There’s no doubt about it: Google rules the internet roost. It’s our most popular search engine and email provider, and when it comes to self-organization, its calendar leads the charge, too. But Google Calendar isn’t perfect (yet). While its inbuilt features and capabilities are strong, there are many extensions you can add on to enhance and customize your daily scheduling – whether for work or your personal life. To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve pulled together a more manageable list of just 14 Google Calendar extensions that we consider essential for anyone who wants to make their calendar work just that bit harder for them. As an added bonus, many of these extensions can be used for free – although a few do offer a paid version with extra features. How we chose these extensions: Reader, this is no random list of Google Calendar extensions. We’re a remote-first team of about 60 people who just so happen to build tools for a better future of work, meaning we’re always on the lookout for ways we can work more efficiently. We also use Google Calendar exclusively here at Timely, so we’ve tested our fair share of extensions in our time. We’ve narrowed this list down to the ones that are especially worthy of your attention.
Here’s a breakdown of the extensions that we’ll cover in-depth in the following paragraphs:
We may be biased, but Timely is one of our top picks for a reason – you can automatically track the time you really spend across all internal and client meetings, appointments and events. If manual time tracking isn’t your jam, this is one you’re going to want to try out for yourself. This handy app runs in the background on your computer, capturing hidden billable hours (like overrunning or delayed meetings), so you can bill for every bit of project contact. By auto-importing your Google Calendar events into one neat timesheet, it makes it easy to schedule your week ahead too. You can see exactly how long you spend on meetings – as well as things like email and Slack – to truly understand the cost of your own internal team communications. Just connect Timely to as many work calendars you like, and it’ll record all the time you spend across all events in one private timeline alongside the rest of your work activity. Try Timely for free today
Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference. In the case of G-Calize, it’s the effortless efficiency of color-coding. While Google Mail already color-codes your emails for clarity, G-Calize applies that same strategy to your calendar, with unexpectedly helpful results. Simply choose a color for each day of the week, then decide which view you want to use: day, agenda, week or month. The latter three are the most effective, serving as speedy visual prompts when you’re skimming your calendar and trying to schedule events. If the idea of color-coding to enhance productivity seems suspect, give it a try. Not only does it help track outstanding tasks, but it also makes forecasting that bit smoother.
Another excellent extension for visual people is Event Merge, which streamlines the process of running multiple calendars at the same time. These days many of us have at least two calendars on-the-go – one for work, one for personal lives, and perhaps one for teams, too. But as the lines between these become increasingly blurred, things get muddled and frustratingly the same event can keep popping up on all your calendars. Event Merge helps you boost productivity by simplifying things, merging duplicate events into one single occurrence and color-coding it so you can keep track of which calendar the event belongs to. If glancing at your current calendar makes you wince and long for a clean, readable agenda, this one’s for you.
Checker Plus is a must-have if you regularly use Google Calendar and already make use of its tools and abilities. In terms of features, Checker Plus amps things up to the next level, allowing you to schedule and edit events and manage your calendar without ever having to enter Google Calendar itself. From your browser – and even when you’re offline – you can highlight information from any website and automatically add it to your events, create reminders and notifications, edit your schedule, and get a comprehensive view of your current calendar, whether that’s day, week or agenda. Easy to personalize and even easier to use, Checker Plus is like normal Google Calendar on steroids (in a good way!)
For managers, Google Calendar lacks one key aspect: the ability to view and manage your team’s calendars. Enter TeamCal, an extension that shows you multiple calendars at once without having to switch between Google Calendar and other tools. Using a simple, Gantt-like layout, you can detect planning gaps, avoid overbooking, and schedule working hours and holidays. The basic timeline layout lets you view every team member’s tasks and availability with a single click, and because it’s linked to your main Google Calendar, all relevant information pertaining to scheduling is automatically factored in. A straightforward, highly visual way to keep track of your team.
Let’s face it – a chock-full calendar can be pretty chaotic to look at. If you have a busy day ahead with several meetings in the pipeline, one simple way to make things feel instantly more manageable is to visually categorize what each meeting is about. With Google Calendar Tags, you can easily create color-coded tags for events and tasks in your calendar, like so:
We’ve all been there – without diligent note taking, spontaneous ideas get forgotten, action points get lost in translation and your meeting could end up being a bit pointless. But our usual note-taking tools just add even more work onto our already-overflowing plates. If you’re using Google Docs, for example, you’ve got to create the doc, find the right folder for it in Google Drive, share it around, check in with people who have yet to complete their part – and try to remember where it is months down the road. Yikes. Enter Meetric. This Chrome extension lives directly within your Google Calendar or Google Meet, letting you collaborate as a team on the agenda, discussion notes, action items and next steps for everyone in the meeting while everything’s fresh in your mind, all without having to switch between windows. Any recurring meetings will also automatically pull in notes from previous meetings, so you can easily pick things up right where you left off.
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably not one for scheduling 4am meetings. So, we’re willing to bet you also find it pretty annoying when you open up your calendar first thing and see… a wall of blank hours that you’ve got to scroll past before getting to, y’know, your actual working day. 🤦 With the super-useful Hide Morning at your disposal, though, you can quickly reconfigure your Google Calendar to hide those sleepy morning hours, clearing out all of that unnecessary white space and making it that much easier to see how your day’s shaping up right from the get-go.
No list of essential Google Calendar extensions would be complete without this one. Basically, the extension works to stop you jumping around in the month view within your Google Calendar when scrolling (anyone who owns a Magic Mouse will know just how much of a living nightmare this can be). Instead, you’ll use the arrow buttons to navigate to the next/previous month, which is a whole lot more intuitive if you ask us.
We can’t overemphasize how much time and hassle this Google Calendar extension will save you Zoom users. It allows you to schedule Zoom meetings directly in Google Calendar with just one click. Yes – really! If you don’t have this extension already, stop whatever it is you’re doing (okay, maybe read to the end of this list first!) and download it right now.
This handy extension offers a quick and easy way to duplicate any Google Calendar event. It adds a “Duplicate Event” button to the event preview box, meaning you can quickly duplicate the event with just one click. This one’s a really useful hack for all Google Calendar users.
Let’s be real for a moment – it’s really hard to do your due diligence (read: creep LinkedIn) on every new person you’re meeting with. That’s why Rupert2001 is especially nifty. This Chrome extension connects with your Google Calendar and essentially does all the groundwork of prepping for meetings for you. It researches exactly who it is you’re meeting with, summarizing everything from their role, company, location and much more. Best of all, it’s completely free.
With this extension, you’ll never be late for another meeting again. It adds a handy button to your toolbar so you can see your schedule from right within Chrome and easily join upcoming events with a simple click. It’ll even send out reminders for any upcoming meetings. And it literally takes seconds to install.
This extension allows you to magically send events to your Google Calendar from literally any webpage. If you’re one of those people whose events make their way into your calendar from all sorts of places online and don’t want to spend a ton of time retyping all the gory event details, then Send to Calendar is an absolute must-have. And that’s a wrap on our essential Google Calendar extensions list! Not everyone will benefit from all of these Chrome add ons, of course, but if some of them do help you become that little bit more organized and efficient, then we’ll consider this a job well done. 🙌 Read more: