Using Google Calendar #blogathon2

Biannual Blogathon Bash

On June 22nd, the Biannual Blogathon Bash kicks off! In preparation, many blogs will be posting challenges over the next few days. Aren’t participating? Be sure and sign up! If you don’t want to participate, feel free to use the following post, but only participants are eligible for Blogathon prizes.

To be eligible for prizes, you must wait to complete challenges. They are just being posted early so that you can add them to your to do lists.

Using Google Calendar

One tip I always give new bloggers who ask me what I wish I’d have started when I began blogging is start a calendar or schedule. I’m not saying be strict about it! You can if you like that, but even the most spontaneous blogger can benefit from at least a guideline. I know a lot of bloggers think scheduling is “boring”. But that’s the best part about using an electronic schedule, you can easily move things. I have book blogger friends that use this concept, but do it with release dates of books instead of post dates! That way they know when the books are coming out and can read accordingly.

Non-book bloggers can schedule whatever fits their niche! For example, if you do a weekly interview series – you can have that listed and who it is. If you do sponsored posts, it’s a great way to keep up with them. (I also do reminders of deadlines to get things to people – like an author I’m interviewing.) There are so many ways to use Google Calendar for different types of blogs.

Since Letters Inside Out is a book blog, what I have done is created a separate calendar for each type of post and source of books, all on the same account so that I can easily see all of them or “hide” those so I can only see what I need to.

Google Calendar

Here you can see the entire calendar. To make it (or the other images larger) click them.

As you can see in this image, I have 10 calendars (left) and a task list (right). For the task list, I usually only keep a few of my most urgent posts there. You can click items to mark them as “done”.

Here you can see the calendar list better on the left – this is also where you can also customize each calendar – change settings, colors, who can see it, etc.

When I first started using a calendar, I just put everything on one calendar. It worked, but I kept finding myself forgetting where the information I needed was. So I created different color codes and abbreviations for everything.

Example: I know everything in brown – is for a blog tour. I also use “GP” (guest post), “INT” (interview),
“GA” (giveaway), or “CR” (cover reveal) to denote any special types of posts that require a bit more work than just a review. I always put the codes before the book title, that way I know at a glance whether I’m reading that book for that post or not.

This is the screen that pops up when you “create” or “edit” an event! It’s where you set up different settings or invite others!

Another plus? Alerts. Depending on how you set the functions you can have it push them to which ever device (see the syncing section below) or have it email you! I typically only do this for anything big I’m bound to forget or for “real life” events – like appointments.

In the description section I made any notes or contacts I might need. That way I know who to contact if something doesn’t show up.

This is also where you can enable sharing for events! If you do any big blogging events with multiple people, you can easily create a calendar and share it! You can make it read only or you can make it so they can update.

This is one of my favorite features!

This is the “Agenda” feature. It shows all upcoming things in a list format. Makes it so easy to see what is to come at a glance! This is what I use on my other devices, which brings us to syncing and using apps.

Now comes the fun part – syncing it!

With today’s technology, most of us have some sort of handheld devices to use e-readers, tablets, iPods, or smartphones.

Note: None of the below links are affiliated with LIO. I gathered them through my own personal research and browsing on the internet. I’ve not personally used all of these,  I’ve noted those instances. Not all apps may work for your device, but some “shopping” should help you find one that is! 

Apple products: I have an iPod Touch, I use the stock calendar, because I typically don’t look at my calendar on my iPod! I have so many other devices and I rarely read with my iPod handy. (I also asked a friend, who only uses the stock on her iPhone and iPad.) If you want to go this route, there’s a great tutorial to setting it up on Google’s website.

If you would rather go with an app and are willing to spend a little money, when searching I came across CalenGoo (6.99) and Calendars 3.

Android products: Up until when I started researching for this post, I was still using the stock calendar. To be honest, for what I use it for – the stock calendar is great. But some of these alternatives are so pretty!

From that list, I tested Business Calendar Free and Jorte; both on a smartphone AND on a HP Touchpad tablet. Of the two, I preferred Jorte on both devices. (Business Calendar *free version* was a bit hard to read on my phone and on the tablet it was better, but on the month view I can’t see the book titles at a glance. Kind of a deal breaker for me.) Jorte looked great on both and was easier to tweak to do what I want.

Nook Color/Tablet: For the NC, there is no stock calendar. To be honest, I use the web browser to go to the website! It looks and works great.

Kindle Fire: I don’t have access to one to “play” with, but with some searching the cheapest and most recommended option I found for you was CalenGoo (5.99). The plus is you can sideload apps to the Kindle Fire, so check out some of the Android app suggestions, if you’d rather do that!

There are TONS of other options – look around and find one that suits you! If you have one you prefer, feel free to mention it in the comments.


I want to challenge you to create your own color-coded calendar and explore it! Set up a few email alerts. Set it up your way, just set one up! See if it makes everything just a bit easier to remember.

Already have a Google Calendar? Your challenge is to update it and maybe use some of my tips!

Be sure and comment (or do a post and link it in the comments) to let us know how you plan on using it and if you tried out an app!

