Free Google or Gmail accounts also offer Google Calendar, making it one of the most popular calendar apps on the planet. It’s packed with features, but it’s not perfect. With these free apps and extensions, Google Calendar is more productive than ever.
1. Google Calendar Button (Chrome): A simple drop-down pane for events at a glance
One of the best Chrome extensions for Google Calendar was a simple drop-down pane with a preview of upcoming events. One was created by Google itself and the other was created by third-party developer Manas Tungare. Unfortunately, both of these are no longer available. However, Button for Google Calendar has a valuable alternative.
In fact, the Button maker states that the open source extension is an original replica of Tungare. After installing and signing in, click the icon on the extension bar to display a pane showing upcoming events for today and tomorrow. For Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Google Meet calls, you’ll also see a link to click on the room to join directly.
You can also use the Google Calendar buttons to create calendar events using shortcuts. Press the plus icon to add a name, date and time, location, link, and notification to create a new entry. This extension also supports push notifications to notify you of upcoming events without clicking a button.
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Download: Google Calendar Button for Chrome (Free)
GCalToolkit is a paid desktop program that helps calendar power users fix many of Google Calendar’s limitations. The same manufacturer has developed a free Google Chrome extension, GCalPlus, which has added some powerful features to Google Calendar to fix many of the annoyances of the app.
Here’s a quick list of some of the best features of GCal Plus:
Duplicate Events / Create Multiple Events: Every event has a “Multiple Copy” option to duplicate to a new date or multiple dates throughout the calendar. This is a great option for recurring events. Titles expanded when hovering: Google Calendar does not display the full title of an event that exceeds a certain character limit. Hovering over the title card now shows the full title name, whether it’s blocked because of a view or because of duplicate events. Other All-day Events: Shows double all-day events in Weekly and Daily views. Grouping all-day events: All-day events are grouped alphabetically because the time frame is irrelevant. Month view and other events with L / R arrows: Shows twice as many events per day in the Months view, with a simple left arrow key and right arrow instead of “n” and “p” the next day or the day before. Use the key. Show busy dates: A red dot appears on the month icon in the left sidebar to indicate the date with some events. Hide event illustration: Removes GCal’s auto-added header image.
GCalPlus has several other features that you can see after installing the app, as well as in the enhanced walkthrough video on the Chrome Store page. If you like it, check out other free downloads from GCal Toolkit.
Download: GCalPlus for Chrome (free)
3. Calendarist (Web): Easy time block and time tracking for Google Calendar
An important factor in becoming more productive is to evaluate time fairly. You need to understand what you are spending your time on (time tracking) and have dedicated time to complete your task (time blocking). Calendarist works with Google Calendar to help you keep track of both of these time estimates.
When you connect Google Calendar to your web app, Calendarist captures all your data and sees where you’re spending your time. We recommend that you use hashtags to tag each event in a specific way. You can also set rules for automatic tagging. For example, all events that contain a zoom link may be tagged with #videocall, or all events in the work calendar may be tagged with #tasks. The more you use it to create an event, the more the app learns categories and suggests tags.
Calendarist arranges all the data in a graph or graph to find the area where you are actually spending your time. The app also allows you to set goals and create recurring events so that your calendar can block the time for these activities.
Note that Calendarist acts as an analyst, not as a replacement for GCal. You need to combine the two to maximize productivity, so use the data provided to learn how to do time blocking in Google Calendar.
4. CalendarPush (Web): Sync two or more Google calendars while maintaining privacy
It is common practice to have separate calendars for work and personal life (Cal P). But in GCal the two syncs are broken. Of course, Google allows you to add multiple calendars to a view, but if you have events in Cal W, the time for Cal P events isn’t automatically blocked.
CalendarPush makes it possible with a hassle-free, one-time setup. Log in to your web app using the main calendar and add a second calendar to sync. That’s literally all you need to do. Now when you create a new event in one calendar, it will appear as a blocked time in the other calendar. In the settings, you can also set CalendarPush to be active only for events marked as “Attend”.
This app mainly takes advantage of privacy and does a few things in addition to this. Work calendars are often shared with colleagues. I don’t want them to know about the personal events I marked with Cal P. Therefore, a time blocked by Cal W will only be displayed as “busy” and Cal will notify you that you have an appointment for that time. P, only you can check.
CalendarPush is free to sync two calendars. If you want to sync more, it costs $ 20 a year for each additional calendar. But as the team says, most users only need two calendars.
By default, the Google Calendar sidebar displays two categories: My Calendar (created calendars) and other calendars (calendars created and shared by others). You can enable / disable any of these and display them in the main view. However, if you manage multiple calendars (such as shifts for multiple workers or multiple project timelines with different tasks), manually selecting these each time can be tedious and time consuming.
Multiple calendar selectors allow you to create groups from your own calendar or a shared calendar. For example, you can add a calendar schedule for Tom, Dick, and Harry to create a “weekly shift” group so that you can see all the calendars together. This view is only available on computers that have the extension installed.
You can create as many preset groups as you like. On the extension’s options page, rename it and select the calendars you want to include in that group. It may take several updates before the calendar list appears. If it doesn’t work the first few times, follow the instructions on the options page.
Download: Multiple calendar selectors for Chrome (free)
Learn Google Calendar shortcuts
The purpose of these apps is to make Google Calendar better and easier, but to give credit when it’s due. Google itself has made a great deal of effort in it. Many people don’t use Google Calendar or create events because they don’t know how easy it is with the many shortcuts available.
Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts allow you to create new events in seconds while adding all the relevant details. You can also add shortcuts to Chrome’s URL bar. The Google Assistant also supports voice commands to create, cancel, or reschedule events to see what’s next. The more you learn, the more productive your Google Calendar will be.
6 Google Calendar Mistakes to Avoid
About the author
Mihir Patkar (1305 article published)
Mihir Patkar has been writing about technology and productivity for over 14 years in some of the world’s top media publications. He has an academic background in journalism.
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