy Vanja Card Reader here.

                                        Protective Sleeves To Protect Your Laptop From Harm

                                        For those who are travelling the last thing that you want is your laptop to get damaged for whatever reason. Even though you’re not likely to drop it as frequently as your phone, having a sleeve for a laptop to be in can save you time.

                                        One sleeve that we found interesting was the Native Union sleeves. They are made of tear-resistant material with genuine leather accents. Its interior is soft as well preventing scratches from your laptop. It also offers a pocket area where you can store cables and other macbook accessories easily.

                                        Buy Native Union’s laptop sleeve here.

                                        Car Charger For Charging On The Go

                                          For the person always driving around, a car charger is always a helpful tool to have when you’re on the go. The one from Anker is particularly helpful in a number of ways. Not only can this charge your macbook, but it also has an additional port for you to charge your phone if needed.

                                          It’s not the fastest charger out there when compared to the Macbook Pro adapter but it’s the highest in the market with an output power of 30 watts. For comparison, the second-fastest charging connector offers an output of 18 watts. Aside from that the charger has an illuminated LED ring for you to see it and the connectors late at night. It also has a function that ensures devices don’t experience surges or overheating from the charger itself.

                                          Buy Anker PowerDrive car charger here.

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                                          USB-C to USB-A Adapter Grants Access To Older Models

                                          If your older macbook still works but has files you want that you didn’t back up that you want this makes it easier to access them. It also allows you to access devices that have USB-A slots only. This can save you a lot of time if you are moving between older and newer devices.

                                          Buy Thunderbolt Adapter here.

                                          A Hardshell Case For Added Protection

                                          A sleeve is good for travel, but when you’re using it, having an extra layer of protection can be nice. Beyond that this hardshell case can also serve as additional protection from scratches and bumps too.

                                          Buy Incase Textured Hardshell case here.

                                          Alternative Sleeve For Those With Tighter Budgets But Want Protection

                                            If you are looking for an appropriate laptop sleeve but aren’t looking to spend too much, AmazonBasics brands are a good alternative. Their sleeves are elegant and still offer good protection from scratches as well. It also has a few pockets for small essentials too.

                                            Buy AmazonBasics laptop sleeve here.

                                            A Hub That Accommodates Several Ports At Once

                                            We’ve already mentioned a port before being a huge time saver thanks to it having various ports for different devices. This one is a great alternative as while it doesn’t offer as many USB-C ports, it offers more variety. Paired up with the design being the same color as the MacBook Air, it offers two USB-C connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and SD and microSD card readers.

                                            Buy Satechi Type C Pro Hub here.

                                            Earbuds To Deal With Fewer Headphone Cords

                                              Cords are a common problem when boosting productivity at the desk and one way to mitigate them is to go wireless. If you are thinking about that, one option to consider is the Soundcore earbuds. These are cheaper than the traditional AirPods from Apple which can save you money.

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                                              Furthermore, they deliver great sound and are connected via Bluetooth. The beauty of these earbuds is they can also cancel sound despite them being so compact. They also offer touch control allowing you to pause, play, skip music and answer calls.

                                              Buy Soundcore Wireless Earphones here.

                                              Desktop Stand To Save Desk Space

                                                Desk space is another crucial part of productivity as things can get in the way and obstruct your work. In cases where you don’t need your laptop at the moment, having a stand where you can set it aside can be helpful.

                                                In those situations, we recommend the Twelve South Book Arc. This neat Macbook accessor can save a tonne of space since it requires you to close your laptop in order to insert it into the stand. It also keeps it elevated from the surface which can protect it from spills

                                                Buy Twelve South BookArc desktop stand here.

                                                A Comfortable And Easy To Use Mouse For Faster Working Speed

                                                The last of the macbook accessories we’ll talk about is a proper mouse. Logitech offers fantastic mouses and their Logitech MX Master 3 is one of the greatest wireless mouses out there. It’s ergonomic design, customizable buttons and insanely precise movement is fantastic. It also comes with a scrolling wheel for precise scrolling.

                                                The battery power can last for months between charges and like all Logitech devices, it comes with a USB-C connector for charging.

                                                Buy Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse here.

                                                Bottom Line

                                                There are many macbook accessories out there to improve your workflow. Taking the time to do research and invest in some of the best ones though will save you plenty of time, money and energy in the long term. At the same time, all of these accessories can help you with specific needs for whatever you are doing.

                                                Featured photo credit: Viktor Ritsvall via unsplash.com

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