For 2018 Google unveiled a new look for the Calendar program and it’s leaving some people a bit confused. Here are some basics about how navigate and work with the new Calendar look…
Google is an extraordinary company but while their data analysis may be top notch, the user interface of their programs often suffers from being designed by engineers for engineers. Tools also seem to garner huge audiences – there are over a billion active Gmail users, for example – which slows down the rate of progress because change might be good, but it can be confusing too.
That’s why Google’s been very careful with the rollout of the new Google Calendar interface. It’s more colorful and lively, but it’s definitely a different view and there are some changes to the user experience that might initially baffle you if you’re a casual user.
And so, here are some of the real basics of different views, adding an event and even changing the colors associated with specific calendars to keep everything straight on your calendar!
To start, here’s the “classic” calendar “Agenda” view:
Straightforward and you’ll note that along the top it’s easy to switch from day to week to month view, or even look at the next 7 days. All those buttons are just sitting, ready to click or tap. Switch to the new calendar view by choosing “Use new Calendar” and things streamline quite a bit:
One nice addition: The red line shows where you are on today’s agenda, so you can see I’ve missed the Social Lunch as it’s in the past. The calendar view on the left is far more open and easy to read, and adding or hiding individual calendars is much more obvious with the addition of checkmarks. But how do you get to month view? That’s all on the “Schedule” button (Schedule is the new name for Agenda):
Ah, that’s how that works. And the month view is wayyy more cheery than in the old classic view:
It becomes obvious why having different calendars in different colors is a good idea. Not only that, but switch to week view and you get a sense of the duration of individual events too, all while using the same user-modified color scheme:
Handy to get a quick visual sense of your calendar, free time versus booked time, etc.
To add a new event, simply click on the red “+” floating in the lower right. The options are a bit overwhelming:
That’s a lot of options and I can’t help wonder if some of them are purely for people within Google to manage and access each other’s calendars for meeting planning, etc. Still, lots of possibilities, including specifying which calendar to add the event, duration, whether it repeats, notifications for the event, etc. Also note on the right that you can invite guests to a meeting and even control whether they can invite others, see the guest list, etc.
Now that you can see the importance of colors for your various calendars, it’s easy to change the settings. Just click on a calendar name and a window pops up with a full color palette:
There’s a lot more to the new Google Calendar design, but that should get you started. Don’t forget to explore “settings” in the various areas of the calendar too so you can fine tune it perfectly for your needs and tastes!