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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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                                Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                                11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                                Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                                Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                                Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                                In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                                1. ScheduleOnce

                                  ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                                  ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                                  ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                                  Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                                  Available on Web

                                  2. Calendly

                                    Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                                    You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                                    Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                                    3. Assistant.to

                                      For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                      From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                      While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                      Available on Web

                                      4. Acuityscheduling

                                        Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                        It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                        Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                        5. Pick

                                          Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                          At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                          Available on Web

                                          6. X.ai

                                            For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                            This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                            Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                            Available on Web

                                            7. YouCanBook.me

                                              is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                              They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                              Available on Web

                                              8. Doodle

                                                Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                                It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                                You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                                While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                                Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                                9. WhenAvailable

                                                  WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                                  Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                                  Available on Web

                                                  10. Rally

                                                    Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                                    Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                                    Available on Web

                                                    11. NeedtoMeet

                                                      Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                      NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                      While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                      Available on Web

                                                      Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                      In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                      To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                      Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                      A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                      Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                      If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                      Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                      With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                      Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                      Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                      Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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