Google Calendar Tips and Tricks for Families

Google Calendar is my absolute favorite tool to help keep my family organized. I have several different calendars for all kinds of aspects of my life. Some of my favorite calendars include having a different calendar for every family member, a meal planning calendar, bills to pay, a workout schedule, my kid’s school calendars, and so much more. However, aside from just using a plethora of various calendars to color code and keep my life organized, there’s also so much more you can do just within Google Calendar itself that often gets overlooked.

Today I’ll break down some of my best tips on Google Calendar to help your family stay on the same page and super organized. One of the main things you can do with Google Calendar is to track your tasks. It completely integrates with Google Tasks, which can be shown directly on your calendar. You look at your calendar and check off the items on your to-do list all within the same interface.

Integrate Google Tasks

You can also add tasks with your voice via Google Assistant or a Google Nest device. Any tasks you add with your voice will be added directly to the Google Calendar.

The Google Nest devices will remind you of that task. You can check it off within the Google Nest or since it’s showing up on the Google Calendar you can just check it off right there as well. This allows you to stay in the same app and avoids jumping from task list to calendar and back and forth.

Set Default Reminders

Another setting that is often overlooked is a default reminder for any appointment on any of your specific calendars. It you want to automatically have a reminder set for 10 minutes before any appointment, you can add a default reminder to the settings of the calendar.

You can even add notifications if you’re the kind of person who needs to be reminded half an hour before something starts and again five minutes before the appointment. I can admit, I’m guilty of that sometimes. So this default reminder setting will be really helpful for people who may forget about appointments that are happening later in the day.

You can also set a default reminder for any all-day appointments. If you have an all-day appointment that you want to be reminded of the day before, you can set that as a default right here in the settings of your calendar. Just tap the 3 dots next to the calendar name and select “Settings and sharing”.

Add Holidays and Birthdays

I did mention that I have a lot of calendars that I’ve added. Have you seen some of the calendars that are available from Google though? You can find these calendars by tapping the plus sign next to “Other Calendars” and then selecting “Browse Calendars of interest”. They have the US Holidays calendar, and you can add holidays from several other countries as well. You can follow sports or the moon phases, or see all the birthdays you’ve added to your contacts in Google Contacts. Having this birthday calendar check marked helps you keep up with birthdays instead of trying to add an appointment for each of your friend’s birthdays. All you need to do is add the birthday to the contact for your friend and it will automatically show up on this Birthday’s calendar.

Add Locations to Events

To really take advantage of the full Google suite of products, you can add the location of your appointment. When you enter the exact address of the appointment in the location section of the event, you can get a notification on your phone that you should leave soon to make it to the location on time. You can also open the appointment and tap the location to pull it up in google maps to easily get directions. I don’t have to search for the address or anything if I just add the address to the appointment itself.

Add Attachments to Events

One of the MOST overlooked features of Google Calendar is the ability to add attachments to an appointment. If you have paperwork or tickets that have a QR code, you can attach those images to your appointment so that you have that readily available and you don’t have to search for your phone for that QR code or the file that you needed.

Create Event From Email

If you’re looking at your Gmail on the web you can have the calendar displayed on the right side. If you open a particular message in your Gmail and you need to create an appointment around that message. You just need to navigate to when you want to create the appointment and then tap in the time slot to open the new event creator.

It will add details from the email to the event, making it incredibly easy to create events from emails.

Family Appointments

The last tip is more of a follow-up to my post about my different Google calendars for family members. Many people ask what to do about appointments that all members of the family need to be at. If you add the appointment to each family member’s calendar it gets very cluttered and repetitive. So, what is the best solution for this? Instead of having four different appointments that all occur at the same time, my recommendation is to create an additional calendar that is just for the family. Any appointments that all family members need to attend go on this calendar that is shared with everyone so it shows up on all family members’ devices. Since it’s a specific color or is the Kimmel family appointment, they all know it is for everybody instead of just them. Now, when only two or three people need to be at a specific appointment, you will probably have to duplicate those appointments still. However, for anything that is for the entire family, I just recommend an additional calendar that is specific for the entire family.

Are there features you would add to this list? Let me know!