Tag Archives: calendar

Making it even easier to manage your tasks

We all know how it feels to have countless to-dos, making it hard to know where to start. With all the daily demands, having a simple way to organize and keep track of various tasks helps you get one step closer to checking them off your list.

The ideal solution meets you where your thoughts and your productive moments happen — whether you’re in the midst of working on your laptop, making a to-do list on your phone, or just need a way to capture thoughts while on the go. This is why we’re making it easier for our products to work better together, no matter where or how you work.

Millions of people use Google to help them stay on top of their everyday to-dos across Google Assistant, Calendar and Tasks. Soon, we’ll be simplifying our task management solutions by migrating Assistant and Calendar Reminders to Google Tasks. This means you will now have an easy way to view and manage all your to-dos in one place through Google Tasks, regardless of whether you create them using Assistant or Calendar.

Get it all done with Google Tasks

Google Tasks helps users get stuff done with a simple and productive solution across their personal and professional lives. It can sync across your devices, so your lists and tasks go with you, wherever you are. Plus, you can easily access Tasks from your favorite Google Workspace apps like Gmail, Calendar and Chat.

Here are a few ways you can get more done with Google Tasks:

  • Use the “Add to tasks” button in Gmail so important action items don’t get lost in your inbox
  • Create tasks directly from Google Chat to turn a thought into a clear action
  • Create a task in Google Calendar so you can pick the perfect time to get it done
  • Sort the tasks you create into lists and star the ones that are most important to you
Animation of using the “Add to Tasks” button in Gmail,  then starring the task to mark as important

Once you’ve captured and organized your tasks, you can keep track of your progress by marking them as complete to show what you’ve accomplished.

Planning a family reunion with Google Workspace

For my Texan family, anything is an opportunity to barbecue: a long weekend, some good weather, or just a good day in general. For years, a barbecue has been our simple way to get our loved ones together — and there wouldn’t be much planning involved.

We’d have an invitation sent around with a date and a suggested time, and that’s about it. Yet after years of barbecues, questions like “who’s coming again?” and “can someone send me the group photos?” still circled the picnic table. Somehow we didn’t have a system for our tradition, which got frustrating when we started having more guests than space.

I decided to do something about it. Encouraged by memories of our growing tradition (and the chance to become the favorite grandchild), I started researching tools to plan family gatherings. Thanks to lessons from Google’s Applied Digital Skills program, I’ve learned how to add some coordination to our barbecues. Now, I can easily keep track of plans and many of my family’s memories using some of my favorite apps in Google Workspace. Here’s how to do it when you’re planning your own family barbecue or reunion picnic.

Kick off your planning with Google Calendar

The most important part of any family reunion is… family! If it’s your responsibility to invite them, you want to let them know early, even though you might not have all the details finalized. Thankfully, Calendar lets you send modifiable invitations. So if later you decide to hold the picnic in your aunt’s backyard instead of the park, you can easily change the location in the invite and send an email update to guests.

And to make sure you’re on top of everything, Calendar helps you remember events and things on your to-do list through notifications and Google Tasks. To learn how to use both features, I took the Organize Your Day with Google Calendar and Create Task in Calendar lessons. Afterwards, I knew how to customize notifications that only alerted me about an event when it was most helpful for me. I also learned about calendar entries called Tasks that you can use to prompt yourself to remember small things like “pick up groceries for the family reunion.” Like events, you can even make these entries repeat for the tasks that require frequent attention.

How to make a Task repeat in Google Calendar

Use folders in Google Drive to organize your memories and documents

Once you’ve scheduled everything, you’ll want a place to store your important documents and memories. Fortunately, Drive offers a place to keep all of your family reunion files, and a way to organize them through folders, subfolders and color coding.

With so many options, I took the Use Google Drive to Organize Files and Folders lesson to learn the best way to organize my family’s memories. I needed a system that made the Google Sheet with everyone’s contact information and all of the photos from the barbecue easy to find. I started with one overall folder to share with my family and then created color-coded subfolders to separate order receipts from recipes and nostalgic videos. Before I knew it, our family reunion folder started to resemble a digital scrapbook. As pictures of my grandpa as a child, a candid photo of my mom hugging my sister, and my grandma’s pound cake recipe poured into the folder, my heart began to melt. And with the option to star files that especially remind me of home, I’m able to easily revisit those memories when I miss family.

A folder to hold family reunion files with color-coded subfolders

Use Gmail to stay in touch

Whether it’s to organize the potluck or make travel arrangements, you’ll need to send information to family members. Gmail can help you keep up with all your communication. Worried that everything might get buried in your inbox? The Communicate Using Email lesson teaches you how to label and look up emails so you can keep up with it all.

