Google Calendar Sucks
October 28, 2013 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I really hate google calendar but use it so I can share a calendar with my partner. Can you help me figure out how to use it better?

Here's a thing that seems basic to me from other cal programs (hello, iCal) that google calendar doesn't seem to do:

I work the same hours but on different days of the week. When I get my work schedule at the beginning of each month, I have to manually put in each day of work, because there's no easy, one click way to duplicate events that don't happen on predictable intervals. I want copy and paste, it doesn't seem to exist. I know about choosing "duplicate", but it takes several clicks to get there and back to the home. This is actually quite annoying when I have so many events to put in.

Another iCal thing that seems super basic to me is the ability to just click and drag an event to make it last longer.

Also, to me the google calendar is freaking ugly and busy and hard to read.

Anyway, I have to use this because despite my hatred, I actually don't care enough to be an asshole about this in my relationship. My partner wants to use it and having integrated calendars makes life way, way easier.

Soooo... my questions are, a) in general, how can I improve my google calendar experience, and b) can you think of solutions to any of the specific issues I listed above?

Yours in crochety hate,
posted by latkes to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you're happy with iCal, I'd suggest subscribing (or whatever the term is) to the Google Calendar in iCal, and working with it there. You can look at and edit the calendar in iCal and your partner can use the website.
posted by brentajones at 6:54 PM on October 28, 2013


If you like the iCal interface, you can actually use Google Calendar through it, and it works quite well. It'll keep in sync, and you can view both your own primary calendar, and calendars that have been shared with you, such as your partner's calendar. If that sounds like a good option for you, comment with what OS version you're on, and I can write up more detailed instructions if you want.
posted by duien at 6:57 PM on October 28, 2013


You can do you work schedule as a repeating event. If you tell an event to repeat weekly, you can have it repeat on, say, Tuesdays and Thursdays only--there are check boxes for each day of the week. You'll have to tell it to stop repeating on the last day of the month. I found this somewhat counter-intuitive when I first figured it out, but that's how I put my class schedule in (not that I ever look at Google Calendar).

But, yeah, just subscribe in iCal like other people said.
posted by hoyland at 6:57 PM on October 28, 2013


Response by poster: Huh, when I initally tried to integrate iCal and google calender, it seemed like it involved actively periodically synching/uploading/downloading/whatever and it didn't integrate well at all. Is it now easier/smoother/more effective?

Can we share multiple calendars that way (ie: my work cal, my childcare cal, etc)?
posted by latkes at 6:58 PM on October 28, 2013


Response by poster: I have version 10.6.8 and would love to integrate the two if it actually works!

Re: repeating events, the solution described above does not work because my schedule varies each week meaning I do not work the same days each week.
posted by latkes at 7:00 PM on October 28, 2013


Here's a screenshot of what I'm talking about (since I made little sense). That's the 'edit event' screen in Google Calendar. I clicked the 'Edit' next to the 'Repeat: Weekly on Monday' to get the dialog box.
posted by hoyland at 7:01 PM on October 28, 2013


a cheezy workaround - I'd have it repeat every day, and delete the non-work days, because deleting just one instance of a repeating event is two-clicks fast. Or repeat most days, because you can also drag around a single instance. (As in, you could have it repeat M-F, then drag it to the days you DO work each time you get a schedule.)
posted by ansate at 7:06 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, I totally misunderstood you.

I'm pretty sure you can subscribe to multiple calendars in iCal (I had it set up at one point)... just keep adding them.
posted by hoyland at 7:07 PM on October 28, 2013


Response by poster: I'd have it repeat every day, and delete the non-work days

I have totally done this! Which seems idiotic! But it is the only way, huh?
posted by latkes at 7:08 PM on October 28, 2013


Yeah. The solution here is to just use iCal and sync it to your Google calendar. Instructions here. One thing people complain about is that you need to make sure that your Google calendar is the default calendar in iCal or else new events won't be synced to the Google calendar.
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:15 PM on October 28, 2013


Oh. And you can absolutely share multiple calendars. You just have to be mindful of adding new events to the appropriate calendar in iCal.
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:17 PM on October 28, 2013


If you have a smart phone, there are apps which handle Google calendar much better than Google does. I like business calendar free, but there are a lot of others. I use Google for calendars and tasks, but never actually use the Google interface, and it works great.
posted by markblasco at 7:22 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can absolutely click and drag an event in Google calendar to make it longer or shorter, or to move it to another time entirely. I do this all the time. Just drag the little "="-like bar at the bottom of every event.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:24 AM on October 29, 2013


Nthing syncing your iCal to her gCal. It's a pain to set up, but once you've done it, it works great.
posted by donajo at 6:46 AM on October 29, 2013


Do you know about apps for couples, such as Avocado or Couple for example? They are specifically designed to share information as a couple, such as calendars, shopping lists, etc.
posted by rada at 7:46 AM on October 29, 2013


Step by step of what hoyland is talking about. If it is the same hours but different days each week.

Open first day of week you have work, let's say Sunday. Set the hours. Click "Repeat" then choose weekly. Choose the days that particular week you are working M,W,F,Sa. Chose "End after__ occurences" and put in the number of days that week you are working, ie 5.

Now your week is set. Do the same for each week. Now you only have to enter 4 events each month because you are doing the week as a whole.
posted by magnetsphere at 8:33 AM on October 29, 2013


Response by poster: OK, I've synched iCal with google calendar. So far it works smoothly with one weird exception:

In iCal, there are two instances of each calendar. I can avoid seeing them double by unclicking them in my sidebar. Looking around online, this seems like a known issue with "delegates" which I believe is a thing on the google side.

Anyway, I can work around it fairly easily, but if anyone happens to know a way to actually solve that part, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks folks, this is way better for me.
posted by latkes at 9:02 AM on October 29, 2013


I ran into duplicate calendars in iCal once. It turned that only one set was actually being used (the others had no events). I deleted the unused ones and things were fine.
posted by alms at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2013


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