In Quick Tip #3 for the new Google Calendar I am going to focus on three features in your calendar settings. Many people are afraid of the settings on their calendar but there is nothing to fear. Anything you do can be reversed with a click or a drop down menu! So let’s give it a try.

Step 1

Identify your settings button on the top right of your calendar. It looks like a gear and I’ve provided a screenshot below with a red box around the settings button.

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Step 2

Click on the gear and you will get a drop down menu with the first item listed as “Settings”. Click on “Settings

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Step 3

You will now see the general option topics listed on the top left side of your screen (image 1 below) and then those options listed with what you can do within each topic in the middle of your page (image 2 below). Let’s focus on the sections labeled “Event settings” and “View options”.

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Step 4

Let’s start with “Event settings’ and within that section we will work with “Default duration” (see image 1 below). Click on the down arrow on the right of the box labeled “Default duration” and you will see a series of choices (see image 2 below). Now select a new time. In this example I’ve pointed a red arrow to the time I’ve selected. You will notice 15 minutes is highlighted gray. Once you click the box you will then notice that at the bottom of the page Google will telling you “Settings saved”. Your meetings are now set for a default duration of 15 minutes. This allows you to adjust your standard meeting times based on your job, the type of meetings you hold or the minimum meetings you attend are held. I use 60 minutes.

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Step 5

Let’s move on to “View options”(see image 1 below with the red boxes identifying the areas to be discussed.) and we will focus on “Reduce the brightness of past events” and “Start week with”.

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Reduce the brightness of past events – When an event is finished you can keep it the same brightness as other events or have the color dull when the time has passed. I choose to dull it for the simple reason that it is an easy visual to see where my day is at on my calendar. Simply un-check the blue check box to keep the event color the same brightness (see the image below). Check the box and it will turn into a blue checkbox and the event will reduce in brightness when it’s a past event.

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Start week with – Depending on your position you may or may not need to change the  day your calendar starts. For me, I use Sunday. Simply click the drop down arrow on the right side of the box and you can pick Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (see image below). In this example I’ve selected Monday (see the highlighted gray area around Monday in the image below). Once you click the box you will notice that at the bottom of the page Google will telling you “Settings saved”.

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Using your settings for the New Google Calendar is that easy! Give it a try.

For more information on using Google Calendar and other Google Apps, check out Hacking Google for Educators.

If you have other features you use in Google Calendar leave them in the comments section to keep the conversation going. Good luck!

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