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Google Calendar is a useful, often overlooked productivity tool. Even if you don’t use this feature on a daily basis, chances are you’ve used it at some point in your work life. The truth is the calendar has a lot of interesting tricks that can greatly increase your productivity. Leverage some (or all) of these hacks to make your work day a little easier:

Pre-Made Calendar Overlays

Google Calendar has a host of data that can be added to your personal calendar. These stock overlays tell you useful information, like holidays by country or religion, sports events, and other happenings. You can add these pre-stocked data sets to your calendar automatically. The best part is that they’re indexed and searchable. Simply go into the “Other Calendars” section, and you’ll find a variety of interesting calendar options. Here, you can preview and subscribe to whichever calendars appeal to you.

Add New Events Quickly

Adding an event to Google Calendar doesn’t have to be a long process. The Quick Add option allows you to type in an event in plain language, and Google automatically converts it and adds it to the calendar. Simply hit the triangle in the top left corner to open the input box. Then, type your event, like: “Meet Sharon at the coffee shop next Wednesday at 8.” Google Calendar will automatically schedule the event for the date and time, without you having to select and schedule it personally. This is perfect for when you’re on the go.

Access Secret Handy Features

Did you know Google Calendar has a ton of secret “experiments” you can access? That’s right, there’s a plethora of features Google created but didn’t enable. These features still work; you just need to turn them on. Some functions include adding an attachment to an event, changing background images, and other nifty tricks. Simply click on the settings gear and go to the “Labs” tab. You’ll find and can enable a variety of helpful features.

Get Emails From a Robot Personal Assistant

Google Calendar has a feature that works like your very own personal assistant. For a busy employee, you know how important a to-do list can be. The Daily Agenda feature will email you an agenda every morning at 5 a.m. based on your schedule for the day. To turn it on, find the “edit notifications” area in the Calendars tab. Check the box next to Daily Agenda to activate the feature and start receiving emails.

Make Individual To-Do Lists and Due Dates

To further your to-do list proficiency, Google Calendar has a handy little feature called Tasks. This lets you set a list of specific tasks to complete throughout the day, broken up into increments of how long each will take. You can set a task for all day or for a portion of the day. Once your tasks are created, you can organize them into to-do lists, complete with deadlines. To create and organize them, check the Tasks box next to the Calendars box. Once you do this, the Task panel will be accessible on the right side of your calendar. You can either add tasks here or directly onto your calendar by date.

Sync Your Co-Worker’s Calendar

You can view your co-workers’ calendars if they also use Google Calendar (with their permission, of course). This feature will layer their events over your schedule so you can see where your appointments will coincide. This is fantastic for organizing meetings and scheduling group projects. Instead of going back and forth trying to find times that work for everyone, simply layer calendars and find an empty date.

To enable this feature, find the Other Calendars options and click the button that says “Add a Friend’s Calendar.” Enter a co-worker’s email, and he or she will receive a request to let you access the calendar. Once it’s approved, you’ll be able to overlay that calendar.

Share Your Calendar for Easy Scheduling

Just as your friends can share their calendars with you, you can share yours with the whole world! Doing so with your co-workers or clients is an incredible way to keep everyone on the same page. Under My Calendars, click on “Share This Calendar” and type in the email addresses of the appropriate parties. This is especially useful when integrating your Calendar with Booth. Booth automatically routes your calls based on your schedule.

By integrating your calendar, Booth can direct your calls during off-hours, vacation days, meetings, or any other times you won’t be available. Instead of individually inputting this information, Booth will always be up to date with your calendar.

Visit our website to learn how Booth’s virtual phone system integrates with your Google Calendar for the ultimate boost in workplace productivity.

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Josh Christy

Founder of Booth, passionate about helping to grow businesses that matter.