With labels, you can tag emails so they’re organized into folders where you can easily find them later. You can also search for an email by subject line, contact name or even a keyword. This comes in handy when you’re looking for all those pesky order confirmations. And when the reunion is over, you can archive all of the emails you don’t need anymore to take them out of your inbox. But they’ll still be available in a folder named “All Mail” if you need to look at them again.

Keep making memories

Since I’ve taken the Applied Digital Skills lessons, I’ve taught my family to use Google Workspace to keep track of guests, events and memories. It’s become a way to digitally log our growing family interactions. If you want to learn even more about Calendar, Drive and Gmail, check out the Google Calendar for Beginners, Google Drive for Beginners and Gmail for Beginners in the Google Workspace for Beginners collection.

New Google Workspace features to help solo business owners

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more people forging their own path and turning their personal passions into businesses. These individual business owners, sometimes called “solopreneurs,” wear many hats as they run and grow their businesses: salesperson, marketer, accountant, the list goes on.

That’s why one year ago, we launched Google Workspace Individual as a new offering to help these solo business owners grow their businesses with the familiar apps they’re likely already using in their personal life. We’ve heard from customers that Google Workspace Individual helps them focus their time on doing what they love — like meeting with customers and designing personalized services — and less time on recurring tasks like scheduling appointments and sending emails. Since launch, we’ve delivered a number of improvements to provide even more value to customers, and today we’re announcing what’s coming next – electronic signatures right within Google Docs.

Coming soon: Easily sign important documents right in Google Docs

Whether you’re an event planner or digital creator, it can be a challenge to stay on top of contracts and customer agreements that need to be signed as you’re constantly context switching and jumping between different apps to get work done. That’s why we’re natively integrating eSignature in Google Docs, so you can quickly execute agreements from the familiar interface of Docs without having to switch tabs or apps.

Animation of the process of inserting electronic signature fields in Google Docs

Coming soon: Easily request electronic signatures directly in Google Docs

eSignature in Google Docs will take advantage of the same secure-by-design infrastructure and built-in protections Google uses to help secure your information and safeguard your privacy. Let’s take a look at how eSignature can help you create agreements:

  • Collaborate in documents: Collaborate on changes directly in Google Docs with comments and suggestions — no need to export the file to send a draft contract over email.
  • Add fields to documents: Within the familiar Google Docs interface, you can easily drag and drop signature and date fields in branded documents you create.
  • Request a signature: Once you resolve all comments and suggestions, requesting a signature is as easy as sharing a file in Drive.
  • Add signatures: When ready to sign, the signee can easily add their signature, no downloads needed. Once the signature is added, a completed PDF contract is emailed to both parties.
  • Monitor and track progress: Quickly see the status of pending signatures and easily find completed, signed contracts.
  • Create copies of contracts: For signature workflows that need to be repeated regularly, you can streamline the process by creating copies of existing contracts and then modifying as needed.

eSignature in Google Docs is coming soon in Beta to Google Workspace Individual users and is the latest in a series of improvements we’ve announced for the subscription in the past year. If you’re already using a dedicated eSignature solution, Google Workspace integrates with a number of leading providers. Learn more about how these eSignature and other integrations can help you optimize your workspace on our blog post.

ICYMI: Google Workspace Individual updates from this past year

Email marketing updates for engaging campaigns

For any business, it’s vital to connect with customers and prospects, both on a one-to-one basis and at a large scale. Google Workspace Individual makes it easy to do both, so you can easily send communications like monthly newsletters and also offer items like scheduled consultations.

Animation of the process of creating  and sending customized marketing emails from Gmail

Create and send customized marketing emails from Gmail

To help you reach many customers at once, last year we added a way to run simple email campaigns directly in Gmail. We started first by providing professionally designed templates that you can customize with your own branding and images in just a few clicks. Then earlier this year, we added multi-send, which allows you to deliver individual emails to a large number of recipients with a unique unsubscribe link for each recipient. With the combination of these improvements, it’s easy to make communications as targeted as you like, because you can create multiple email mailing lists within Google Contacts for different audiences and easily tailor the message to each audience. Gmail layouts and multi-send are generally available in Google Workspace Individual today.