No related posts.


  1. Wow, this was an amazingly helpful post! I’m not taking part in the Blogathon, but I think I’m going to try some of your tips soon, anyway ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Viari Rose says:

    This is a very good tip, I would completely lost without my calendars, though I only have 5. That way I’m all set up and it’s there when i need to check on certain dates.

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks! I would be lost too. I started out using just one…nightmare. LOL!

      • Viari Rose says:

        After reading your post again, I added two more calendars, one for cover reveals and for posts that are already set to post, I haven’t played with Tasks before, though I think that would probably help. I have to say your abbreviations are wonderful, I had been typing all mine out, now it’s flowing a lot easier.

  3. Wow, GREAT post! I just found out about blogathon from this post and signed up. I have plans this weekend so I doubt I’ll be able to do very much, but THIS is going on my to-do list. I started a google calendar when I started blogging but it’s all in one calendar, and I stopped using it after a couple of months. I love the idea of color-coding. Thanks for this post, I will probably be mimicking yours… :) . I’m excited, I can see this being so useful set up this way.

    Question, my calendar doesn’t have tasks on the right side (maybe because I don’t have any set up?) , is there a way to add them there. I couldn’t find the option in settings.

    Thanks again, I’m excited to get started but I’m making myself wait till tomorrow :) .

  4. miki says:

    i will try this challenge ( i thought about that before but it was a nightmare so your tips will be very useful)
    thanks you

  5. I have arrived at your page following a link from a blog i read. I have to say that this post is absolutely amazing!!! thank you!! You have explained this so so well and with the screen shots it really helps. I have just mentioned this on ‘A book and a latte’s post’ that i bought a diary but just not right when i’m at the computer. I am fairly new to blogging and this has shown me how i could make it easier for myself. Stupid question- the calender is linked to my chrome login and not to the computer right, so i can use other computers? Thank you for taking your time with this. If i successfully set this up and blog about it, can i please link back to you? x fingers crossed i manage this lol

    I am not participating in the blogathon because i am so so busy the next few days, and no access to the computer the majority of the time. Sorry.
    Thank you again
    oh sorry another question, how do you find out about cover reveals? You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want but i just wondered :)

    thanks xx

    • Amanda says:

      Hi Beckie!

      To access the calendar on other computers or other devices, you just need to log in using your log-in info for Google. (What you use for Gmail, Chrome, Google Docs, etc) That same email and password will work everywhere. :)

      For cover reveals – Twitter! Follow as many publishing people and authors as you can find. They typically post them there! Also in my sidebar there is a sign-up for Inkspell’s mailing list. They also do cover reveals. The button is towards the bottom of the sidebar – it’s the pretty round one!

      Thanks for stopping by and let me know if I can be of further help.

    • This is such a great idea. I am a brand new blogger and was starting to think “Oh No! What have I got myself into?” Immediately after reading this I set up a new Calendar. Right now I only have one for Blog stuff. I learned about you from Beckie which is why I am replying to her post!
      Thanks again for the helpful tips!

  6. Ann Odle says:

    I’m already using Google Calendar–I’d be lost without it. I haven’t put my blogging time into it yet thoug; great idea! I have been creating a notebook to sit at my desk at home, but having it on my phone/computer/Nook/IPad would be a great idea as well! I’m going to get on that….now to choose a color for blogging…..

  7. Melissa S. says:

    I’m already using Google Calendar, or at least I semi use it! I’ve been putting all of the kids’ appointments in it, and stuff involving my business, just never thought of setting up seperate calendars and color coding things! Thanks for the great tips.. off to pick colors now!

  8. miki says:

    Ok finaly done, i had a bit of difficulties with the email alerts ( i didn’t see at first where it was)but now it should work i’ve done the calendar for this month and a project for next month; i’ve also tried to put repeat event
    ^^ challenge accomplished

    ps: yes the color are not easy to choose and i will probably change my mind later to see what i’m more used too

    a big thanks you for all the tips and the really good explanation

    all the best

    • Amanda says:

      Awesome! Great job. :)

      I changed my colors a ton when I started. Especially once I realized two were almost identical. LOL! Good luck the rest of the weekend.

  9. I completed this challenge! I updated my GCalender with different color coded calendars, similar to what you have set up. I also have it filled in through most of August! Thank you so much for your post, this was a great challenge. Here’s my to-do list with the challenge checked off:

  10. Kathleen says:

    Great challenge! I’ve tried Google Calendar a few times and got frustrated. I currently use the calendar in Windows Live Mail but I don’t have nearly everything in there. I think I’ll try out Google Calendar again. I like the idea of being able to access it from other computers.

  11. I color code them but I have not changed them and I was not good about putting up reminders. I just went through the rest of the year (so through September for my blogging) and made sure each event I had set up my reminders to do at least two email alerts, one sims and two pop ups!

