Set Your Schedule in Your Smartphone’s Free Calendar

If your phone’s personal calendar app hasn’t been used much in the last two years of social distance and working from home, it may be time to brush up. Here’s a quick guide to tools in Apple’s iOS Calendar and Google Calendar that help you organize your social life, get to your events on time, share your hybrid work schedule with family, and more.

Your Apple ID or Google Account contains the default calendar application that can be synced with any device logged into that account. It’s easy to add and edit events in Apple’s iOS Calendar app or Google Calendar app for Android and iOS: tap the plus (+) button on the screen and fill in the details. (Add an appointment to Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant commands or from an event specified in an email.) You can also add a location and adjust the time to alert you to the event.

Deposit …Apple; Google

On the iPhone, tap the Today button in the bottom-left corner of the Calendar’s monthly view to see what’s next. In Google’s Calendar app, tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner and select a schedule to see your next visit. You can use search to find events. Want to see the whole week on display? Turn your phone to the side.

Deposit …Apple; Google

It is easy to schedule an appointment. Getting there on time can be difficult, but Apple and Google have tapped into their maps software for help.

When you create (or edit an existing) event in Apple’s iOS Calendar, select the Travel Time option for the appointment and tap the button to enable it. The application will automatically calculate the time required to get there by car, foot or other means of transport, depending on the distance and travel conditions from your current or stated location. (Alternatively, you can only work on a simple block of time.) This feature also works on the Mac desktop calendar application.

Deposit …Apple

Using Google Calendar in a desktop browser is the most direct way to add travel time. To do so, create or edit the event and click on the location. In the Google Maps panel that opens on the right, browse to the suggested travel directions and click the Add to Calendar button to schedule the estimated travel time before your visit.

Want to change the day your week starts or adjust other calendar behaviors? Visit the calendar app’s settings. On an iOS device, open the Settings app from the Home screen and select Calendar. In Google Calendar for Android and iOS, tap the menu icon and select Settings and then General.

Both apps can display dates from religious or cultural calendars. Tap Alternate Calendar and select one; Apple offers Chinese, Hebrew and Islamic / Hijri options, as well as Google – including the Indian, Korean and Persian calendars.

Apple and Google allow you to add calendars to your personal calendar – such as holidays, birthdays or book clubs. At the bottom of the main iOS Calendar screen, tap Calendars and then Add Calendar. To share it with others, create an iCloud Calendar and, in the Shared With area, tap Add Person and enter other people’s email addresses using Calendar. (If you would like to add your company’s official office calendar, check with your employer for guidance.)

You need to use a browser to create additional Google Calendar. Log in to the program on the web and click on the plus sign next to the other calendars on the left side of the screen. Once you’ve created the calendar, select it in Settings for My Calendars area and add the email addresses of the people who will share it.

Some sports leagues and other groups offer online public calendars for subscriptions to their sites (The New York Times also has a free astronomy calendar) and all you need is a web link to subscribe. In the iOS Calendars app, tap Add Calendar, select Add Subscription Calendar, and paste in the URL. In Google Calendar settings in the browser, click + next to other calendars and select “From URL” to paste in the link; There are lots of free items to explore in the “Browse Calendars of Interest” menu option.

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