What is it and how to use Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a smart and dynamic app, with which you can set events, reminders and tasks so you don't forget your most important commitments. Google Calendar is available in desktop version and as an app for Android and iOS, can be synchronized with Gmail and other apps, also allows you to create a private, business or family group to manage shared events with all participants. Here's a detailed guide to all the main features of Google Calendar.

What is Google Calendar and how it works

Google Calendar is a service that allows you to enhance the functionality of Google apps by synchronizing the data within some programs with the interactive calendar. It's a state-of-the-art application that lets you manage appointments, important dates and reservations electronically, receiving alerts and notifications in real time so you never forget anything. The app is linked to your Google account, so any user who uses the Mountain View company's services can integrate the Google Calendar features for free.

This way you can use the service at no cost, synchronizing your dates and deadlines with the commitments reported in other Google applications and programs, including the Gmail email service. For example, you can create an event in Google Calendar, share the calendar with your contacts, import and export data to PCs and smartphones, manage custom reminders, or invite people and groups to an event.

One of the most interesting features is Gmail Calendar, a free service that allows you to synchronize Gmail with your Google calendar, to authorize the application to scan the information in your inbox. This allows you to receive alerts for bookings you've made, for example, so you don't forget airline flights, train trips and hotel stays. The system will send you an email or notification reminding you of the commitment, showing the main data of the event, such as the geographical location on Google Maps or the booking details.

How to create a Google Calendar account

Google Calendar requires the activation of a Google account, so all people who use the Mountain View company's services and applications don't have to register, as they just need to use their Google account to take advantage of the Google Calendar features. In particular, there is a desktop version for PCs, which is synchronized with all the programs in the cloud and those installed in your terminal, or an app for mobile devices, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and iTunes.

To use Google Calendar from the desktop just go to the official website at calendar.google.com, after which if you have a Google account the program will open the calendar management screen directly. On the other hand, if you're a mobile user, you'll need to download the app and install it on your device to automatically synchronize it with all your other applications. The service does not require any additional cost, however it is possible to activate a Google Calendar account for a fee.

How to set up Google Calendar

Once you have downloaded the Google Calendar app, or after logging into the desktop version, the first thing to do is to perform the program settings. All you have to do is go to the portal at calendar.google.com, click on the gear symbol in the upper right corner and select Settings to open the screen for managing the application. Here you can customize the Google calendar, choosing the language, country, date and time format, for example.

You can also show a second time zone, activate the international clock and set the duration of meetings from 15 to 120 minutes, adding notifications and alerts from mobile or PC only, silent or sound. You can also change the options for displaying notifications, showing them only on weekends, including rejected events, reducing the brightness of past appointments and defining the days to display, from a minimum of 2 up to a maximum of 4 weeks.

Finally you can activate the Gmail Calendar service, an automatic synchronization option, with which you can add all the events reported by Gmail within the Google calendar, to receive an alert about reservations, events and commitments indicated in the emails. For example, the application can send a notification to remind you of the departure of a flight, or show a message to signal a visit with the doctor. One last setting is the keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to manage your calendar quickly and easily.

How to create an event on the Google Calendar

On the main screen Google Calendar shows all your registered appointments, but you can add any engagement. To create a new event on the calendar just click on the grid, based on the desired date and time, enter the name of the note and choose whether to set an event, a reminder or a task. You can also add a description of the engagement, invite a contact and apply a geographic location with Google Maps, finally clicking on Save to activate the reminder.

Other you can manage the advanced settings of Google Calendar, creating a new event and selecting the Other options item. At this point the application will open a screen to perform the detailed setting of the engagement, for example activating notifications or email alerts, choosing how long before receiving the reminder, matching a specific color or photo for the event in question, managing the guest list or adding a conference.

With Google Calendar you can create specific calendars for each topic, for example setting a personal section where you can insert all the appointments reserved, a calendar only for birthdays, another for reminders, for tasks, sporting events and holidays. Through the menu on the left, always from the main screen, you can add other calendars, or subscribe to that of a contact to follow all the commitments in common. Through the option Browse calendars of interest, located on the left, you can view all the calendars in which you participate, activating or deleting subscriptions.

Calendar and Google Tasks: how they work

An innovative feature, recently introduced, allows you to manage the things you have to do through the Google Tasks service. To activate the service, just enter the application, click on the pencil icon in the upper right corner and select Start, to enter the tasks to be added to the Google calendar. This is a shortcut that allows you to create events quickly, setting the task to be recorded, entering a date and time, applying the type of alert to receive and possibly adding a secondary task.

How to share Google Calendar

With this application you can share your calendar with friends and family, to view with other people your work appointments, school commitments or any other activity. To do this, just create a new calendar or select an existing one, click on the three dots at the side and choose Settings and Sharing. At this point you can make the calendar public, request a link to share it with your contacts, or click on the Share with specific people item, to indicate a list of contacts who can access the selected calendar.

To share a calendar with people who don't use Google Calendar, the only solution is to make it public, activating the option in the settings. You can also create groups, to share the calendar with all the participants, synchronizing the changes to the appointment agenda. Just access Google Groups at groups.google.com or download the app for mobile devices, click on Create Group and set the list of participants and their permissions, then share the calendar.

How to synchronize Google Calendar with tablets and smartphones

The Google Calendar is automatically synchronized through a system of real-time updates, which allows you to view the same events from any connected device, PC, smartphone and tablet. In this way, from any device you can access the latest version of the calendar, to always find the complete list of appointments and saved tasks. The synchronization is active on any terminal, you just need to install Google Calendar App on Android and iOS and activate the application.

Google Calendar Family: what is it and how does it work

An innovative feature allows you to create a calendar for the family, in which each member of the household can add events and activities, to share information and manage appointments, for example delegating the collection of groceries, or reminding your partner to pick up the child at a friend's birthday party. To activate this service you must first create a family on Google, by going to the website families.google.com, where you can set up a group with a maximum of 6 participants.

With mobile devices you can download Google One, an application that allows you to manage groups and families, otherwise you just need to access through the online version. Then you need to open Google Calendar, create a new calendar and share it with the family group, managing all the features within the Settings section. To add an engagement you have to access the application, click on Create an event, select the name of the family calendar, enter the event and save it.

Google Calendar for Business: what it is about

In addition to the family calendar there is also a business version, Google Calendar for Business, with which you can create and manage specific calendars for team projects. This feature is included within the GSuite by Google Cloud package, a service that allows you to store files on Google's servers, to share in real time every information and activity in the calendar. In this case it is a paid service, however you can request a free trial period.

Google Calendar for Business is integrated with several applications, including Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts and Sites, with solutions and pricing plans developed specifically for every need, from small businesses to freelancers, from remote workers to large enterprises. With this program you can schedule meetings, checking in real time the availability of colleagues and employees working from home, access from any device, share resources and publish public calendars on the web.