Appointment scheduling updates for easier bookings

For scheduling in-person appointments or virtual meetings, Google Calendar helps streamline the appointment scheduling process and avoid back-and-forth communication to find a time that works. Since launching, we’ve made a number of enhancements that improve the experience for both the business owner and scheduler, including the ability to:

  • Help prevent no-shows by customizing the timing of reminder emails and having users verify their email before booking for added security.
  • Reflect your operational needs by setting flexible appointment durations, adding buffer time between appointments and limiting the number of bookings per day.
  • Easily update your availability with one-off exceptions like regional holidays and customizable start and end dates.
Animation of creating a shareable appointment schedule that clients can use to book appointments online by setting your availability and appointment offerings directly in Google Calendar.

Get your own professional booking page that stays up to date

Customized appointment scheduling with the above features are generally available in Google Workspace Individual today, on the web and your mobile device.

Google Meet updates for your customer and partner calls

Once an appointment is on the books and it’s time to connect, Google Meet provides an easy way for you to deepen customer and partner relationships through secure video meetings. Helpful features in Meet ensure you can be clearly seen and heard. Noise cancellation removes background distractions like barking dogs, while low-light mode automatically adjusts your video in poorly lit settings. Here are a few notable Meet announcements from this past year:

  • Mimic taking your call from a real-life cafe or condo with immersive backgrounds.
  • Filter out the echoes in spaces with hard surfaces so that you can have conference-room audio quality whether you’re in a basement, a kitchen, or a big empty room.
  • Clearly see participants on a call while you’re presenting or multi-tasking with picture-in-picture on Chrome browsers.
  • Review your forecast or business proposal with meetings directly in Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Animation of joining a Google Meet video call directly from Google Docs.

Quickly join a Google Meet call from Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Sign up today to take advantage of promotional pricing

Save 20% until October 2022[3bdee8]when you sign up for Google Workspace Individual today or learn more about Google Workspace Individual on our website.

Make the most of your day: 7 Google Calendar tips

Time is precious—especially when you’re working from home and balancing work and family. The less time you spend fussing with tasks like scheduling, searching for a meeting code, or switching from app to app, the more time you can spend on things that matter. 

Google Calendar is filled with intuitive tools and tightly integrated with other G Suite apps—including Gmail, Meet, Drive, Contacts and Sites—to help you stay on top of your day-to-day schedule. Here’s a handful of tips, tricks and features that will help you plot a course for your day.

Find a meeting time that works for everyone

Childcare. Time zone differences. Other meetings. Finding a time when everyone can feel like a tricky game of Tetris. With Google Calendar, you have a helping hand to figure out when someone’s availability intersects with yours. 

Here’s how to do it: In Calendar, click on Search for peopleon the left, type in the name of someone you want to meet with. If they’re part of your work or school organization, you can select their name and see their calendar overlaid on yours. Pick an open time slot, fill in the meeting details, and click Save

When you invite a guest to an event, a unique Google Meet code is automatically added (you can adjust this in Settings). And for G Suite customers, dial-in information is added in case someone joins from a phone. 

Meet across time zones

Meeting with people in different regions adds complexity to scheduling. If you do it frequently—say your London-based company has offices in New York City or you have a weekly call with teams across the country—then it’s helpful to display multiple time zones directly on your calendar. 

Click on the Settings icon and select Settings. Under Time zone, click the box to display a secondary time zone and choose your preferred time zone. To add multiple time zones, simply scroll to theWorld clockand click Show world clock. Selected time zones will show up on the left-hand side of the Calendar below the month view. 

Stay attuned to others’ working hours

It’s important (courteous, in fact!) to be aware of others’ working hours when scheduling a meeting. We made it easy to set your own working hours, and see other people’s working hours. 

working hours.png

To set your working hours, click the Settings icon in Calendar, then select Settings. Under General, click Working Hours, then checkEnable working hours. Select the days and times that you work. This feature can be turned on or off on a computer, but not via the mobile Calendar app.

Now coworkers can see your working hours when they schedule meetings with you, reducing the likelihood of meetings popping up outside of your working hours. 

If you’ll be out of the office, Calendar can automatically decline events during that time. At the top of your calendar, click the first date you’ll be out of office. In the event details box select Out of office, then choose the dates. Calendar will decline meetings scheduled over your out-of-office blocks and include a custom message. Coworkers will still be able to communicate with you in Google Chat or Gmail, but they’ll see an automated notification that you’re out of office when they start a chat or email to you. 

OOO image.png

Share your calendar

People are balancing more demands from both work and home, making it extra important to respect everyone's schedule. Adjust your default settings so people on your team or organization can view the full details of events on your calendar, rather than only seeing “free” or “busy.” This way, if someone wants to meet with you they can see whether you’re giving an important presentation that can’t be moved or simply having a virtual coffee chat that can be moved. This is especially helpful for people who have a lot of meetings and reduces back-and-forth emails about availability.

