Google Calendar is a great tool for staying on top of your schedule and events. It’s even better if you take advantage of its numerous useful features.
Many users never think to adjust default settings. By customizing Google Calendar to your needs, you can save time and be more organized in the long run. And it takes only a few clicks.
Settings for Your Default Calendar
Most of the settings are obvious such as language, country, and formats for date and time. However, you will see several others you can customize.
To access the settings for your default calendar on the web, go to
calendar.google.com, log into your account, click the Settings (gear icon) from the top navigation, and select Settings. Make sure you are on the General tab and click the Save button after any changes.
Default and Custom Views
Do you find yourself constantly changing to the Day or Week View when you first sign in? Or maybe you would prefer to see a three-day instead of a five-day view. You can adjust both of these settings.
You can choose from day, week, month, custom, and agenda views as your default. Just scroll down to Default View and pick your preference.
Right below the Default View setting is an option to set the Custom View. You can choose from 2–7 days or 2–4 weeks. Your choice will replace the default five-day view on your main calendar screen.
Are you planning a weekend getaway or business trip? You can use the local weather option to pop a forecast for the next few days right onto your calendar. This eases planning and lets you stay within Google Calendar to get your forecast.
Just scroll down to enter your Location with city and state or zip code. Then, below that enable either Celsius or Fahrenheit for your preferred temperature.
This puts a small icon onto your calendar for each day showing sun, clouds, or rain. You can also either put your mouse over the icon or click on it to see the high and low temperatures for the day.
If you want to make sure those you have shared your calendar with see this information, click the Copy to Calendar link. This will insert it as an all-day event and can be handy for vacation planning with family or business travel with coworkers.
Do you receive event invitations that pop onto your calendar even though you have not accepted? And, you have no interest in attending them? Changing one simple default setting can save you from a cluttered calendar of events you will never attend.
You can change this in the Automatically add invitations to my calendar setting. You can choose Yes to have all events displayed or No to have none at all. An in-between option will display the event, but not send a notification to the coordinator until you respond with Yes or Maybe.
Two items to note on this setting. First, if you choose the No setting you will not see events you want to attend until you respond with Yes. Second, if you have shared your calendar, others will see those events even if you have not responded yet.
Default Event Duration and Speedy Meetings
Do you prefer to set the end time for events as you create them? Or would you like to encourage quick meetings for your employees? You can easily set your default duration and include the option to create Speedy Meetings.
Default Event Duration
You can choose from No end time to 15 minutes and up to 120 minutes for your events by default. This is handy if you prefer to pick end times without a default or always schedule one-hour meetings. Make your choice in the Default Event Duration drop-down box.
Google Calendar has a feature to assist you with meeting efficiency. If you are in a position where you must attend consecutive meetings, this can be convenient to get you there on time. Mark the checkbox for Speedy Meetings and then the duration will be adjusted per your default.
30-minute meetings will end five minutes early, one-hour and longer meetings will end 10 minutes early. This default setting will set durations as 25, 50, 80, or 110 minutes. The intent is for you and your participants to wrap up quickly so you can move onto the next meeting or task.
Settings for Your Other Calendars
You might create, import, or access shared and public calendars. If you set up one on your own, you have complete control. But you can also make a few adjustments to other calendars to make them more useful to you.
To access your other calendars on the web, click the Settings (gear icon) from the top navigation and select Settings. Click the Calendars tab and you will see those that you can view and modify along with those you can only view.
Change the Display Name
What if you would like your spouse’s calendar to show their nickname or the Holidays calendar to be called Celebrations. For shared and public calendars, you can change the name displayed for your viewing. Click on the calendar, change the Calendar Name at the top, and hit Save.
Edit Notification Settings
Would you like to receive a daily agenda via email or find out when your spouse cancels an event on their calendar? Any calendars that allow you to adjust the notification settings will display a link in that column. Once you click that link, you have a variety of options.
At the top, you can choose to be notified via email for timed and all-day events. Just click the Add a notification link and select the amount of time before the event to receive the notification.
In the next section, you can pick how you would like to be kept up-to-date with the calendar. You can mark the checkboxes next to new, changed, or canceled events as well as event responses and a daily agenda. You will then receive an email for those you have chosen. Click Save and you’re set.
Shared Calendar Options
What if you hire a new employee and want to share your calendar? Or, maybe you want to let your spouse make changes to events on your calendar? If you have shared your own calendars, you can adjust those settings at any time.
While still in the Calendars section, click the Shared: Edit Settings link for your calendar. You can quickly add a person by entering their email address or remove someone by clicking the trash can. For new people you add and those already listed, you can adjust the permission settings.
Open the permissions drop-down box and then make your choice. You can allow that person to make changes and manage sharing options, only make changes to events, view only your free and busy times, or see all event details.
Since these permissions can be adjusted differently for each person you share with, it can be very convenient for work situations. For example, you might want your boss to see all event details, but your employees to view just free and busy times.
Calendar and Event Colors
Do you want your work events to show up in a bold red color, but personal ones to display in sunny yellow? By default, the color assigned to a calendar will display events in that same color.
If you only use one calendar, then this is probably not an issue for you. However, if you have more than one of your own and access to shared and public calendars, consider changing their colors for better organization.
This is done on your main Google Calendar page. Simply select the arrow next to the calendar that you want to change in the left navigation. Then, pick your color and that’s it. Color-coding your calendars and events helps you to see what is on your schedule with a quick glance.
Which Default Settings Do You Find Most Helpful?
While many of the default settings can be obvious, people do not often change them. Either they are unaware that these changes can be made or simply have not taken the time to do so. But if you use Google Calendar regularly, then setting it up just the way you want it is essential.
Do you have a favorite default setting that helps you? Whether at work or home, which settings are most useful to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!