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If I didn’t schedule an alert in my calendar to remind me to eat breakfast, I’d honestly forget to do it. That’s how much I rely on my Google Calendar. If you use Google Calendar like me, then you’re most likely using it to add events, meetings, schedule vacations, you know the typical stuff. What you may not know is that you can use your Google Calendar for oh so much more! Virtually any task that can be denoted by either days or times can be put to use in Google Calendar. Here are 8 interesting things you can do with yours:

1. Scheduling is a nightmare!

Managing your work schedule, or employee schedules, can be a major drag. It’s hard enough to keep track of your personal life, even more so when you add work into the equation, and multiply that complication by about 50 when you factor your employees or co-workers into the mix. That’s where Google Calendar can help you. Less confusion, more simplicity – by implementing Google Calendar within your work team or within the workplace, you can account for work-related communication with greater ease. The next time you add your vacation to your calendar, or you plan a meeting that involves the entire team, just “invite” the members that you want to see that event. Now your calendar events are synched and scheduling is made simpler!

2. Rain Rain Go Away

Although Google Calendars can’t exactly make it stop raining – at least not yet – it sure can help you prepare for those nasty days full of downpour! IFTTT, a tool that connects different digital services to each other with one simple statement (if this then that), actually allows you to send weather information from Weather Channel to your Google Calendar.

With this powerful connection at your fingertips, you’ll never have to worry about getting wet or have your windshield covered in snow by the end of the day again. You can simply set a reminder to take an umbrella or snow brush with you in the morning when rain or snow are forecast!

3. Where’s my money at?

If I don’t write it down, I wont remember it – that applies to my budgetary needs as well. That’s why Google Calendar is so awesome; it can help you automatically set up your bills for the year.

By creating a calendar and naming it “Budget” you can allot it to cater to your specific money management needs. For example, if you get paid on a regular schedule, you can add your paycheques to the calendar. Now that you’ve got your pay cheques factored into the equation, you can start adding your bills and their due dates, adding alerts to the day that each bill is due.

You can take this budgeting a step further by adding in your daily spending on things like lunch and those random miscellaneous purchases. By adding in the money you’ve spent retrospectively on lunch that day, you’re helping yourself track how much you spend throughout the month, making budgeting next month even easier! Not only does this help plan for upcoming bills, but it also allows you to know where the money that is leaving your accounts has been going (not to mention, it’ll let you know how much is left in the event that you need some random retail therapy)!

4. You do your part, I’ll do mine

Team projects are often hard to coordinate – who is in charge of what task, when their part is due, coordination, coordination, coordination. This communication challenge can be made significantly simpler through the use of Google Calendar events. By assigning an event with a due date to a specific team member who is working on a project, you can ensure that each task is clearly marked with an owner, guaranteeing that every participant in the team project knows what their responsibilities are (and their respective due dates). Furthermore, with descriptions, you can add in the specifics of the tasks so that there are no questions about the exact expectations of each participant.

Take this tool one step further by teaching your kids how to use Google Calendar – that is if they don’t already know how to use it better than you do! Using Google Calendar can be an invaluable tool for planning and executing schoolwork, especially those pesky team projects where you’re relying on multiple students to get that good grade on the final product.

Essentially this tool will provide you with the visibility you need to not only keep on top of your own tasks, but also ensure that your team members are doing their part for the success of the team.

5. Will you go out with me?

Whether you’ve already got that special someone in your life, or whether you’re about to ask him or her out, Google Calendar can help! I know, if only planning a date were that easy – well technology has come one step closer. Create a “dinner” event in your calendar and invite your significant other or love interest, that way they have your plans on their calendar.

It’s not only a convenient way to ask someone out on a date, its also a practical time scheduler – say, informing your loving spouse that they don’t have to go home and slave in the kitchen that night because, well, you’re already going out for a dinner meeting. I mean, if Google Calendar’s isn’t going to advance your love life for you, at least it’ll help you out with the FYI’s!

6. To read or not to read, that is the question!

Well not quite the ‘question’ per say, it’s more of a way of stepping into my favourite topic. Reading. Being a read-aholic such as myself, I like to keep track of the things that I’ve read, especially my all-time favourite articles and books. Yes, Google Calendar to the rescue once again! With IFTTT on pocket you can actually hack yourself a reading log for your Google Calendar. It simply just adds the title and url to your calendar as an event so you can go back to the article whenever you need to – say while showing off your literary know how by quoting that amazing finance article you just read, or being pithy and quoting the great Oscar Wilde! You can take showing off a step further and make your reading calendar public, letting everyone see what a connoisseur of good reads you are.

7. The magic of Facebook

Sometimes the pre-arranged post is your best friend. What better way to organize your marketing strategy than to set your social media posts to seamlessly post themselves, and on a timer no less! Google Calendar can help you out with this handy dandy feature. By using IFTTT, you can link your Facebook profile or page to your Google Calendar.

Say you have a promotional event planned for your businesses, set your posts to go live the day before the event as a shout out, and then 15 minutes before its beginning as a reminder!  It’s simple, you just set up an “event” on your calendar and direct it to post its contents on your Facebook page or profile at the time you specify. A helpful tip is to also use tags when creating your IFTTT Facebook to Google Calendar recipe, and include this tag in your calendar event descriptions. This will ensure that only the tagged events get posted. Creative, simple, and sure to reach your Facebook followers!

8. Birthday Bashes

Buying gifts is always a conundrum for me – it’s hard enough to figure out what to buy another person, but factor in managing time to get the gift and budgeting properly so that you don’t break the bank, and gift buying becomes a nightmare! Well Google Calendar can help with at least part of that scary equation. By creating a “Gifts” or “Birthday” calendar you can organize your yearly birthday events. Simply schedule birthdays as events on their respective days and set reminders to alert you before they occur– say a week before, so that you budget enough time to find the gift that’s just right!

You can also organize a budget for your monthly spending on gifts by writing in the approximate amount you plan to spend on the gift in the title or description. This will help you get a sense of what your monthly spending will be like in terms of gifts, and help you budget the rest of your spending for the month. Never again be that person that runs to the store the morning of a birthday, aimlessly searching for a gift that could very well throw your budget – and all because you weren’t prepared, tsk tsk tsk.

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