5 Google Calendar Headaches, Cured

Aug 12, 2013 (08:08 AM EDT)

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Google Apps To Microsoft Office 365: 10 Lessons
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Like many professionals, you probably live and die by your calendar. But what happens when you're offline and can't access it? Or need to quickly find a time and date for a meeting that works for multiple attendees? Here's a look at five common problems you might encounter during the workday and how you can use Google Calendar to solve them.

1. You Can't Access Google Calendar

If Google is experiencing an outage or you're offline and can't access your calendar, Google's SMS service lets you register your phone to receive calendar notifications via SMS.

To opt in to this service, sign into Google Calendar and click "Settings" from the drop-down menu at the top right. Click the "Mobile Setup" tab to enter your phone number and click "Send Verification Code." When you receive the code, enter it on the page and click "Finish Setup."

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To receive an SMS alert when an event or appointment is approaching, double-click your event and select "Add a reminder" next to the "Reminders" category. Select SMS and set the time, then click Save. Your Google Calendar will send you a text message reminding you of the event before it begins.

2. You Need To Reschedule A Meeting

Something comes up and you need to reschedule a meeting with five of your colleagues, but finding a time and place that works for everyone can be an ordeal. Luckily, Google has a solution that makes this task easy.

Google Calendar's "Find a time" feature helps you reschedule events, as long as you have access to your guests' calendars. To reschedule, double-click the event and switch the view from "Event details" to "Find a time." These tabs are side-by-side below the event name, date and time. This view will show you when your colleagues are available, which should make rescheduling the meeting easier. This feature works only for up to 10 attendees.

3. You Lose Your To-Do Lists

If you habitually lose your pen-and-paper to-do lists, incorporate them into your calendar by enabling Tasks. This feature works with Gmail, too, to make your to-dos accessible wherever you are.

To enable Tasks, choose it from the menu below "My calendars." You can assign a color to your tasks to set them apart from your events and meetings by clicking the square next to it. Once you choose the Tasks option, a column to the right of your calendar will appear. To add new Tasks to your calendar, click the (+) button and fill in the details, including the due date. When you've completed the task, click the checkbox to remove it.

4. You Need An Overview Of Your Day

Not every businessperson has a personal assistant to fill him in on his day, but one Google Calendar option comes close: You can choose to receive an email with your agenda every day at 5 a.m. local time so you know what the day holds.

To opt in to this feature, navigate to your calendar's Settings page and click the Calendars tab. Then click the link "Reminders and notifications" next to your calendar's name; this will give you a list of options, including "Daily agenda" at the bottom. Click the check mark to enable it, then click Save.

5. Others Need Access To Your Calendar

If you need to give colleagues or family members access to your calendar, you have a number of options to choose from: You can make your entire calendar public; share only your free or busy information; or share your calendar with specific people and enable permission settings for them.

To set these permissions, go to your Settings page, click the Calendars tab and select "Share this calendar" under the "Sharing" subhead. Note that if you choose to make your calendar public, it will appear in public Google search results. If you choose to share it with select people, you can set whether they can see all event details, make changes and manage sharing, make changes to events, or see only free and busy time. Click Save when you're done.