Sunday , September 27 2020

Google 101: how to add more calendars to your Google Calendar app

One of the great advantages of using Google Calendar is that you see many different calendars on the same interface, and you can choose which one you want to see at any time.

For example, your Google Calendar can include a personal calendar, a work calendar, the calendars of family members, calendars that show local or international holidays, and one that adds the schedule of your favorite sports team. You view as many calendars at once as you like, or turn them off temporarily if your calendar is too crowded, or if you need to concentrate on a particular schedule.

If you’re new to Google Calendar, this is a quick guide to adding and using multiple calendars. Be aware that most of the tweaks listed here are only available via the web interface; any that you can do via the mobile app will be noted.

When you first sign on to Google Calendar, you are already supplied with several calendars, which you can see on the left side of the page, sorted into two categories. Under “My calendars,” you’ll find your personal calendar, one called “Birthdays” that pulls events from the people listed in your Google Contacts, Reminders, and Tasks. Under “Other calendars,” you’ll start with a holiday calendar for your country.

Note that each calendar is assigned a color (shown by the checkbox on the left of each calendar’s label). If you hover the cursor over the label, you’ll see a menu icon (three dots) on the right; click it, and you can change the color for that calendar.

Don’t want to see the entries for any specific calendar? Just uncheck the box, and check it to see it again. You can see as many or as few calendars at a time as you want.

On the mobile app, you can access your various calendars by tapping on the three parallel line menu bar in the upper-left corner. The pull-out menu will first show your presentation choices (day, week, month, etc.), and then it will show the calendars with colored checkboxes; uncheck any you don’t want to see.

If you want to change the color of a checkbox on your mobile device, it’s a little more complicated.

Let’s say you’re trying to save money by not eating out, and you’ve decided one way to do that is to plan your meals for the week. You can create a separate calendar called “Meals” where you specify what you’ve planned for dinner each day.

Here’s how to create a new calendar:

Your new calendar will now be active, and you’ll find it in the “My calendars” category. If you want to change the assigned color, hover your cursor over the calendar name, click on the three-dot Options menu, and choose a color.

Don’t need that calendar anymore? You have a number of options:

You can also add calendars from other sources using your browser. (You can’t do it on a mobile app.) You can add other people’s Google Calendars (assuming they give you permission), add other calendars available via Google, and add calendars using the iCal format.

First, let’s say you want to add a friend’s Google Calendar.

If you want to check out the public calendars that Google has available:

You can also add the birthdays of people who are in your Contacts list. Look at the “My calendars” heading on the left side of your Google Calendar for a calendar called Birthdays. If you don’t see it:

You’re not limited to calendars that are provided by Google or used by someone who has a Google Calendar. You can add a variety of interesting calendars via iCalendar (often referred to as iCal or .ics), a long-standing format for storing calendar information. The simplest way to find iCal calendars is to get them from sites such as and iCalShare. If you use the IFTTT app, you can access a number of calendar add-ons there.

You can also import a non-Google calendar from an individual — as long as they’ve exported their calendar in a usable format such as CSV or iCal.

Note that this won’t sync the two calendars — it will only import the existing data from one calendar to another — so it’s only useful for a one-time import (say, if you’re importing static info, such as your work holiday schedule). Syncing your Google Calendar with others, like Apple Calendar or Outlook, is a whole other topic.

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