Home Google Tips and Tricks Google Calendar: A Powerful Tool for Back to School

Google Calendar: A Powerful Tool for Back to School

by Jennifer Bergland
Google Calendar

Google Calendar is one of those applications that we often take for granted. We see the word “calendar” and assume it’s just a place to record upcoming events, activities, and daily tasks. But let’s explore how Google Calendar can make us more efficient as we begin another school year. Today, I will point out one new feature of Google Calendar and highlight an add-on, Meetric. Both are worth exploring to help with streamlining work and increasing productivity.

Google Calendar Meetings: Attending In-Person or Virtually? 

During 2020, almost all of our meetings were virtual. Consequently, it was understood that invitees wouldn’t attend meetings in person. While virtual attendance remains a viable option for most meetings, we can no longer assume everyone will attend virtually. There may now be a mixture of in-person and virtual attendees. In a recent update, Google Calendar made it easy to indicate how you will attend when accepting the meeting invitation.

When you open up the calendar invite in Google Calendar, you see a video icon next to the “Yes” response option.

Google Calendar Responses

When you click on the word “Yes,” you are given two options: “Yes, in a meeting room” or “Yes, joining virtually.”

Google Calendar "Yes, joining virtually" response

Now attendees can see who is attending virtually and who is attending in person by looking at the event details within Google Calendar.

Google Calendar Virtual Attendees

Check out Google’s announcement for more information about the update to Google Calendar, enabling attendees to indicate if they are attending a meeting virtually or in person.

Meetric: A Google Calendar Add-On

Google add-ons are applications that others have created to work with and enhance specific Google tools. You may have used them in Google Docs or Sheets, but perhaps have never explored any that might assist you in Google Calendar. Meetric is a Google Calendar add-on that I think you might want to try. It can be instrumental in managing the workflow of the various meetings you conduct or attend.

To install Meetric, open up your Google Calendar and click on the settings gear. Then, click on “Get add-ons.”

Google Calendar Meetric Add-on

Click on “Install” and follow the installation instructions. Once Meetric is installed, you will see a “Take notes” button when you open up a calendar event. Click on this link to open the Meetric notepad for the specific event.

Meetric Take Notes

You will have the ability to review your meeting notes in a window that opens to the side of your calendar, or you can open it up in a new window. If you want to view the meeting notes as a full page, click on the icon that has an arrow pointing out of a square in the top right corner. Then, click on the meeting you want to view or edit.

Meetric Full Window Notes

Meetric’s superpower is enabling the meeting attendees to take notes and assign tasks to individuals. You can set deadlines for these tasks, and it indicates when the task is complete. It is the perfect tool to use to track a team’s work using Google Calendar.

Let’s review how to insert a task, assign the task to an individual (with date and time), and easily email meeting notes to the attendees.

Insert a Task

There are two ways to insert a task. Usually, clicking return at the end of a sentence will create a greyed-out box. This box indicates that Meetric is ready for you to enter the task. If the box doesn’t appear, type [ and ] to add a task.

Meetric New Task

Either of these two options creates the box you need to begin the task. Note that you will now see a small box icon, an “@” sign, and a calendar icon. These are all the tools you’ll need.

Meetric Task Options

Assign the Task

Begin by clicking on the “@” sign and choosing which attendee to assign the task. All the people who are attending the meeting will show on the list of options.

Meetric Task Assignments

Next, type in the task you would like the individual to accomplish next to their name. When you finish, click on the calendar icon, and Meetric will give you some suggested dates. If none of the proposed dates are appropriate, add the exact date by clicking on the “Specific date” option at the bottom of the list. If the calendar icon is not visible, type in the word “by” at the task title’s end, which should bring up the suggested dates.

Meetric Deadlines

After selecting a date, you should see a red clock icon appear to the right of the date you chose. Click on the clock and enter the time by which the task needs to be completed.

Meetric Deadlines

Email the Notes

Once you have completed the meeting, you can easily send the contents of the meeting notes to the attendees. They will receive an email that gives them a list of all assigned tasks and another list of tasks specifically assigned to them.

Meetric Notes Email

Each individual can click on their task, and it will link them to the meeting notes. When they complete the task, they can click the box to the left of their name to mark it completed, and it will then update the Meetric note.

Meetric Task Completed

As you can see, this add-on to Google Calendar has the potential to assign and track a group’s work. Since the note is attached to the calendar event, it is easy to find and review the actions assigned. If the meeting is a standing meeting, Meetric gathers all of the notes together to make it easy to refer to past actions taken.

Currently, Meetric is free, so now is an excellent time to try it out. You can learn more about Meetric on their website.

Additional Information

I hope you find this Google Calendar update and Meetric add-on useful as you plan meetings, tasks, and projects with your team(s). If you’re interested in learning even more about Google, check out our TCEA Google Workspace for Education Courses and previous blog posts about Google Calendar.

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