Sunday, September 29, 2019

Google Calendar (part 2) You Can Do

This time of year is incredibly busy for me. This year is proving to be even busier! The school year is well underway, my own girls are back in school, all 3 play soccer, the 8th grade DC trip I co-coordinate is really starting to amp up, AND on top of it all, I'll be heading to NYC in a couple days to continue on my Google Innovator path! 

I planned to get this out last week, but it didn't happen. I hope the wait was worth it.


Two weeks ago, I shared many things that I love and use in Google Calendar. I really cannot go a day without using my calendar. Today I want to focus on my main calendar. I have 2 - for the same purpose - but one is for home and one for school. I simply cannot go without them. They are my lifeline. They help keep me organized. They help keep me sane.

The major reason I rely heavily on these to calendars is because I can share them. (But in 2 very different ways.)

At home, our Family Calendar is not only on my phone, it's on my husband's phone, my oldest daughters' phone, and my younger girls iPod & iPad. (I created Google accounts with Family Link for them since they are both under 13.) Now, the 5 of us can stay "in sync". Soccer practices & games, doctor appointments, after-school activities, field trips, parties, events, etc. If it doesn't get on our shared calendar, I'll probably forget about it. Even my youngest daughter can easily open her calendar app and see what is coming up or happening.

How To ... Share Google Calendar

Once you are on Google Calendar (on your computer), look to the far left, under "My Calendars". Find the calendar you want to share. Hover over the name and look for the "world's skinniest snowman" to the right of the name. [For those of you unfamiliar with that term, it's the vertically stacked 3 dots ... I like "world's skinniest snowman" better.] Click on the snowman.

*** Bonus: this is also where you can change the color for the events on your calendar! *** 


Back to sharing ... select "Settings and Sharing". 


On the next screen, scroll down to "Share with specific people". And then "+ Add people".


Type their email addresses & then you will have 4 options for sharing. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!  You do not need to give everyone the ability to edit - this could be disastrous.



Select the option that fits the person the best. If you just need them to know when you are free or busy, "See only free/busy" is best. 
If they need to be able to see the event & the details about the event, "See all event details", is perfect. 
If you want them to be able to add events, but not add people, "Make changes to events", is perfect. 
And finally, if you want them to be able to add events AND manage who can add people, "Make changes and manage sharing", is the option you want.

Now, how about for school? Same concepts apply, only this time, I am part of a domain. We have shared calendars for our building (one restricted to JUST staff; one that is publicly available for parents & community members to see); shared calendars for teachers to sign up for our labs; and one for signing up for conferences room in order to have meetings. But all of us have our own calendar that comes with our Google account. This calendar - I call is "Sarah @ school" - is where I add any event that is connected with me at school. I put meetings, classroom appointments, conferences, etc., on here. I do this so I know where I'm already booked. Since 99% of the time I have my phone on me, I can easily reference my calendar as well as create events.

Recently, I've discovered an even more powerful reason to do this. I was working with a principal who wanted teachers to be able schedule appointments with him. Immediately I thought of the appointment slots available in GSuites. 

How To ... "Find a time" in Google Calendar
But instead, we stumbled on "Find a time". 💥 Mind. Blown!!! 💥

As you are creating your event, add your guests, and their calendars will show up, too!!! Check out the screenshot below. I am in my school account, and I added 3 colleagues to this event I'm trying to create. Do you see all of them??? I can then literally find a time for the 4 of us to meet with as little conflict as possible! I mean seriously ... can it get better???





This is seriously such an awesome find! You can see that my red covers the whole day. (I'll be in NYC for the Google Innovator Academy!!!) I have shown this to several people and they all react the same ... a little weirded out, at first, and then they realize the convenience this can allow.  I helped a counselor in one building target a good time for her, the principal, school psychologist, and myself to get together. Likewise, if teachers want me to come into their classroom ... "Find a time" & send me an invite. Love it!

It does work outside of a domain, but you have to have been shared on someones calendar. For example, I began to create an event in my personal account, and I added my school account and Google Trainer account, and I could see all 3 calendars. I previously shared both of these calendars to my personal account. 


Finally, the final idea I'd like to share about Google Calendar is my new found dedication to using icons at the beginning of many of events I create. These help me quickly see what type of activities I have going on. Right now, I'm regularly using:


👩‍💻  classroom appointments
🤖  for a committee I am on in one building
👥  meetings
⚽  my daughter's soccer practices & games
💡 ↬ my #NYC19 Google Innovator dates


I hope I've shared a tip or two that can help you stay better organized or utilize Calendar a bit better. 


Google Calendar Wakelet collection
I've started using Wakelet to collect resources and I created one for Google Calendar. Check it out for help tips and other hacks for calendar. The link is below the image on the left. I'll keep adding to this as I find more ... so feel free to come back and check for more.





Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.


2 comments:

  1. I'm totally a fan of using emoji in my calendar events as well! I mostly use 📞 and ✈️ for events!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the quick reminders emojis provide! Thanks for additional ideas.

      Delete