Google Calendar remains one of the most popular online time management tools, because it is so accessible from anywhere, and so well integrated with web apps and mobile tools that everyone uses. In this article I’m going to share three distinct ways of automatically importing information into your Google Calendar.
The first will be from inside Google Calendar itself. The second will involve some of the best importable calendars from a cool website called iCalShare, discussed previously here at MUO by Simon in his article on syncing Mac iCal with Google Calendar. Finally, way at the bottom of this article, I’ll show you some really cool ways to integrate data into Google Calendar using the popular IFTTT automation service.
IFTTT is a powerful service we’ve covered here often, doing things likesupercharging eBook reading or your Pocket experience, so if you’re an IFTTT fan too, I highly recommend you head down to the bottom of this article for that section. It’s pretty cool.
Interesting Calendars inside Google CalendarThe fastest and probably the easiest way to import information into your Google Calendar is by browsing existing public calendars. You can do this by clicking the dropdown box near “Other calendars” in the left navigation bar, and clicking on “Browse Interesting Calendars”.
Inside this window you’ll find three categories to explore — Holidays (world holiday calendars), Sports, and More.
Sports is a fun area — just find your favorite team in whatever league you follow, and it’ll import the game schedule for that team into your own Google Calendar.
If you’re a major sports fiend — subscribe to multiple schedules and load up your calendar with all kinds of game schedules!
The “More” category in the Interesting Calendars browse window is kind of limited. However, there is some cool stuff like local sunrise and sunset times, Stardates and other interesting calendars.
To get some really cool content imported into your calendar though, you really need to explore outside of Google Calendar.
Inserting Weather Into Your CalendarBefore you go out in search of cool calendars across the Web, the easiest way to import weather information is right inside your Calendar settings.
Just scroll down to the “Location” section and make sure you’ve set up your local zip code.
Finally, all you have to do is select whether you want the local temperature to be displayed in C or F, save your settings, and you’ll see the daily weather appear in your Calendar. This is very useful if you’d like to check what the day’s weather looks like before you head out to start your day.
iCalShareIf you want to import some really interesting calendar data, I highly suggest browsing the collection at iCalShare. These are some of the most interesting calendars that you’ll find anywhere. When you import them, they show up as new calendars in Google Calendar (turn them on or off as you see fit). They show up on a new calendar “layer” in your main window.
If you’re a space exploration fan like me, then you’ll definitely want to import the NASA Launch Schedule, so you can stay up to date on all of the latest launches taking place at any given time.
The cool thing about importing this calendar is that it will remind you to head over to NASA’s live coverage of the event on their website so you don’t miss out.
Game ReleasesIf you’re a console gamer on either Xbox or PlayStation, then you’re going to love this. There are several game release schedules that you can import into your Google Calendar so that you’re always aware of what’s being released and when. The first is a schedule called Xbox360 Releases for all Xbox360 games that are coming out.
There’s also a PlayStation 4 schedule that’s available, and an Xbox One schedule as well. Now, you’ll never miss out on a game release. I just hope you’ve saved up a lot of money to buy the new video games that come out!Are you a movie aficionado? Well then, you’re probably going to want to import the movie release schedule into your Google Calendar.
I have to warn you though that being aware of the latest movie releases will put a huge damper on your pocketbook — so import this schedule with caution! Also, if you’re in the U.S., there’s a U.S. movie release schedule available as well.Don’t want to miss out on the upcoming episode of your favorite TV show? Have no fear — just download the TV schedule into your calendar and you’ll always be up to date on the upcoming schedule for the most popular shows on television.
This schedule focuses on the most popular shows on TV, and for those that are particularly U.S. focused, you’ll see a “(US)” notation next to the show name in the schedule.Are you particularly in love with the Earth and its many seasons? Well then you’re a perfect candidate for the Earth Seasons schedule.
This is just a very simple add-on schedule that’ll insert a time event for specific season changes, like Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox, Vernal Equinox and more.
IFTTT to Google CalendarImporting calendars is probably the easiest way to get interesting schedules into your Google Calendar without too much work, but if you want to put in just a little more effort, it’s possible to import information that you could really make use of.
Monitor Stock PricesFor example, what if you could have a system that automatically schedules a task in your calendar to buy a stock when it reaches a certain level? Well, with IFTTT, just such a recipe is possible.
Once any stock price reaches the target you’ve set (or drops to a target), you can trigger a buy or sell event to be scheduled right into your Google Calendar.
This calendar even shows just how useful an “intelligent” import of data like this would be; much more than a static imported schedule.
Welcome New Twitter FollowersAnother example would be getting notified in your schedule with an event indicating when someone new follows you on Twitter.
You could use this event as a reminder to go to Facebook and send the person a message or otherwise let them know that you appreciate them following you.
WordPress to CalendarIf you manage a large blog with lots of writers and frequent posts, you could probably make use of an automated scheduling calendar. To accomplish this, just enable the “new post published” trigger on IFTTT, and then create an action to insert that WordPress post into your Google Calendar.
Your calendar reflects the publication schedule of your blog (after publication). It’s a cool way to look back and review your publishing schedule in your calendar without having to actually log into your blog and manually browse published posts.
Weather Details to Daily CalendarOne of the most common things people like to see in their Google Calendar is the weather. This is why Google integrated temperature directly into the Settings. Well, IFTTT lets you take weather information to a whole new level. For example, you can use the Weather trigger in IFTTT to mark down the Sunrise or Sunset times in your calendar.
This is similar to the schedule mentioned earlier in this article, but this one also includes temperatures and weather conditions.
Another very useful weather-related trigger in IFTTT Weather is the UV Index.
What’s useful here is that each day you can get an indication in your calendar of what the UV Index looks like, letting you know whether or not it’s a day for applying sunscreen protection.
As you can see, there are many ways to pull information that’s important to you into Google Calendar. Whether it’s a static schedule, or an IFTTT recipe that automates import of data, all these different techniques give you a whole list of possibilities.
Do you import information into your Google Calendar in different ways? Share your own creative ideas and fun solutions in the comments section below!