Sr. Content Marketing Manager
If you’re a Google Workspace user, you’re likely already familiar with Google Calendar and Google Sheets — but did you know that you can use Google Docs or Google Sheets to customize your calendar experience even more?
If an out-of-the-box tool isn’t working for you to manage your schedule, then it might be time to get creative and add the exact features you need to your calendar. You can create your own Google Sheets calendar template — or customize one of the prebuilt templates to your needs. Let’s get into it.
Why use a Google Sheets calendar template?
Google Sheets spreadsheets are the perfect complement to your typical calendaring needs. Whether you manage multiple calendars for clients, create regular marketing calendars, or need a group calendar to keep your team on track, Google Sheets can help. Here are some of the benefits of trying Google Sheets for a custom calendar template:
- Ease of use. Google creates such user-friendly platforms that it’s remarkably simple to create and customize a calendar template (more on that in a bit). Like all your other go-to Google Workspace apps, you likely already intuitively know how to use Google Sheets because of its familiar design.
- Collaboration. Google Sheets allows multiple users to work in the same document simultaneously, making it easy to coordinate with others on your calendar template or other documents.
- Flexible access. Since Google Sheets is cloud-based, you can access your calendar template from anywhere you’re connected. Your spreadsheet will always be saved in the cloud, making it easy to view and edit from your mobile device, tablet or laptop.
- Customization. In Google Sheets, you can personalize your calendar template to meet your unique needs, including adding features like color coding, text formatting and more.
- Automation. Because Google Sheets has built-in formulas and functions that can help automate tasks related to your calendar, like calculating dates and times, you can easily create and trigger reminders and keep better track of deadlines.
The benefits are plenty, but how exactly do you use Google Sheets as your custom calendar? Let’s get started.
How to create your own Google Sheet calendar template
If you’re ready to start using Google Sheets to create calendars, follow these steps to build your own Google Sheet calendar template:
1. Browse templates first
Our focus in this article is all about creating your own templates built to your unique specifications. Still, it can’t hurt to see what’s already out there to potentially save you some time. From the calendar or schedule templates available on Google Sheets, to the hundreds of Google Sheets calendar templates elsewhere online, there are a lot to choose from. If you find one that’s a fit, consider using it as a foundation and customizing the template from there.
If Google’s own templates aren’t a fit, then perform an online search for “Calendar template google sheets” or “Google sheet templates” online. None jumping out at you? Read on.
2. Open a blank spreadsheet
The first step is to navigate to Google Sheets and open a new document, give it a name, and add the year, month or week you want to start with. Choose a name for your Google Sheets calendar template that's easy to remember and find.
3. Add specific days of the week and dates
One way to add these is to write the dates and weekdays across the top of your sheet (all along the first row). You’ll want to align the first day of the year, month or week with the day of the week that it falls on.
Always check and double-check that you have this correct or your whole calendar could be thrown off. You can also put days and dates along the side of your calendar (using columns). Some people find this easier to read, although it's not the traditional view that many of us are used to.
Which method you use depends on your preferences and the purpose of the calendar. For example, if you’re creating a weekly content calendar for blogging, the latter option might help keep things a little more organized as you go. For my purposes of using the Google Sheets calendar for productivity, keeping the dates across the top works just fine.
4. Add items to your Google Sheets calendar template
At this point you have a basic framework. Now comes the fun part: you can start populating your calendar. Add items to the cells for each date.
Tip: make sure to wrap your text within each cell so that it doesn’t spill over.
To do that, go to the formatting bar and find the “text wrapping” button. Choose the option that has a wrap-around arrow. Or select “Wrapping” under the Format dropdown menu.
5. Continue to build
One reason why many people like creating calendars in Google Sheets is because it’s so simple to continuously add content. The spreadsheet has a continuous format so you can add more weeks, months, or even years to your calendar. Now that I have Week 1 set for June, I’ll duplicate those cells and create Week 2 directly below.
Our favorite part is that you can create new tabs so that it's easier to compare your data against previous time periods. For example, if you keep all of your monthly calendars in separate tabs, you can quickly view what you did last month, or six months ago. For my productivity calendar, for example, I’ll be tracking my most productive days and times of the week to help me better manage my time.
Other ways to customize your calendar in Google Sheets
You may also want to add new columns to keep track of different information. You can even use conditional formatting so that your team can understand project status. Conditional formatting will make changes to a designated cell based on certain criteria. For example, use the color red to indicate when something is overdue.
To set this up, follow these steps:
- Choose the column containing the data you’re working with (you can also apply this to rows or individual cells).
- Under “format”, select “conditional formatting”. A sidebar will pop up, and you can fill in the specific rules that you need. For example, choose to color any cell with the text “no” red. Using the dropdown menu, choose “Text contains” and then type “no” in the box below. From here you can tweak the formatting style.
- Continue to follow those steps to format the other text options in the column (ie: “yes” is green; “in progress” is yellow).
- Once you have completed this formatting, the text boxes will automatically change when you adjust the text inside. Changing “in progress” to “yes” will change the color of the cell from yellow to green.
Pre-built calendar templates in Google Sheets
As I already touched on, you may want to make use of the calendar templates already available in Google Sheets. The platform has a variety of calendar templates that can be customized to your needs. Many times, these templates are a great starting point for creating something that’s perfect for you.
Some of the templates you can find are: yearly calendars, monthly calendars, weekly calendars, daily calendars, project timelines and various forms of Gantt charts (great for tracking progress over time and ensuring tasks are completed on time).
The standard Google Sheets template for a Gantt chart
What about using Google Calendar instead?
Depending on how complex your calendar is becoming, Google Sheets may not be the best option. Even with the automation capabilities, managing your calendar in Google Sheets still relies on quite a bit of manual data entry and formatting.
Google Calendar is a robust offering with lots of features that make it easy to manage at a more granular level. If you’ve found yourself struggling to keep track of details or documents related to meetings with customers and prospects in particular, you may want to explore Google Calendar a little more.
An alternative: Google Calendar and your CRM system
If you don’t think using Google Sheets as your calendar is quite the right fit, why not try integrating your calendar with your CRM system? This gives you much more robust capabilities over tracking meeting and attendee details to support your relationship building efforts.
For example, Copper integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar so that you can pull pertinent details directly into your calendar. With Copper inside Calendar, you can access event details, participant information and other materials without leaving Google Calendar or switching tabs.
A calendar and CRM integration is a really powerful way to get more context around meetings and interactions that matter to you. Using the Copper Chrome extension, you can access valuable Copper data right in your Google Calendar or email. Users love that they don’t have to break their current workflow to go into a different platform to access more information on a person or event. By using Copper inside Google Calendar, users can see event details, participant information and related files without ever leaving Google Calendar or switching to different tabs.
If you haven’t used Copper yet, you can try it for free for 14 days, no credit card needed. Learn more about Copper to see how easy it makes staying connected with your customers and prospects while making the most of the Google platforms you already use.