3 Ways to Create a Calendar in Google Sheets
The best employees, teams, and companies have one thing in common—organization. For decades, business school professors have studied the most efficient ways to organize a business to maximize profits and resources.
To-do lists, task trackers, and Gantt charts are all digital versions of century-old tools for getting work done. But the oldest of all the tools we use is by far the calendar. Calendars have essentially existed for as long as we have.
And even thousands of years ago, the calendar’s purpose was largely the same as it is today—to keep everyone on the same page.
So whether you’re tracking a solar equinox, or just trying to launch a campaign before Q4, a calendar is one of the best ways to organize your efforts. There are thousands of different calendars out there, but for this tutorial, we’re going to focus on three ways to create a calendar in Google Sheets.
A Google Sheets calendar allows you to make it fully customizable, unlike Google Calendar. But just in case, we’ll explore how you can sync this calendar with Gcal if necessary.
Here are three ways to get started: doing it yourself with a blank Google Sheet, using the template gallery, and finally a Google Doc.
Calendars are useful for organizing events, tracking tasks, and just staying organized. The main benefit of building your calendar in Google Sheets is that it's easy to create, customize, and update.
Method #1: Google Sheets DIY
For starters, let's create a new Google Sheet, and add the days of the week to the top row using the =today() formula.
Next, we'll format row two to allow us to add more information to each cell to keep track of our events and to-dos.
Once you've inserted the date in cell A1, you can format the rest of the days of the week by adding +1 to the formula (=today()+1). Once you've added days of the week to every other row for the next four rows. Next, format the date in whatever combination makes the most sense to you.
Since we've set up our calendar based on the current date, it will always be up to date and always show you the next thirty days. The last step to making this calendar super functional is to add borders and alternating colors to make it easier to see the information that matters most.
In the example above, I've also deleted unnecessary rows and columns to make it easier to see my most important information at a glance.
Method #2: Start with a Template
Building a Google Calendar in Sheets is an easy-to-follow process, but an even easier way of creating a calendar in Google Sheets is to visit the template library.
Google's prebuilt sheets templates are a great way to kickstart any project. With dozens of calendar templates preconfigured, all you have to do is click on the one you like the most and you've got a fully customizable calendar in Google Sheets.
Method #3: Google Sheets + Zapier
The final method of creating a calendar isn't 100% in Google Sheets, but it does require a Google Sheet to set up. Let's start with a blank Google Sheet. Next, add columns for your calendar events including:
- Start Date
- Start Time
- End Date
- End Time
Each row of your spreadsheet will represent a different calendar event. We'll add some dummy data in order to test our setup. When we're finished this spreadsheet will be synced with our Google Calendar to automatically add new rows in the spreadsheet as events in Google Calendar. The best part about this setup is that it will use your existing Google Calendar and sync with all the other Google products like Gmail.
Open up Zapier and select the orange Make a Zap button in the top right-hand corner. Next, select Google Sheets as the App and New Spreadsheet Row as the Trigger Event.
It'll ask you to connect to a Google Sheets account. Hit continue and then connect your spreadsheet and worksheet.
Once that's completed you'll need to select Google Calendar as the App and Create Detailed Event as the Trigger Event for step 2.
Zapier will ask you which calendar account you'd like to add events to for this Zap. Once that's selected you're ready to start adding the calendar event details.
Keep in mind that each row in our Google Sheet is a new calendar event. So we will be adding column headers in Zapier that will dynamically add information from each new row into a new calendar event. Zapier connects to your Google Sheet and pulls in the column headers as event details for you to add to each section. Once you've added the required fields, we're ready to test the results.
After hitting continue, you'll be prompted to Test & Review or Test & Continue. We'll select Test & Review.
Zapier should've sent a test event to your connected Google Calendar. If everything looks correct on the event, then you can turn this Zap on and every time you add a row to your Google Sheet it will create a new calendar invite.
Being able to schedule business meetings from a new row in a spreadsheet is a useful automation, but it's just the beginning. Zapier and Google Sheets are powerful tools together, but when you combine them with a workflow automation platform like Hivewire, it unlocks new possibilities. For example you could schedule appointments automatically for your team based on new jobs, and text an automated reminder to each team member. You could track your team's progress automatically and get notified as soon as they've finished each task.
Workflow automation isn't a passing a fad or just another buzzword, it's how business is getting done today. New tools like Hivewire are helping businesses get work done by getting rid of manual, time-consuming tasks so they can focus on what will grow their business and let everything else happen automatically.