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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 June 17, 2019

                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                                Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                For Getting Things Done

                                1. OmniFocus

                                This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                Download it here.

                                  2. Forest

                                  Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                  Download it here.

                                    3. Things

                                    Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                    Download it here.

                                      4. 30/30

                                      Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                      , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                      Download it here.

                                        5. Any.Do

                                        A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                        Download it here.

                                          6. PocketLife Calendar

                                          This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                          Download it here.

                                            7. Asana

                                            We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                            , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                            Download it here.

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                                              8. ToDoist

                                              This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                              Download it here.

                                                9. FlowTasks

                                                From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  10. Calendars 5

                                                  This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                    A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      12. Due

                                                      A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        13. Checkmark 2

                                                        I use this app

                                                        for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          14. TeuxDeux

                                                          Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            15. Wunderlist 

                                                            Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                            Download it here.

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                                                              16. Nirvana

                                                              For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                17. Priorities

                                                                An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  For Building Habits

                                                                  18. Productive

                                                                  With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                    You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      20. Streaks

                                                                      This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        21. Remember The Milk

                                                                        Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          22. Day One Journal

                                                                          When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            For Files Organization

                                                                            23. Evernote

                                                                            Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              24. Pocket

                                                                              You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                              Download it here.

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                                                                                25. Sync.Me

                                                                                This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  26. Droplr

                                                                                  One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    27. Dropbox

                                                                                    Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      28. iDolly 

                                                                                      In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                      Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        29. Soulver

                                                                                        It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          For Working Smarter

                                                                                          30. Captio

                                                                                          A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            31. Drafts

                                                                                            A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                              This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                              Download it here.

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                                                                                                33. Doodle

                                                                                                This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                  I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                    A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      36. GoodReader

                                                                                                      This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                        Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          For Improving Security

                                                                                                          38. 1Password

                                                                                                          There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                            You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                            All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              40. Truecallers

                                                                                                              Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                More Great Apps Recommendations

                                                                                                                Reference

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