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How to Use Google Calendar on Your Phone

A Step-by-Step Guide to Google Calendar for Seniors

Keeping track of doctor's appointments, birthdays, your grandkid's sports games, or family Zoom calls is hard! Fortunately for Android smartphone users, the Google Calendar app is available to help you keep track of it all, straight from your device! This app will keep you organized so that you don't miss any important appointments or events.

Using Google Calendar, you can:

  • Track birthdays, meetings, appointments, volunteer hours, and events.
  • Set reminders for taking meds, bill payments, and household tasks.
  • Share calendars and events with family, friends, and co-workers.

If you've never given Google Calendar a try, you're probably wondering exactly how to get started. That's why we're here, to show you just how easy it is to use Google Calendar on your smartphone. We'll walk you through downloading the app; how to add, edit, and remove events from your calendar; and how to set reminders for yourself. Let's get started!

Note that every Android phone looks and works a little differently, so your screen might look a little different than the screenshots in this article.

How to Download Google Calendar On Your Phone

Some Android phones come with the Google Calendar app already downloaded, including the Google Pixel line of phones. Others come with a different calendar installed instead.

If you already know that you have Google Calendar, you can skip to the next section.

FYI: Are you an iPhone user? If so, you can still download the Google Calendar app on your phone from the Apple App Store. However, iPhones also come preloaded with their own calendar app. Head over to our guide to using the iPhone Calendar app for more details.

If you're not sure or know that you don't have Google Calendar, follow these steps to download the app.

Step 1. Open the app drawer on your phone. (This is where you go to see the apps on your phone.) Scroll until you see the Google Play Store app. Click on it to open it.

Open the Google Play store to download Google Calendar

Open the Google Play store to download Google Calendar

Step 2. In the Google Play Store app, type “Google Calendar” into the search bar that's located at the top of the screen.

Google Play Store search bar

Search for Google Calendar

Step 3. The Google Calendar app should be the first result that shows up.

Click "open" or "download" to launch Google Calendar

Click “open” or “download” to launch Google Calendar

If your screen looks like the image above, with a green box that says “Open,” that means you already have the app installed on your phone. You can move on to the next section.

If it says “Install,” next to the app icon, click “Install” to add the Google Calendar app on your phone.

 

How to Create an Event in Google Calendar

Most people use Google Calendar to track activities, birthdays, appointments, meetings, and important dates. Inside the Calendar App, these are all called “Events.” Let's take a look at how to create an event.

To create an event, you'll first need to open the Google Calendar app on your phone. If you have it open already or know how to open it, great! If you don't know how to open it, just follow the first three steps.

  1. From your phone's home screen, open the app drawer. This is the menu where all of your apps are located.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Google Calendar app.

    Tap the Google Calendar app

    Tap the Google Calendar app

  3. Click on the Calendar app to open it.
  4. As soon as you open the app, you'll see a big yellow, red, blue, and green “+” button on the bottom right-hand side of the screen. Click on it.

    Create an event on your Google Calendar

    Create an event on your Google Calendar

  5. When you click on the “+” button, you'll see a list of items that you can add to your calendar or schedule.

    Tap event in Google Calendar

    Tap event in Google Calendar

  6. Click on the event icon to be taken to the page where you can enter the details about your event.
  7. After you click on the event icon, you'll see a page that looks something like the image below. This page is where you can enter in all of the details about the event. We'll run through all of the details and features on this page in the next section.

    Editing your event details in Google Calendar

    Editing your event details in Google Calendar

  8. When you're finished, click “Save” at the top of the screen to add the event to your Google Calendar.

Overview of Google Event Options and Features

Since the Event Details page offers so many customization options, we're going to take a look at a few and give some examples of how to use them.

Title

A title is required for every event you create. It can be simple like “Maddy's Basketball Game” or “Cardiologist Appt.” The title is what will show up on the different calendar views, so make sure it gets the point across!

Date and Time

You need to select a day and time for the event. If it's something without a specific time like your grandson's birthday, you can choose “All Day.” If it's an event that starts at a specific time like a medical appointment or flight, you can put in the start time and end time.

Repetition

The Google Calendar app lets you create repeat events. For example, a birthday that you want on your calendar every year or a weekly Zoom call with your family that you'd like to show up on your calendar every Friday at 7 p.m.

To make an event repeat, click on the “Does not repeat” line of text to see your options.

Make a repeating Google Calendar event

Make a repeating Google Calendar event

Add People

If you'd like to share your event with friends or family, you can! Just click on “Add people” and start typing their name or email address into the search bar. You can only add people to the event if you have their email address saved to your Google account.