To share your calendar broadly or with specific people, go to the My Calendars section, hover over the calendar you want to share, click on More (the three vertical dots), then Settings and sharing. It’s helpful to share your personal calendar with your work account to make scheduling even easier for you.

You can always unshare your calendar or adjust permissions and visibility. Learn more about calendar sharing on our Help Center

Control who sees what

You can change what others see about certain events. For example, you might want to keep a confidential meeting or telehealth appointment private. In Calendar, open the event that you want to update and click Default visibility. Choose the privacy setting for the event and click Save.

Organize your to-do list

Scheduling a task is a lightweight way to organize your to-do list in Calendar. To add a task to your calendar (these will only be visible to you), click on the Tasks icon on the right side panel. Select Add a task, give it a label or name, then add details and a date and time. You can also add tasks to your calendar from Gmail, Google Drive, or from a file in Docs, Sheets, or Slides—just look for the Tasks icon in the side panel, a column on the right side of these apps. Learn more on our Help Center.

Leave room for a breather

When you’re taking back-to-back meetings from home, it’s convenient to have a few minutes to prepare for your next meeting or even stretch. Set scheduled events to end five minutes early (events longer than a half hour will end 10 minutes early). In your Calendar settings window, scroll down to Event settings and click the Speedy meetings box. 

We’ve found that even if a meeting is scheduled to end at, say, 4:25, it tends to run until 4:30. So instead of ending meetings early, start your meetings five minutes past the hour or half-hour. You might find that those extra few minutes make a real difference.  

To learn more about how Google Calendar can help you make the most of your day, visit the Calendar Help Center.

Automate & Extend with Apps Script (Google Cloud for Student Developers)

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, Google Cloud

In the previous episode of our new Google Cloud for Student Developers video series, we introduced G Suite REST APIs, showing how to enhance your applications by integrating with Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. However, not all developers prefer the lower-level style of programming requiring the use of HTTP, OAuth2, and processing the request-response cycle of API usage. Building apps that access Google technologies is open to everyone at any level, not just advanced software engineers.

Enhancing career readiness of non-engineering majors helps make our services more inclusive and helps democratize API functionality to a broader audience. For the budding data scientist, business analyst, DevOps staff, or other technical professionals who don't code every day as part of their profession, Google Apps Script was made just for you. Rather than thinking about development stacks, HTTP, or authorization, you access Google APIs with objects.

This video blends a standard "Hello World" example with various use cases where Apps Script shines, including cases of automation, add-ons that extend the functionality of G Suite editors like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, accessing other Google or online services, and custom functions for Google Sheets—the ability to add new spreadsheet functions.

One featured example demonstrates the power to reach multiple Google technologies in an expressive way: lots of work, not much code. What may surprise readers is that this entire app, written by a colleague years ago, is comprised of just 4 lines of code:

function sendMap() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
var address = sheet.getRange('A1').getValue();
var map = Maps.newStaticMap().addMarker(address);
GmailApp.sendEmail('[email protected]',
'Map', 'See below.', {attachments:[map]});

Apps Script shields its users from the complexities of authorization and "API service endpoints." Developers only need an object to interface with a service; in this case, SpreadsheetApp to access Google Sheets, and similarly, Maps for Google Maps plus GmailApp for Gmail. Viewers can build this sample line-by-line with its corresponding codelab (a self-paced, hands-on tutorial). This example helps student (and professional) developers...

  1. Build something useful that can be extended into much more
  2. Learn how to accomplish several tasks without a lot of code
  3. Imagine what else is possible with G Suite developer tools

For further exploration, check out this video as well as this one which introduces Apps Script and presents the same code sample with more details. (Note the second video emails the map's link, but the app has been updated to attach it instead; the code has been updated everywhere else.) You may also access the code at its open source repository. If that's not enough, learn about other ways you can use Apps Script from its video library. Finally, stay tuned for the next pair of episodes which will cover full sample apps, one with G Suite REST APIs, and another with Apps Script.

We look forward to seeing what you build with Google Cloud.

Google Cloud for Student Developers: Accessing G Suite REST APIs

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, Google Cloud

Recently, we introduced the "Google Cloud for Student Developers" video series to encourage students majoring in STEM fields to gain development experience using industry APIs (application programming interfaces) for career readiness. That first episode provided an overview of the G Suite developer landscape while this episode dives deeper, introducing G Suite's HTTP-based RESTful APIs, starting with Google Drive.

