How To Use Gmail Calendar

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 8, 2009

Hey guys!

I’ve had a productive day today. I started off this morning by doing lots of paperwork. I am happy to say that my invoices, expense/revenue tracking, and mileage tracking are all up to date! I have booked a half day each week into my calendar so that I remember to stay on top of this stuff because when I am busy baking in the kitchen, it is really easy to forget!

I also baked up my orders of the day. Zen, Classic, Heaven, and Chi Glo Bars plus two batches of Glo-nola. I also tested out some new Glo-nola, so I am throwing in these free samples into my orders today. You just never know what goodies I am going to toss in! ;)


I never told you what my newest obsession is!

No matter how much I stuck behind my old paper calendar, a couple weeks ago I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. My life is just too crazy to be able to fit everything onto a tiny square each day.

Way back in February, I gave Gmail Tasks a whirl. I wasn’t happy with it because it was just a very simple list and I often forgot about it.

Then in March, I tried Todoist. I initially liked it, but after using it for about a month I decided it wasn’t for me. I just didn’t like not being able to see the calendar in front of me (I believe it lists tasks vertically, list-style). I am such a visual person and I love seeing a full month at a glance (in order of when the events occur!).

After Todoist, I was so discouraged that I went back to my tried and true paper calendar format.

Oh boy. Why didn’t any of you try to put an end to this beast!?

How shameful!


The problem with this pathetic little calendar, I’m sure, is quite obvious. There is barely enough space to write my workout let alone orders and other life events.

After seeing Caitlin’s awesomely organized Gmail Calendar, I decided to give it another whirl. I used it briefly in university for a while (I synced my outlook with Gmail calendar) and I had good success with it.

So at the beginning of September, I took the plunge. I made a plea on Twitter asking for help of course.

Many of you came to my rescue, telling me all about the wonderful thing that is G-cal (as I like to now call it).

And because I was so completely confused for the first half hour or so (ok, ok, it was more like a week!) I thought I could provide some step by step instructions on how I started this beast up.

How To Rock G-Cal

Step 1: Get a Gmail account if you already don’t have one. It is the best email program out there! I have 7,900 emails in my inbox and I’m not even close to going over my limit. *evil cackle* Remember when Gmail crashed last week?? Yup, that was all me baby.

Step 2: Once you are logged into your Gmail account, click on the Calendar link at the top left of the window.


 Step 3: Under the My Calendars box, click on Settings.


Step 4: Click on Create New Calendar.


Step 5. Now here is where I got confused. You need to create a separate calendar for each category. Think of each calendar as its’ own TOPIC or category. For example, I created a calendar for running, Oh She Glows, Orders, To-Dos, etc.

Add in Calendar Name, description, time zone, country, etc and then click Create Calendar at the bottom. You can share the calendar with someone too. I entered in Eric’s email so I could share my dates/appointments calendar with him. He’s already told me he is never going to look at it. bahaha. A gal can dream, right?


You will need to repeat Step 5, for as many calendars as you want. The best part of all is that Gmail integrates the calendars for you, so all of your dates appear colour coded in one calendar.

Step 6: After you have created all of your calendars (or categories), click on the little arrow beside each calendar to edit the colour you want it. This was the fun part!

Untitledfffffffff Step 7: Now click on the calendar and add in your to-do’s by simply clicking on the date you want. This will pop up:


Fill in the ‘What’ and then Select what Calendar it is for. You can click on Edit event details if you want to set a reminder that will either pop-up or email you. This feature is very helpful!

I now track all my running mileage + totals, Oh She Glows to-do’s, Orders, appointments, and basically anything that pops into my head! ;)

And there you have it.

G-Cal has a new feature that you can add in Sports Schedules, so of course, I added the Toronto Maple Leafs schedule. ;) I also added Canadian + US Holidays and the Phases of the Moon.

Super fun! :)

Any other G-Cal lovers out there???

IMG_3980 IMG_3982 IMG_3989 IMG_3993 IMG_3990 IMG_3994

Sketchie says, ‘Best. Bed. Ever.’


See you tomorrow for the chia seed giveaway winner and an exercise fear I got over today!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess (Fit Chick in the City) September 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Thank you for this! I’ve been using different calenders. One for work, and one for running/workouts. Now, I’m convinced I must consolidate ASAP!


kay (eating machine) September 8, 2009 at 7:44 pm

you can share them too! so when I was working i’d put in what days I worked plus other things we had (furlough days, trips, sporting events) into a gcal and then i could see it, and so could my fiance… it saved a lot of “wait, when do you work?” conversations…


Lexi September 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I am beyond obsessed. I love the colored tabs so I can distinguish among classes, teaching, group fitness classes I teach, personal tasks, & my personal workouts. I am constantly updating it. I actually wasted time today cleaning it up and adding the assignment due dates for the undergrad class I teach instead of reading my class tomorrow night…eeek!
Good luck with getting organized! Looks like you’re doing well.


