Table of contents
- Google Calendar for businesses
- Creating appointments in Google Calendar
- Adding and creating calendars
- Sharing your Google Calendar
- Usefull add-ons
Productivity, planning, and seamless internal communication are highly topical issues nowadays. Each company with a distributed workforce has its proven ways of keeping order. Although there is no shortage of project management or meeting planning systems, the most straightforward solutions often work best.
Keeping the calendar is the easiest way to control your schedule, but we wouldn’t recommend planning on paper. Although traditional physical calendars have their charm, they cannot keep up with the pace of life of an average office worker like their digital counterparts do.
Google Calendar for businesses
Gmail with custom domain email addresses and complete administrative control over user accounts is a SaaS called Google Workspace. Among the applications available in Google Workspace are those that we know well from private Gmail (like Calendar, Sheets, or Google Docs) but not only. There are also those available only in the paid option, i.e. Cloud Search, Google Vault data archiving service, Google Meet (with full functionality), and Google Admin console.
Gmail for business with a personalized domain and full administrative control over user accounts is a SaaS called Google Workspace. Among the applications available in Google Workspace are those that we know well from private Gmail (like Calendar, Sheets, or Google Docs) but not only. There are also those which are available only in the paid option, i.e. Google Currents social platform, Google Vault data archiving service, Google Meet (with full functionality), and admin panel.
How does a Google Workspace subscription extend the functionality of Google Calendar?
- In the Google Admin panel, you can add company resources such as conference rooms, cars, 3D printers, video call equipment, etc. All these resources can be found on the drop-down list when creating a calendar event, from where you can book them for a specific time. It is an ideal way to maintain order in reservations. Read more about how Bonnier Business Group uses this feature in our case study.
- When everyone in an organization has a Google Workspace account (not necessarily in one domain), subscribing to individual employees’ calendars and entire departments’ or resources’ is a matter of a few clicks.
- Google Workspace includes the Google Meet videoconferencing application with advanced features. In the company’s Google Calendar, you can generate a unique video conference room link with the meeting, available to all guests, and each event can hold up to 500 participants.
- Administrators can add new features to Google applications (including Calendar) using the extensive plugin catalogue from Google Workspace Marketplace, which is not available to private users.
Creating appointments in Google Calendar
The basic creation of appointments is straightforward. Open Google Calendar, go to the appropriate date, and click anywhere in the timetable. The event configuration window will appear. Now you can:
- Change the type of event,
- Enter the name,
- Set the date and time frame,
- Add members (from your organization or from outside of it),
- Create a Google Meet video conference room,
- Book a conference room for the time of the meeting,
- Add any location,
- Describe the meeting agenda in the text field.
After clicking the More options button at the bottom, you will access advanced configurations of the event, namely:
- All-day or recurring event settings,
- Adding notifications that will remind you of the upcoming meeting,
- Managing event details visibility,
- Checking calendars of all guests to find a date that does not interfere with their plans,
- Managing guest permissions to invite others, make changes, or view the list of everyone invited.
Hiding meeting details
Sometimes the details of meetings you arrange via the calendar should not be publicly known. Just because you use Google Calendar with your team doesn’t mean that you have to opt out of privacy.
If the meeting description or guest list reveals more than you would like, it’s better to set up a private event. Details will then be visible to all participants but not to other people – even if they subscribe to your calendar. The time of the private meeting will be reserved in our schedule, and the default display name of such an event is Busy.
Notification of unavailability
Google Calendar gives you a convenient way to inform coworkers of your temporary absence from work. If you create an event and change its type to Out of the office, a block of time will appear in your schedule during which you cannot be invited to other meetings. By default, the Automatically reject new and current appointments option is selected, and below, you can modify the message informing others of the reason for the refusal.
Adding and creating calendars
Subscribe to Calendar
Another valuable feature of Google Calendar is following other users’ calendars. Add them by clicking + in the left column next to the Other calendars section and selecting Subscribe to calendar.
Observe the schedules of the closest colleagues and superiors always to be able to check their availability.
When you’ll find a few people to follow, your calendar may start to resemble this one:
This is not a fully legible overview of the week. You can handle this in two ways:
- By unchecking collaborators’ calendars from the list on the left. Mark them again only when you want to take a peek at their schedule;
- By changing the calendar view from monthly or weekly to daily in the upper right corner of the browser. Collaborators’ calendars will be broken up into separate columns. In such a table it is very easy to compare the daily schedule of several people at the same time.
Create a new calendar
Google Calendar also allows you to create a separate schedule for each area of activity.
When you expand the list next to the Other calendars section and click Create a new calendar, the fields for name, description, and time zone settings will appear. After filling these data, move to the advanced configuration of the new calendar.
Sharing your Google Calendar
In the advanced settings of Google Calendar, you can adapt it to your needs and style of work. The most important options in this menu are those that decide about sharing and visibility of data from the calendar.
- Access permissions – set the global visibility of the calendar – you can share it publicly or only within your organization.
- Share with specific people – add users who have insight into your calendar and manage their editing rights (just like in Google Docs or Spreadsheets).
- Integrate calendar – if you want to put a link, code, or calendar ID on the web, you will find it in this section.
By clicking the gear icon in the upper right corner, you will find the Download add-ons option. It will open the Google Workspace Marketplace window with plugins to increase the productivity of working with the calendar. Among them is a lot of integrations with external video conferencing tools and other specialized applications. After clicking on the selected plugin, you will get more information. Be careful, though – install only plugins from trusted third-party developers, as some extensions will require access to your data.
The three most interesting add-ons to Google Calendar:
- TimeNavi – it is a tool that analyzes your schedule and gives you tips on how to manage your time better each day.
- Multiplia – this application sends practical advice on better presenting yourself at the meetings planned in the calendar.
- Zoom for Google Workspace – if Zoom is the leading video conferencing application in your organization, this add-on will make it easier to use with Calendar and Gmail.