The first code sample has a corresponding codelab (a self-paced, hands-on tutorial) where you can build a simple Python script that displays the first 100 files or folders in your Google Drive. The codelab helps student (and professional) developers...

  1. Realize it is something that they can accomplish
  2. Learn how to create this solution without many lines of code
  3. See what’s possible with Google Cloud APIs

While everyone is familiar with using Google Drive and its web interface, many more doors are opened when you can code Google Drive. Check this blog post and video for a more comprehensive code walkthrough as well as access the code at its open source repository. What may surprise readers is that the entire app can be boiled down to just these 3-4 lines of code (everything else is either boilerplate or security):

    DRIVE = discovery.build('drive', 'v3', http=creds.authorize(Http()))
files = DRIVE.files().list().execute().get('files', [])
for f in files:
print(f['name'], f['mimeType'])

Once an "API service endpoint" to Google Drive is successfully created, calling the list() method in Drive's files() collection is all that's needed. By default, files().list() returns the first 100 files/folders—you can set the pageSize parameter for a different amount returned.

The video provides additional ideas of what else is possible by showing you examples of using the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides APIs, and those APIs will be accessed in a way similar to what you saw for Drive earlier. You'll also hear about what resources are available for each API, such as documentation, code samples, and links to support pages.

If you wish to further explore coding with G Suite REST APIs, check out some additional videos for the Drive, Sheets, Gmail, Calendar, and Slides APIs. Stay tuned for the next episode which highlights the higher-level Google Apps Script developer platform.

We look forward to seeing what you build with Google Cloud!

How Google can help keep your resolutions going through 2019

Get active. Get some extra sleep. Find inner peace. They’re excellent New Year’s resolutions, and they’re also achievable with help from Google. More than 325,000 people with fitness goals for 2019 joined the #GetFitWithGoogle challenge during January to earn as many Heart Points as they could with Google Fit.

After looking at the statistics, Google Fit challengers were a seriously impressive bunch.

Get Fit With Google infographic

In Russia, people went cross-country skiing. In India, people loved their badminton. Brits hit up rowing machines while Americans got into weightlifting. Edinburgh, London and Kawasaki took top prizes for the most active cities around the world—while in the U.S. New York, Boston, and Washington braved the cold and topped the charts.

About four in ten of the people who joined the challenge earned at least 150 Heart Points on average per week and met American Heart Association’s weekly physical activity recommendations.  And seven percent of people achieved all the milestones, earning more than 1500 Heart Points during the New Year Challenge.

Just because the #GetFitWithGoogle challenge is over doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop. Google is still here to help you stick to stay fit, sleep better, practice digital wellbeing and live mindfully throughout all of 2019. Here are a few final tools and tricks to make sure your resolutions last all year long.

1. Set reminders in Google Calendar.

Reminders in Google Calendar

Keep up with the goals you set in early January by creating recurring weekly reminders in your Google Calendar. Reminders don’t go away until you actually do the activity, which can be a helpful self-imposed guilt-trip to push you out the door for that weekly run you promised yourself you’d do.

2. Embrace the selfie. 

Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or get more active, actually seeing your progress is a great way to keep focused on your resolution. Take weekly selfies and keep them in a Google Photos album, so you can scroll down memory lane when you need a pick-me-up. If you’re feeling proud about your progress or just enjoy compliment-fishing, share them with a friend so they can help keep you motivated, too.

3. Set up routines to turn your aspirations into habits.

Routines on Google Assistant

Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps it takes you ages to unwind after work? Routines with Google Assistant help build healthy habits by doing multiple things for you with a single voice command. You can personalize them to suit your lifestyle and they’re a great way to set the mood for setting aside “me time.”

4. See how you stacked up with the 2019 #GetFitWithGoogle challenge.

For the last four weeks, six teams of influencers from around the world have been competing against each other to earn the most Heart Points during January.

After overtaking Switzerland in Week 2, Colombia just managed to hold on and take out the inaugural #GetFitWithGoogle challenge with a collective total of 17,465 Heart Points. Switzerland had a strong final week, finishing just 530 points being Colombia in second place—the equivalent of just 15 minutes more exercise per team member per week.

Get Fit With Google leaderboard

Team Belgium had a strong last few weeks to take out third place ahead of the U.S. in fourth.

Check out the top five individual influencers' performances from around the world. Congrats to Melissa Peláez for absolutely killing it, with 6602 Heart Points during January.

Get Fit With Google winners

We hope you all enjoyed taking part in the #GetFitWithGoogle Challenge. And hey, if you lose your way a bit here and there during 2019, worry not. We’ll be right here cheering you along next January, too.