Kate September 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Angela this is fantastic, sharing G-Cal love is great. I currently do what you do also, would love in the future to see how people work the task menu and use with Google Documents… or perhaps some of the Lab stuff!


Holly September 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I totally love my Google Calendar and use it a TON. I also use it to email myself reminders of things. However, how do you handle the “checking” things off the calendar once you’ve done them? I don’t see how I can use it fully as a to-do list…


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 8, 2009 at 9:15 pm

When I check things off I just delete it when it is complete. I’m sure there is a better way though? Because then there obviously isn’t a fun tracking of everything you completed!


Holly September 9, 2009 at 11:02 am

I wonder if you could make another calendar color for “completed” tasks and change it to that? Like gray or something?


Sanja September 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

You can integrate task in Google Calender, which I think works wonderful. Check ‘tasks’ in calender settings > calenders. Now, if you click on a certain date, you can choose (at the top) between event or task. If you choose task, you will get a check box in your calender.

All these task will automatically appear in your normal task list (in Gmail or on the right hand side in Calender, when you click ‘tasks’ in the upper left corner in Calender). You can also add tasks there (in the task list you used before), by giving them a date and they will pop-up in your calender.

If you want to separate your to do’s which have a deadline form other ones which don’t have a deadline, just make another list in the lower right corner in ‘tasks’ (either in Gmail or in Calender). All the tasks that you add to Calender, will go to the first, original task list (the one probably called Angela’s list), and you can add the other ones to a new list.

I hope this makes sense to you, as it is a bit confusing to explain like this…

O, and being the total G-Calender nerd that I am: If you click on the name of a specific calender in the box on the left where they are all listed, you can make all those appointments you put under there disappear.


Leah September 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I am ADDICTED to Google Calendars. I have my own calendar, a calendar for school, a calendar for me and my Fiance to share AND I’m linked to his calendar so I can see what he has going on. It is AMAZING.


Bec September 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm

I just started using g-cal this school year and I love it!


Claire September 8, 2009 at 8:03 pm

It cannot be denied that Sketchie looks adorable in the box top.hehe…cc


Lindsey (Mrs. LC) September 8, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Ummm you have almost 8,000 emails – that’s crazy! Love the tutorial, G-cal does make a bit more sense now. :)


meghan September 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm

This was soo helpful I totally just redid my google calendar!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Ive never used googlecalendar, but thanks for the blow by blow, glow by glow :), tutorial. Very helpful! I unfortunately keep most of my to do’s in my head and always feel like an online calendar would actually be more work than just writing it down. But that’s just my flow and I am so glad it helps you!


June September 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Go to the pet store and pick up some really good catnip. It will be a bit messy but who cares. Lift the cushion out of the kitty bed and put some nip there and then sprinkle some on top. Also if he has a fav toy put it in there. He will start playing with his bed because of the catnip. To get him to lay in it put the bed on the couch beside you and put him in his bed. Pat him the way he likes best,ears, belly, what ever it is he likes. Also as he likes to play turn the bed upside down on him and play some cat and mouse. My cats have soft beds and they do lay in them but they also love box lids, boxes and baskets.
LOL best of luck with the catbed.


angieinatlanta September 8, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I LOVE G-cal! I’m able to sync it with the iCal on my mac and able to sync that with my iPhone so I’m never without my schedule! It’s perfect and made my life SO much less hectic!


Kristin (Kristins Nibbles) September 8, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I LOVE G-cal!! Oh my it is a lifesaver. I have categories for school, work, social, general tasks, blog and workouts!



Emily September 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I love how I can merge the husband’s G-cal with mine so we always know what’s going on!

Your cat is gorgeous!! What kind is she/he? Love the markings!!


zestycook September 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Great post Angela – very helpful!


Morgan (lifeafterbagels) September 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm

hmmm I gave the G cal a shot after Caitlin mentioned it as well, I kind of gave up on it too easy, maybe I will try again thanks to your instructions


Paige @ Running Around Normal September 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Great post! I would love to use G-Cal, but I’m at work 9 hours of the day Monday-Thurs, and gmail is blocked. We use Outlook…so I’d have to switch back and forth. Maybe I’ll try it anyway, though!


Lauren September 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm

This is great! My hubby and I live by our Google Calendar. Really, I feel that this has been the saving grace in our marriage. :)


Deb September 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I’m in love for the reasons that two readers above mentioned: syncing with iphone and coordinating calendars with the hubs. Thanks for letting people know about Gcal= very useful tool!