    THANKS! I am going to also start widdling away for the months i have each week to get seperate calenders set up according to the colors I already use so I can just look at one for REVIEWS only to help me not lose track of books, etc. GREAT tips to improve my calender list. I can breath a sign of relief now that I know I will get it in my email! OH AND I set up a gmail filter so when I get a calendar update it is color coordinated BRIGHT ORANGE with a label! YES!


  12. What an awesome post! I’ve been wanting to find a good online calendar and reminder system. Your tutorial was perfect. The color coding is especially wonderful for a visual learner like me. I set up my first month and a half of calendars and set up some email alerts for the mini challenge. I’m addicted already! :)

  13. you’ve persuaded me. I really like my notebook calendar, but this actually looks like it might be easier. I’m off to set one up!

    • Amanda says:

      I love the physical ones too and usually keep track of things that are for sure happening there. Especially if I need to make lists or take notes for the projects, but Google Calendar is SO easy to keep up with and to use for things that might change.

      Good luck!

  14. I have actually never tried this before and I am excited it is here. I plan on putting in all my Dr’s appointments so I can schedule my blogging around them.

    I also would like to use it for blogging related appointments when I get some as well as scheduling my weekly stuff like my link ups and for events. I think it might also be useful for reminding myself to tweet and promote!

    Great post and great tips! Thanks so much!

  15. Shai Smith says:

    How would you go about integrating a family, school, AND blog calendar? I ran out of color options! lol.

    I’ll figure it out.

    This is awesome!!!!! Thanks so much for showing me how to work a Google Calendar! It always looked too confusing to try. And, apparently, my phone automatically updates because I have my Google accounts linked. Who knew?! lol


  16. I already had a google calender and color code for my menu, daily blog topics, and regular schedule. But I added tasks and there was an appt (which I color coded and added a reminder) I had forgot to add on the google site but already had added it to my IPAD google app but forgot to sync it.

  17. This is such a great idea! I’ve been using Google Calendar for awhile for personal stuff but I think it would be of benefit to me to use it for blogging as well. Thanks for the idea!

  18. Monica says:

    I’ve scheduled some twitter parties and a book tour excerpt into my Google calendar. Thanks for all the great info!

  19. I’ve finally set up a google calendar for my blog and colour coded a few things – I don’t know why I haven’t done this before as I use a google calendar to keep track of all my university deadlines! Wonderful mini-challenge!

    • Amanda says:

      I had used mine for appointments and had bought a physical calendar for blog stuff. It hit me one day I should combine them. So much easier!

      Hope it works out for you. :)

  20. In addition to scheduling post reminders, I also scheduled a reminder to contact a sponsor about a review in August and it sent the calendar item to her as well!

    • Amanda says:

      I do that too! I also make notes of things I need to download if they have a set deadline. Some e-books have to be downloaded by. There’s so many ways to use it!

  21. I have used Google calendar quite a bit for a while now, but I just broke down and bought myself a $20 8×10 dayplanner. With all the hops and review/giveaways, I think it will be easier for me. I did make an update on my G calendar though, as I think I will continue to use it for church. I’m the volunteer coordinator for one of the fastest growing churches in the US, and I have to try to keep organized in making calls. I frequently will put my call backs right in the G calendar. I don’t think I’ll go to paper for that :) Thanks! You are seriously organized!!

    • Amanda says:

      Some people prefer paper, no problem with that! I tried, but I kept having to change review dates and it got to be annoying. It sounds like the G.Calendar is perfect for your church-work though.

      Good luck with your dayplanner. :)

  22. I’m all updated and attempted a To-Do list!

  23. Kecia says:

    I updated my Google calendar with giveaway events and deadlines I have coming up. I am also going to check out the iPhone apps to sync my calendar with my phone. Thanks for this challenge!

  24. Cheryl says:

    I’ve set this up! I’m totally going to use this to get my blogging more organized!

  25. Jamie says:

    I started using a calendar about a month ago when a lot of blogger events in my area started to happen for me. It’s a great idea for me to start using it for Sponsor postings, and that is what I’m going to work on t his weekend =) Thanks for this!

  26. I use Google calendar for work and blogging, but I only had one for each. I have since created sub-calendars for my blog, color-coded to represent different types of tasks.

  27. Jen says:

    I am already a user of google calendar, but not quite as much as I could be. I love the detail that you have gone into and am heading to make some changes on my calendar… including picking colours! :)
    Great mini-challenge!

  28. I wrote a post about google calendar when I first started using it months ago –… But I’m SO glad that I have this refresher from you! I definitely learned some new tips to maximize the value that I get from this – and it finally gave me that kick in the butt to get the darn app installed on my phone. That will SO helpful!!! :)

  29. So cool! I just synced this with our family’s Cozi calendar! Thanks for the tips!!

  30. Sage says:

    I am new to Google calendar but I am really excited about it because I think it is going to help me tremendously! I have added my reviews and blog tours to my calendar. I think the alerts are so great!

  31. Kat B. says:

    I already use Google Calendar for alot of things but I never thought about color coding it! That is amazing advice. Thank you so so much! I have two Google Calendars because I also use it for work. Sometimes it gets confusing to switch but usually I am glad to have them!


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