8 Reasons Why You Should Use Google Calendar

Calendar Icon

I’ll admit I have tried a lot of different solutions for organizing my life in the past few years.  I’ve used applications, planners and even reminders in my cell phone, but none of them ultimately worked for me.  However, Google Calendar has helped me save time and get more organized than ever before.  Here are some reasons why I have ultimately decided to use Google Calendar to organize my life.

Many Calendars, United in One Place

Google Calendar is a little different than some of the other calendar applications that I have tried.  It is basically a Master Calendar with a bunch of individual calendars aggregated in one place. You can have a separate calendar for personal, business, holidays and anything else that seems necessary to you.

One of the primary features that I like about Google Calendar is that you can customize the color of each individual calendar so that you can easily see what you have happening at any point in time on your Master Calendar.  I have a blue calendar for everything related to business, a red calendar for anything personal, a purple calendar for holidays, a gold calendar for birthdays and even a pink calendar that tells me the phase of the moon.  All of these calendars show up in one place, each color-coded so I can easily see what’s going on.

Another nice feature is that you can turn on or off individual calendars.  If I am focusing just on work tasks, I can turn off my other calendars so that only my work events show up.

Share Calendars With Others

Google Calendar allows you to invite other Google users to share a calendar with you.  If you are collaborating with a team of people, this tool is invaluable.  This way, all members of a team know when each member is busy.  You can also input the location of a meeting so that everyone knows where to go.

Google Calendar also allows you to set permission levels on each individual calendar to control the amount of power you grant to other people.  You can allow them to have full access to create and change event details on that specific calendar or set it up so they can only view an event but not edit it.

Load Public Calendars

Google Calendar also has a wide database of available calendars that you can subscribe to on your calendar.  I have all of the U.S. Holidays automatically loaded on my calendar.  Google allows you to subscribe to numerous pre-populated calendars for free, like your favorite team’s game schedule or the sunrise and sunset times for your city.

Integrated with Gmail

In their attempt to take over the world, Google has integrated Gmail and Google Calendar to allow you to create events on your calendar right from an email.  Google scans your emails and, if it finds a date and time, it gives you the option on the right side of the screen to add an event to your calendar.  When you do this, the text from the email will automatically be copied into the description for the new event in Google Calendar.

Available Anywhere There is Internet

Unlike an application that you install on your computer, Google Calendar runs entirely in “the cloud,” meaning it is stored on a server that you log in to.  This means you can access your calendar from any device that has an internet connection.

Sync Calendars with Your Phone

Something that I have found to be essential is the ability to sync my Google Calendar with my smartphone.  This allows me to easily schedule meetings and events from virtually anywhere, even if I don’t have a computer with me.

Since Google makes the Android operating system for smartphones, once you enter your Google account login information your phone should automatically sync with your calendar.

On an iPhone, it is a little more involved but relatively painless.  Here is an article that explains how to sync Google Calendar on an iPhone.

And here is info on how to get Google Calendar on your BlackBerry.

Program Reminders

When scheduling events, you can also schedule reminders to help you remember to do something.  You also have the option to customize how and when that reminder is delivered.  It can either be emailed to you or pop up to remind you.  If you choose pop up and you have synced your Google Calendar with your smartphone, the reminder should pop up on your phone as well.

Searchable

Google Calendar has a search feature that is quite good compared to most applications.  This makes sense since Google created it.

As you can see, I am a pretty big fan of Google Calendar.  It has helped save me time and streamline my organizational processes.  What do you think of Google Calendar?  Do you use another organizational tool to keep track of your events?

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Image courtesy of Your Design Forums

David Hartstein is the storyteller and measurement guy at Wired Impact where he routinely reads and writes about nonprofits and web geekery. He used to teach elementary school and often walks around barefoot. You can catch up with David on Twitter at @davharts.

15 Comments on “8 Reasons Why You Should Use Google Calendar

  1. 1 Natalie November 15, 2010

    I must admit, I’m rather old-fashioned when it comes to using calendars: I’ve always relied on writing in planners and making “To Do” lists to organize tasks and events. I’ve known about Google Calendar for a while, but I never saw a reason to switch from using the traditional pen-and-paper to using the internet for my organizational needs. I didn’t realize that Google Calendar has so many great tools available! I especially like the feature that combines your “individual calendars” into one giant color-coded calendar. That seems like great way to help me keep track of my school, work, and volunteer schedules, as well as any other personal events. Maybe it’s time for me to embrace the 21st century and use the internet to organize my life…

  2. 2 David Hartstein November 15, 2010

    Hi Natalie. I understand your reservations. I was hesitant at first too but, since making the switch, have been totally converted. I would recommend trying it out by creating a full week’s worth of events. Create the individual calendars that you listed and put them in for an entire week or two. Try it out and let us know what you think. Thanks for the comment.

  3. 3 Sam June 20, 2013

    We have been using this ourselves and with local schools and it’s a great Google Tool. Recommended reading for those looking to use Google Calendar for Schools for both students and teachers – A Quick Guide to Google Calendar for Schools http://amzn.to/Ug7tGE

    1. 4 David Hartstein June 21, 2013

      Thanks for sharing that resource Sam. Glad to hear it’s been working well for you.

  4. 5 Gaurav Gupta August 12, 2014

    I started using Google Calendar more often after someone told me about ClipPod for Google Calendar. We’ve been using it to chat and share files inside our calendars and it’s worked out quite well so far.

    1. 6 David Hartstein August 12, 2014

      Thanks for the tip on ClipPod Gaurav! I’ll have to check that out. Glad to hear it’s working well for you.

  5. 7 Jeff Richsrds March 9, 2016

    Any update to this article…new info, features, other apps compared to this, etc? There are so many calendar apps out there. I’ve used several but haven’t found any that I like any better than Google. Curious why so many different ones?

    1. 8 David Hartstein March 13, 2016

      Hi Jeff. You’re definitely right – there’s no shortage of calendar apps out there. I think there’s such a demand that developers keep trying to improve on the tools that are available. But I’ve continued to use Google Calendar personally.

      We don’t typically update our blog posts once they’re published, but if you Google “best calendar app 2016” you can pick the device you’re using and find a bunch of recommendations. Hope that’s helpful!

  6. 9 Samnang January 11, 2017

    i’m a student i would like to ask you that why we need to use google calendar ?

    1. 10 David Hartstein January 11, 2017

      Hi Samnang. There are a bunch of great calendar options out there, but Google Calendar is my favorite for many of the reasons outlined in the post above. I’ve been using it for many years and am still a big fan. Hope you give it a try and enjoy it!

  7. 11 Abebe Kebede January 25, 2017

    I don’t know how much useful google calendar is…

    1. 12 David Hartstein January 25, 2017

      Hi Abebe. I think the usefulness of Google Calendar really depends on what you’re looking to do. I’m sure there are a ton of great calendar options out there. But for our team at Wired Impact and for myself personally I can say Google Calendar has been hugely helpful.

  8. 13 Binh Nguyen March 19, 2017

    Me too. I’m using Google Calendar to store my company’s meeting events. Also… found a way to use it as my Diary too. Great thing!

    1. 14 David Hartstein March 20, 2017

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying Google Calendar Binh!

    2. 15 marlene September 8, 2017

      Would love to know how you use it as a diary?

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