Calendar 101, let’s be in sync!


A number of people have asked me about ways to be productive with their calendar across devices so I thought I would share my strategy. Using your calendar can make a big difference to your ability to plan your day and stay productive with what you do. Linking your calendar to other devices means you can add events and keep up to date with your schedule. These instructions will cover setting calendar notifications for your iPhone, mac, Windows, as well as linking events to voice assistants such as Google and Amazon Alexa. It is by far the best option to use Google calendar as your default calendar as it has the widest compatibility for a range of devices. By default, when you set up a Gmail account to access your emails, you are given a calendar to use.


To set up calendar on your IOS device using your Google account do the following:

Go to Settings, accounts and passwords, then find your Google account and double tap. Ensure that the calendar toggle is on.

Go back into your main settings screen and find calendar. Double tap.

Find the option for default calendar and double tap. Here you should see a list of available options, you should hear an option such as Gmail, swipe right and you should hear your email address. Make sure this is selected.

Any events you add using your device should now show up in any Google calendar supported device. To test this has worked, add a test event such as a meeting using a device you have previously linked to your Google account. Then, check your IOS device using either Siri by asking for next event, or open your calendar and check to see if your event is there. To get notifications of upcoming events on your iPhone, go to your notification settings and ensure that you allow calendar to send you notifications. Also, when adding an event manually through the calendar app, you may want to look at the alert and second alert option and set some options based on your preferences, such as how long before your event do you want to be first reminded, and also if you want to be reminded a second time.

Using a mac

 To link your calendar to your mac:

Go to the iCloud settings on both your mac and iPhone and make sure that calendar is selected to back up to iCloud. On your mac, open calendar and navigate to the calendar sources table. Navigate through the list of toggle options for all your available calendar sources. Here, select all the options related to your Google account.

To receive notifications on your mac go to your notification preferences and make sure that calendar notifications are on.

Using a Google home device

When you set up a Google home device you are already halfway to linking your calendar. In the Google home app, go to account, then more settings, then services. Swipe to calendar and double tap. Swipe to default calendar and make sure that you select the account you want to use.

Using your Google Calendar with Alexa

Amazon Echo devices are very easy to link to your Google account; when you have done this you can, very much like the Google home use your voice to check for upcoming events and also add new events. Follow these steps to link your Google calendar to your Amazon account:

First, use the Alexa app or go to The Amazon Alexa website and make sure you are signed in to your Amazon account.

Next, go to the menu option, then select settings.

Now find and select the calendar option. Here you can see any calendars you have linked, or link a new one.

Find the Google option and select it. This is the sign in to Google screen. Here you should see an explanation about how your data is used, so continue to proceed to the next step.

You should now be asked for your email address and Google password. enter these details then proceed.

Next you need to allow Amazon Alexa permission to access your data, so choose allow to continue.

You have now linked your Google calendar to Amazon Aalexa, so the next screen gives you a few commands you can use for your calendar.

Using a Windows email client (Outlook and Thunderbird)

I use both Thunderbird and Outlook for my emails in Windows, and I have linked my Google calendar to both clients to allow me to keep track of events while doing my emails. We will first look at Outlook which uses the Companion link addon which you need to pay for. To download the Outlook to Google addon purchase it from The Companion link website. You are able to try out the addon for 14 days before you purchase it, and you may also receive a discount code from Companion Link a few days before your trial expires. Once you have found the addon, whether you are purchasing it or using the trial, download and install the app. Follow the instructions on the setup screen which are mainly related to linking your Google account and ask you to enter your email address and password. If you are prompted to allow the app to access your calendar select the allow option, after which Outlook should start to sync. Linking your Google calendar to Mozilla Thunderbird is free and fairly straightforward. Open Thunderbird and go to file, then new. Select calendar which will open a setup wizzard. Here you need to select network calendar and choose next. Select Google then next. You will be asked which account you want to use, after which the setup wizzard is self explanatory, you first need to select your account then which calendars you want to subscribe to. Once subscribed, your events should start to sync. If events are not showing your calendar may be hidden, so press control shift and C to unhide it.

Getting more help

You can receive a more detailed explanation or individual support about anything mentioned in this post by commenting below. Alternatively, contact me with any questions you have and I will do my upmost to help you take the next step towards being more productive. Please be aware that depending on the nature of your query you may have a very small technical support fee to pay. You will always be made aware of this before your support is provided.

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