Add people to your Google Calendar event

Add people to your Google Calendar event

Once you add them to your event and save the event, they'll get an email. Then, they can add the event to their Google Calendar too!

Add Location

Sometimes, you'll want to add a location to your event so you can easily get directions later. For example, a new doctor's appointment or a new volunteer meeting. Google makes this easy. Just click on “Add location,” and start typing in the address or the location's name like “St. Joseph's Medical Center.”
Google will suggest locations based on what you type. Just click on the one that matches to add it to your event. This saves you from having to track down addresses the day of the event.

Set Event Reminders

The biggest perk of using a calendar on your phone is the reminder feature. By default, the calendar app will remind you 30 minutes prior to your event with a phone notification or email. If you want, you can edit that reminder or set a new one.

Set a custom notification for your Google Calendar event

Set a custom notification for your Google Calendar event

Here are some times when reminders come in handy:

  • One week before someone's birthday, so you can remember to purchase a gift or mail a card.
  • An hour before your doctor's appointment so you know when to leave the house.
  • Twenty minutes before a Zoom call, so you have time to get ready.
  • Three days before your rent is due so that you can check your account or write a check.

How to Edit an Event in Google Calendar

Plans change, especially in the times we're living in now. So, let's take a look at how to edit an event that's on your calendar.

For this example, we're going to edit an eye doctor appointment because we had to reschedule.

Step 1. Open Google Calendar and click on the event that you want to edit.

Edit your event in Google Calendar

Edit your event in Google Calendar

Step 2. Click the pen icon in the upper right of the screen to edit the event details.

Tap the pencil icon in your Google Calendar event

Tap the pencil icon in your Google Calendar event

Step 3. On this screen, you can make your edits. You'll notice that this is that same screen you see when you first create an event, and you'll have all of the same customization options as before. You can retitle an event, change the time or date, or make the event repeat. You can also set new reminders, edit current reminders, add people to the event, or add a location.

Step 4. For our purposes, we just need to edit the date. To edit the date, click on the date you want to change.

Changing the date on a Google Calendar event

Changing the date on a Google Calendar event

Step 5. Then, you'll see a screen with a calendar. Click on the new date you want and then click OK in the bottom right corner.

Tap "OK" in Google Calendar

Tap “OK” in Google Calendar

Step 6. After you make the changes you need to make, just click the “Save” button at the top of the screen. Your newly saved event will appear on your calendar.

Save your changes in Google Calendar

Save your changes in Google Calendar

How to Delete an Event in Google Calendar

Sometimes events just get canceled entirely. If you need to delete an event from your calendar, don't worry, that's easy too!

Step 1. Open up Google Calendar and click on the event that you want to delete.

Step 2. Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand side of the screen.

Click the three dots in Google Calendar

Click the three dots in Google Calendar

Step 3. Click “Delete” from the list of options that pops up.

Tap "Delete" in your Google Calendar event

Tap “Delete” in your Google Calendar event

Step 4. Click “Delete” again to confirm the deletion.

Confirm to delete your Google Calendar event

Confirm to delete your Google Calendar event

How to Use Google Assistant to Create Google Calendar Events

Did you know that you can create events using your voice? The Google Assistant, which is built into every Android phone, will create events for you.

We like this feature because it's more accessible. You won't need to navigate to your calendar every time you want to create an event. You also don't need to type anything in – a big plus if you're dealing with arthritis or have poor eyesight.

Here's how you can get Google Assistant to help.

Step 1. Open Google Assistant on your phone. How you do this varies, depending on your phone model. The two most common ways to do it are:1

  • Touch and hold the home button on your phone until the Google Assistant screen pops up.
  • Say “Hey Google” to bring up the Google Assistant screen.

Step 2. Now, it's time to tell the Google Assistant that you'd like to create an event. This Android phone feature is very smart, so you don't need to memorize a set script. Instead, just talk to the Assistant and answer the questions to fill in event details.

We'll show you two different scenarios to give you an idea of what to expect.

Create Event Scenario One

In this scenario, you simply start by saying “Create event.” Then, the Google Assistant asks you for more details. At the end of the conversation, you can save the event, which adds it to your calendar.

Answer the Google Assistant prompts

Answer the Google Assistant prompts

Answer the Google Assistant prompts

Answer the Google Assistant prompts

Create Event Scenario Two

If you don't want to wait to go through the prompts, you can give all of the event information upfront. This way can save time, but if you don't speak clearly, the event details might get messed up.

