As you plan your day, week, or year, it’s nice to have a system that makes it easier for you to manage it. One of the tools I use to help me plan, that’s super easy and free, is Google Calendar.
The primary reason I love Google Calendar is because it’s stored online. You can update it from your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. No more worrying about losing a day planner critical to your business. Also, you can share different calendars with your family and your assistants. (You’ll see what I mean in the video)
Over the years, I’ve learned how to successfully use Google Calendar in my business. And today, I’m sharing webinar training from my Website Marketing Workshop. This webinar is about how to use Google Calendar in your business and personal life. You’ll be excited to start planning for this year!
7 Reasons Why Google Calendar is My Top Planning Tool
There are other virtual planning options, but it’s hard to beat Google Calendar. I’ve put together a list of the best features of this tool:
- Access your calendar from anywhere in the world
- Updating is easy and fast
- Share your calendar with the public, team members, and family
- Have multiple calendars for business and personal – each of them color-coded for easy identification
- Receive reminders via email, popup, or text
- It integrates with online booking software, allowing others to book an appointment with you online
- And… It’s FREE!
Watch How to Use Google Calendar to Plan Your Day-Week-Year
Here is what you’ll learn in the video training:
Set Up Your Google Account
Getting started with Google Calendar is simple. First, you’ll need to have a Google account (if you have a Gmail address, then you have a Google account). If you don’t have a Google account, create one now. You can use your existing email address, even from another email service provider.
Once your account is set up, you can use Google Calendar in your business and personal life. Login to your Google account. Click the ‘Google Apps’ icon in the right-hand corner, and select ‘Google Calendar.’
Create Events in Google Calendar
Planning is important to help you stay on top of your daily tasks and set goals for the future. Google Calendar allows you to set up events, reminders, and tasks.
Choose a Date/Duration: Create a single event at a specific time, a full-day event, a multi-day event, or even duplicate an event. Do you have a specific event that happens each week or each month? Then set up a recurring event.
Reminders and Notifications: Have Google Calendar notify you about an event of your choice at a certain time interval beforehand. Be sure your Google Calendar settings match your time zone.
You can also input important details and notes about this event. This feature is helpful if you have team members who also need to see those details.
Invite Others to Attend an Event:
You’ll see the option to invite guests on the right side. Type in the guest’s email, double-check the Guest Permissions and send the invitation. If the person has shared their calendar with you, you can even view whether they are free at the time of the event.
Create Different Google Calendars
As entrepreneurs, we’re “juggling a lot of balls” and “wearing many hats.” You’re doing it all. Your business is busy with marketing, various projects, conferences, appointments, phone calls, classes, and training. That doesn’t even include your personal life.
So set up multiple calendars in Google Calendar. You may be thinking, “Why would I want multiple calendars? I only need one!” However, multiple calendars work great for organizing business and personal tasks. Think of these different calendars as layers or different departments.
For example, one of my calendars is my Editorial Calendar. This calendar shows what emails are sent out to which groups. I have a separate calendar for the Website Creation Workshop, which shows when the live training webinars are scheduled. Watch the webinar training above for instructions on how to set up different calendars.
Color Code Your Google Calendars
Color code your various calendars to get a great visual image of what you have going on in each area of your life. I miss holding a pretty day planner in my hand, but the colorfulness of my Google Calendars and convenience make up for it. See this demonstrated in the video.
View some (or all) of your Calendars
Now that you’ve created different calendars, you can view all (or some) of those calendars at any given time. You can also add some public calendars that Google provides for free, such as US Holidays, Canadian Calendar, Jewish (Israel) Holidays Calendar, and more.
In this webinar training, I’ll show you how to add calendars and turn them on and off.
Share Calendars with Other People
One of my favorite features of Google Calendar is that I can share different calendars with my business team and family. I have multiple team members who don’t all need access to the same calendars.
For example, my Webinar Assistant doesn’t need access to the Editorial Calendar but does require access to the webinar calendar. So I can share that one specific calendar with her.
In addition, I can share my calendar with my family members as well. And they can share theirs with me.
Make A Calendar Public
Why would you want the whole world to see your calendar? This feature is handy when you hold classes for the public. If a specific calendar is set as public, you can embed it on your website. All your website visitors can see when your next classes are being held. See my other blog post on embedding a Google Calendar into your website.
You Get A Variety of Easy Viewing Options
Adjust Your Calendar View
We tend to process information in different ways. Some are checklist people, while others prefer grids, mind maps, or diagrams. Google Calendar has several different options for how you can view your calendar:
- Day – view today only
- Week – view the week
- Month – view the month
- Year – view the entire year
- Custom – create your view
- Schedule – list form
Changing your calendar view is easy by using keyboard shortcut keys (D=day, W= Week, M=month, Y=year, C=custom). Or, click on the drop-down in the right-hand corner to select your view. For those who work better with a list of events rather than in the grid calendar form, choose Schedule (S). I’ll show you how in the training video!
And Google Calendar is Mobile-Friendly!
Google Calendar works great with mobile devices. Download the app on your smartphone, log in, and you’ll be able to view your calendar wherever you are in the world.
You can adjust the calendar view on your mobile device too. In addition, you can add or edit your calendar events. When you add or change your calendar on your mobile, it will update everywhere.
Watch the webinar training above for all these “How To” Instructions!
Here is also a short video on Google Reminders:
I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years and have tried many scheduling tools. Google Calendar makes my life simpler and helps my business run smoother. I’m not always digital and still jot down notes on paper. But I depend upon Google Calendar to organize my business and personal schedule.
(This article first appeared in 2013. Updated in 2023.)