Marilyn September 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I wish I used google calendar.. Unfortunately, I work at a school so I don’t want to bring my laptop, and I can’t bust out my internet-capable phone in class :( I use the old fashioned binder style planner!


Jennifer September 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

This is so awesome! I just spent the past hour setting up my calendars and I feel so organized. Thanks so much for sharing your tips!!!


Dotsie September 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Awesome Angela!!!! I’ll look into gcal tomorrow.

Looooooove the Sketchie pics!!! :-)


Abby September 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Hi Angela!
I’m relatively new to your blog, and I love it so far. You’re so positive, which is great to see each day. Your photos are gorgeous, and yours is the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen!


marie September 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Did you know that you can integrate Google Tasks within your calendar?

I use the same logic as you do, having a few seperate calendars for school, work, etc. but then for anything else that isn’t an event but something that needs to be accomplished, I used the google Tasks, which you can schedule a due-date for. Once you have completed a task, you can check it off, and hide it. You can also move them around your calendar using drag and drop if the due date changes.


Kristin D September 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm

Thank you for the G-Cal suggestions!! I too was getting very frustrated with the Tasks function because I’d always forget about things. This way, I can set reminders and deadlines for my To Do’s. :)


Jenny September 8, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Ah I’ve been trying to figure out “G-Cal” for weeks (maybe months) now!! thanks so much for this, I just spent a good 30 minutes playing with it ;)


Nour September 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm

ANGELA!!! Thank you SO much for this quick how-to on Google calendars! My life is pretty nuts, too, and I knew this would be my friend but I was NEVER able to figure out how to use it!!

I’m going to give it a whirl!!



Jolene September 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I am going to try this out! Thanks!


Rebeca September 9, 2009 at 12:15 am

This just made my year… Todoist was my go-to (or that random piece of paper in my wallet…) but it’s blocked this year at the elementary school I work at but I thought google’s version was too overwhelming :D :D :D :D sooo happy about this!


Tay September 9, 2009 at 1:24 am

Thank you so much for that tutorial!! Really helped me out :-)


Kari September 9, 2009 at 5:55 am

I’m a recent convert to Google Docs – not for “real” work type documents, but for day-to-day things I do for myself (i.e., recording and graphing my running times and distances, budgets, things like that). I love it! It’s so easy being able to access it anywhere, and I love being able to share documents with others so you can both edit them. So many fun google things out there :D


Jenna September 9, 2009 at 7:22 am

Haha, I am obsessed with Google Calendar (and Gmail)–I always joke to my husband that I don’t know what I’d do without Google. :)


Pam at Highway to Health September 9, 2009 at 7:41 am

I definitely love gmal. Me and my boyfriend sync ours so if we have appointments and such we know what’s on the agenda.

Sketchie is so cute!!


m September 9, 2009 at 7:52 am

I loooove google calendars. My favorite feature is: if you just type in “5:30 gym” – it automatically puts that event in your calendar for 5:30pm to 6:30pm.


Susan September 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

I started using Google Calendars a few weeks ago too and LOVE it!! I’ve always been an agenda person in the past, but I find I always fell out of the habit of using it after a while, then I’d start forgetting stuff! Now I use GCal to schedule everything up to my household chores. It even lets me know when payday is ;)


Kate September 9, 2009 at 9:17 am

Well I know what I’m doing with my next free Saturday :) Seriously. My husband uses Gcal for scheduling his work shoots (he is a videographer), so it would be awesome to link them. And syncing my “to do” list too? This girl would be in heaven!


shawna September 9, 2009 at 9:33 am

Thank you! I just started doing this exact same thing the other day with my workouts and appointments. I love it!


Robin September 9, 2009 at 10:07 am

I love G-cal but I also love having an organizer with me wherever I am, I can’t seem to decide which one to use because using both just makes no sense.


Passionista September 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

Thanks for this post! I, unfortunately, cannot access gmail at work, but it’s about time I get organized and more than just putting in dates on my blackberry (although it is helpful).


Elisabeth September 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

Angela, I am so glad that you posted this “how to”. I’ve been feeling the same way lately about my paper calendar. I have 4 different versions just so that I can organize everything (running, housework, work, website stuff). It’s crazy!! I’ve been wanting to dip into Google Cal for a while, but I’ve been procrastinating it because I didn’t want to have to learn how to work it! lol…lazy!!! You just gave me the little push I needed!



Emily September 9, 2009 at 10:47 am

I’m a big fan of the gmail cal. I love that I can sync it to my blackberry, so I’ve always got it with me.


maria September 9, 2009 at 11:09 am

i loooooooooove gmail calendar! i can’t imagine life without it. seriously. my life partner and i have put our calendars in sync together so we can make plans with/for/without each other without worrying about scheduling conflicts. it’s great and makes our very hectic life much more managable. he notoriously forgets dates, etc too so this helps me send gentle reminders. heehee.