Answer the Google Assistant prompts

Using the Different Google Calendar Views

Now that you know how to create events, we're going to explain how to view them. Google lets you display your calendar a few different ways. And, switching between the different views couldn't be easier!

How to Switch Between Google Calendar Views

Step 1. Click on the three lines in the upper right-hand corner of the Google Calendar app.

Switching between Google Calendar views

Switching between Google Calendar views

Step 2. Select the view you want from the menu that appears.

Tap any Google Calendar view

Tap any Google Calendar view

Step 3. Repeat the first two steps whenever you want to change to a different view.

Overview of Each Google Calendar View

Below, we'll show you the different calendar views and explain when you might use each one.

1. Schedule view: A look at all of your events

Using Google Calendar Schedule view

Using Google Calendar Schedule view

Schedule view lets you see all of the events, reminders, and tasks you have on your calendar in chronological order. Since this view isn't very detailed, it's best for when you just want to quickly glance at your schedule.

Navigation: Scroll down to see everything on your calendar, including holidays that Google automatically adds.

2. Day view: Your hourly schedule one day at a time

Using Google Calendar Day view

Using Google Calendar Day view

Take a look each morning for a quick overview of what's going on today. It's easy to see where you have free time available to run to the grocery store or take a walk.

Navigation: Scroll down to see the rest of your day. Swipe left to see your schedule for the next day. Swipe right to see the previous day's schedule.

3. Three days' view: Your hourly schedule for the next three days

Using Google Calendar - Three Days' View

Using Google Calendar Three Days’ View

If you want a quick look at how busy your next few days are, this is a great view to use. We also like using it when scheduling appointments like a lunch date, haircut, or car maintenance, because it's easy to see when you have free chunks of time.

Navigation: Scroll down to see the rest of your hourly schedule. Swipe left to see the next three days. Scroll right to see the previous three days.

4. Week view: Your hourly schedule for the next seven days

Using Google Calendar Week view

Using Google Calendar Week view

When making plans, has anyone ever asked you, “What does your week look like?” That's the perfect time to switch to the weekly view. See exactly what's on your schedule for the week, and just as importantly, when you have free time.

Navigation: Scroll down to see the rest of the hours in the day. Swipe left to see next week's schedule. Swipe right to see the previous week's schedule.

5. Month view: A bird's-eye view of your month

Using Google Calendar Month view

Using Google Calendar Month view

Month view is great for viewing birthdays and holidays. We also like to use it when we know we have events coming up but just aren't sure which day or week they are.

Navigation: Swipe left to go to the next month. Swipe right to go to the previous month. Click on any event in the month view, and you will automatically be taken to the schedule view screen.

How to Create a Reminder in Google Calendar

Along with creating events, you can create reminders in Google Calendar. We definitely recommend this feature if you have trouble remembering things. Set reminders for taking medications, paying bills, putting out the trash, your favorite TV show, and anything else that you don't want to forget.

Creating a reminder is similar to creating an event. Just follow these steps.

Step 1. Open up Google Calendar and click on the “+” button on the bottom right-hand side of the screen. This is the same button you clicked to create an event.

Create an event on your Google Calendar

Create an event on your Google Calendar

Step 2. Choose “Reminder” from the list of options you see.

Click "Reminder" in your Google calendar

Click “Reminder” in your Google calendar

Step 3. Then, fill in the details of your reminder. Where the arrow is pointing in the image below, write in what you want to be reminded of. Be as specific as you need to be so that when the reminder pops up on your phone, you know what you need to do. You also need to set a date and time (or choose all day).

Fill out the reminder in the Google Calendar app

Fill out the reminder in the Google Calendar app

Step 4. Next, choose whether you want your reminder to repeat. For example, if you need to take your heart medication every morning at 10 a.m., choose “Every day” to repeat that reminder every day.

Make a repeating Google Calendar event

Make a repeating Google Calendar event

Step 5. Finally, save your reminder by clicking on “Save” in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Save your Google Calendar reminder

Save your Google Calendar reminder

And there you have it! That's everything you need to know about the Google Calendar app. You'll have your schedule organized in no time.

Quick Tip: Interested in learning about other useful smartphone apps? Take a look at our list of the best mobile apps for seniors.

Written By

Taylor Shuman

Senior Tech Expert & Editor

For over five years, Taylor has been writing, editing, and researching products and services covering topics such as senior care and technology, Internet and the digital divide, TV, and entertainment, and education. Her research on media consumption and consumer behavior has been… Learn More About Taylor Shuman

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