Some people still prefer notebooks over digital calendars, but the best calendar apps offer convenient access and have a variety of advanced features that aren’t available with physical calendars. It’s easy to see why so many users have switched to calendar applications for both personal and business use.
In our Google Calendar review, we’ll cover the platform’s features and capabilities to help you decide whether it’s the right option for you or your organization. While Google Calendar faces strong competition from Any.do and other top alternatives, it’s still one of our favorite calendar apps at present.
Google Calendar: Plans and pricing
If you use other Google Workspace apps like Docs and Sheets, you won’t be surprised to learn that Google Calendar is also free to use. The application’s core features are the same regardless of whether you pay for a Workspace subscription, and free users get a full 15 GB of cloud storage.
A paid subscription isn’t necessary for Calendar or any other Workspace productivity app, but it does introduce several helpful features. For example, you can set up custom emails for you and your employees, access more cloud storage, reserve conference rooms, and set up shared calendars for your business.
Google Calendar: Features
Google Calendar has a relatively simple design, but it’s still surprisingly robust when it comes to adding events and sharing your calendar. It’s also easy to share particular calendars with other users—for example, you might want to share your work calendar with coworkers without giving them access to the rest of your schedule.
Your Google Calendar is stored in the cloud, so changes made on one device will immediately be reflected on all other devices that have access to that calendar. In other words, you never have to worry about syncing events between your smartphone or computer.
The application also integrates seamlessly with other Workspace apps, like Gmail and Google Meet. You can quickly create a connected video conferencing meeting or set the event to trigger a reminder email or push notification before it starts. This makes Google Calendar a great option for individuals and businesses already invested in Google’s ecosystem.
Google Calendar: Interface and in use
Google Calendar relies on a simple and professional design to keep your calendar as tidy as possible. You can view one day, four days, one week, one month, or a full year at a time or set the calendar to simply display a list of events. Similar options are available in the mobile app, which offers an equally intuitive experience on a smaller screen.
Users with crowded calendars can organize their events by sorting them into separate calendars and color-coding them by category. Considering the simplicity of its design, Google Calendar is surprisingly flexible and easy to use—even for relatively complex workflows and busy schedules. You can expand its possibilities further by downloading one of the countless add-ons available for Google Calendar.
Google Calendar: Support
Google Workspace subscribers can get priority support, but free users still have access to a decent range of support resources. Just click the question mark icon near the top of the screen in order to get help with the application.
After selecting Help, you’ll be able to search for support articles by keyword. You can also click through to the Help Center to view more articles or visit the Google support forums. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get in touch with Google directly unless you have a Workspace subscription.
Google Calendar: Security
Google Calendar isn’t secured with any additional passwords or other protections, so your events are as safe as your Google account. The easiest way to make your Google account more secure is to enable two-factor authentication, which asks for approval on each new login.
Furthermore, paid Workspace subscribers gain access to group-level security policies. Enterprise-level users get even more advanced features, like data loss prevention, S/MIME encryption, and context-aware access.
When sharing a calendar, you can either send it directly to other users or make it publicly accessible. Publicly accessible calendars can also be set to display event details or only whether you’re busy or available at a particular time.
Google Calendar’s free availability is a major competitive advantage compared to some other options, and this makes it a strong alternative to Microsoft Office's Outlook app. As another example, Any.do restricts key features like color-coding and customizable recurring events to paid subscribers.
On the other hand, Google Calendar’s place in the Workspace ecosystem also makes it slightly less accessible. For example, while Any.do Premium subscribers can easily set up location-based reminders, Google only offers that feature in Google Keep—a note-taking app—rather than Google Calendar.
Whether you’re looking for a calendar for yourself or your business, Google Calendar is clearly one of the best calendar apps. It’s even more practical for those who already use other Google apps and want to integrate those workflows into their digital calendars.
Additionally, the availability of free add-ons makes Google Calendar more flexible than it initially appears. Considering that it’s entirely free to use, it’s hard to find a better deal than Google Calendar. Along with Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other apps, Google Workspace is among the best options for free office software at present.
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