Anne Marie @ her new weigh September 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

Thank you for this post! I’m headed over to gmail to check it out myself!


Katharine September 9, 2009 at 11:56 am

I adore the Gmail calendar – I use it every day and even have it syned up to my iPod touch. The ability to color code and have different calendars for different things is SO helpful – and I love how you can share them with others, it makes coordinating get togethers so much easier because you can see when everyone is available.


Jess September 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

my hubby and I use these a lot for our schedules. He never knows when I’m off, so it’s easy for me to just put in what days I work, then he can see them all at a glance. Heck, even I need that sometimes! THough it is quite depressing to look at it by the month and see just how few weekend days I have off. Hubby used it a lot when he was traveling for work too – but now he doesn’t travel as much. It’s a great program!


Jess September 9, 2009 at 11:58 am

oh, you know you can list your tasks on your calendar too … They show up in a list on the right side. I like it for things that I never seem to get done when I do plan – like laundry, or cleaning the kitchen floor – stuff that always seems to be needed to get done.


AGS September 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Google calendar is especially good if you are trying to coordinate with others. My husband and I carry on a lot of our day-to-day communication through shared calendars. I can see his volunteer calendar, and we can see one another’s personal calendars. Between that and calendar requests, we keep one another in the loop. Thank goodness!!


Stephanie p September 9, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Your paper calendar looks oddly familiar…!!


Jaya September 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Angela, I really want to thank you for creating this tutorial. Our sports team uses google calendar for bookmarking all training, team events and commitments and now that I have the confidence to use it for myself, I know that it will really help me keep on top of things. The amount of time you put into helping others is just remarkable. Thank you – not just for this – but for helping so many of us lead simpler, happier lives.


Ali September 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I am now officially obsessed with google calendar! Thanks for the help Angela!!!! YAY, so much better!


Elisabeth September 9, 2009 at 4:58 pm

I know that I already commented once on this post, but it deserves another shout out.

I just organized my entire life through G Cal, and synced it with my iPhone. I feel so prepared. =)


Red Head, Yellow Dog September 9, 2009 at 9:07 pm

you can also let other people see your gmail calendar! James and I use it so we can see each other’s schedule. It’s awesome!


Angie (Losing It and Loving It) September 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

I love this tutorial, thank you! Just spent the last hour or so setting up my g-cal. I had stuff in there before but had no idea how to use it so I deleted everything and started over.

Now if I could just figure out how to sync it to my iPhone ha ha

Oh and Sketchie is adorable!


Angie (Losing It and Loving It) September 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Oh darn, I meant to tell you that I have been trying to add your blog to my reader but none of your RSS feeds are working. I get an XML parsing error if that helps. I wonder if this is happening for anyone else?


Anneli January 11, 2010 at 11:39 am

Thank you! I outlook, but, for our business we use Zimbra, it comes with our web host. I have started up gmail for our biz. and have been playing around with the calender to see if it’s better and if we should switch (everyone has been telling us to). So, this was helpful.


Anneli January 11, 2010 at 11:40 am

Thank you! I use outlook, but, for our business we use Zimbra, it comes with our web host. I have started up gmail for our biz. and have been playing around with the calender to see if it’s better and if we should switch (everyone has been telling us to). So, this was helpful.


Janessa January 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I normally hate cats because I am severely allergic to them, but I must say, YOUR CAT IS SO GORGEOUS!!!!!! Very cool coloring and fur texture, it’s so smooth and shiny looking! What kind is she/he exactly?


Elise March 18, 2010 at 6:25 am

Hi. I came across your website searching for gmail help (am sure this is not topic you thought you’d still be talking about…but really helpful comments!), look forward to reading about your bakery.

OK, gmail: started using yesterday, now love it (telling people to make calendars as categories is REALLY important/helpful, I only knew that from my previous computer calendar) but **anyone know why NOW when I simply edit or create an ‘event’ and save, that little ‘send invitations’ yes/no box is popping up. I say ‘no’ but now have question marks next to everything in my Agenda.

and btw, for a daily list of events (which are generally more ‘tasks’ the way I use calendar) the Agenda view is best I think. And this works great on Droid!



Audrey April 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm

just searching for help on google calendar and saw your email. Very helpful but question for you. I do everything from my work calendar. How can I sync up my appointments on work (where I already have many of my kids activiites listed) to show up on the new google calendar I created. My goal is to have a calendar that merges what I do on my work calendar with what my husband does so that we both have all of the activities listed. Thoughts?


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