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Office Tips

This guide is for administrators or coordinators who manage others' calendars and email.  This is a short list of handy Tips & Tricks that may help streamline your office tasks.

For more information on individual Apps components, see the Learn Apps section.

Setting Up Meetings

How can I see when someone is available?

You have two options to see when someone or a room is available.

Option 1. Check availability in an event.
In the event's details, click the Check guest and resource availability link.

Then add attendees and view their availability, or click the Find next available time link.

Option 2. Check availability through calendars.
You can overlay other calendars on your calendar. Each calendar appears in a different color so you can tell exactly who is busy and when. To overlay calendars:

In the Other calendars list on the left of your calendar, type the addresses of the employees whose calendars you would like to add. Once you add a calendar, you can click in the list to toggle it on or off.

Note: A long list of calendars in the Other calendars list can make your calendar slow to load. See Why does my calendar take so long to load?

How can I invite groups to meetings?

If your administrator has created groups (mailing lists) for your organization, you can invite a group to a meeting. Simply enter the single address for the group as a guest, instead of entering the individual addresses of all the members of the group.

Important: At this time, if you invite a group to a meeting, you can't see the individual members of the group in your invitation. Therefore, you can't:

  • Exclude any members before sending the invitation
  • Check the availability of each member of the group 

Alternatively, you can invite the same group of people to different meetings by creating a personal contact group. A contact group is a easy way to add several individual addresses at once:

  1. Open the Contact Picker by doing one of the following:
    • If you are creating an event invitation, under Add Guests, click Choose from contacts.
    • If you are composing an email message, click the To: link.

  2. In the Search my contacts field, start typing the name of a contact you want to add to your group. Then click the name to add it to the list below:

  3. Continue adding contacts to the group.
  4. When you are finished, click Save as Group.
  5. Enter the name of the group, and click OK. For example:

  6. To add the group to your email message or event invitation, click Done.

Then, you can quickly invite the same group to any future events you schedule in the future:

Click All to add everyone in the group to your event.

    1. In your invitation, click the Choose from contacts link.
    2. Select the group from drop-down list.

How can I set up large meetings (over 500 people) ?

The maximum number of attendees for a single meeting is 500. If you need to schedule larger meetings, please contact IT, who can provide a tool to help set up large meetings.

Can I change the room on a duplicate meeting?

Yes, you can change the room on a duplicate meeting using this workaround:
    1. Open the meeting that you want to duplicate, and then, in the the More Actions drop-down list, select Duplicate Event.

    2. In the Where field, delete one or more rooms.
    3. Save the meeting, but don't send invitations.
    4. Open the meeting again. The Check guest and resource availability link now appears. Click the link to add new rooms to the meeting.
    5. Save the meeting, and send invitations to the guests.

How can I find a conference room for recurring meetings?

If you schedule a recurring meeting and the room you want to book is unavailable for more than 6 of the days that you requested, Google Calendar declines the meeting. If the room is available for all but 6 of the meetings in the series, Google Calendar sends you notifications for each of the declined days. You can then select a different room for those meetings by editing their details.

Keep in mind, however, that once you change an individual meeting, it is no longer part of the series. For example, if you change the time of a recurring meeting, the time for the individual meetings for which you selected a different room won't automatically change along with the series.

To find a conference room for a recurring meeting:
  1. On the calendar, click in the time slot for the meeting series, and then click edit event details in the pop-up.

  2. Enter a meeting subject in the What field.
  3. In the Repeats drop-down list, select the repeat schedule.

    Tip: To schedule a monthly recurring meeting, you may want to select Weekly from the drop-down list, and then select the number of weeks to repeat in the Repeat every: x week field. If you select Monthly from the drop-down list, and then select Repeat By: day of the week, the meeting sometimes occurs after 4 weeks and other times after 5 weeks, depending on the number of weeks in the month.

  4. Click the Check guest and resource availability link.

    Tip: In the Show drop-down list, select All Times to display a 24-hour schedule.

  5. To add a guest, type his or her name in the Add a person field, and click Add.

    Tip: If you're adding multiple guests to the meeting, it's probably best to add them after you add the room.

  6. Under Where, type a location in the Filter room search field. The rooms for that location appear in the room list box.

    Rooms that are available for the current day have a green icon; rooms that are not available on the current day have a red icon.

    Note: When you are scheduling a recurring meeting, you can ignore the availability icons, because they don't indicate the room's availability for the duration of the meeting series.

  7. Select a room, and then click Add Room. Click OK.

  8. To add guests, type or paste their email addresses in the Guests panel. Separate addresses with a comma or a carriage return.

  9. Click Save.

If Google Calendar schedules your meeting but declines specific days, open each of those meetings and select a different room. When you save the event, make sure you select Only this instance.
    • Schedule your meeting with an Until date 6 or 7 meetings into the future. If you do not receive any declines, try extending the meeting another month, and so on.

    • If you select the Never option for the end date, Google Calendar may decline your meeting. In this case, try shortening the range of the meeting. For example,  try selecting 1 year, 6 months, and so on.

When I set up a meeting, how do I avoid being listed as an attendee?

There are two options for creating meetings to which you do not want to be invited. If you use either of these options, the meetings won't display in your own calendar, but you can still find them.

Option 1. Create the meetings on another calendar. This calendar may be another person's calendar -- such as an executive's calendar to which you have "modify" permission -- or a shared calendar, such as one you created just for this purpose. For example, a recruiter might create a shared secondary calendar named "New Hire Interviews," and use it to set up meetings on behalf of others, without being listed as an attendee.

Because all the calendars to which you have "modify" permission appear in your My calendars list, you can view all of them together by overlaying them. This technique can help you find a meeting when you're not sure on which calendar it was created.

You can see not only the meetings you created for yourself but also the meetings you created on behalf of others. These meetings are labeled "Created by <you> for <someone else>".

Option 2. Create a meeting and decline the invitation when you receive it. To prevent these declined meetings from cluttering your calendar display, go to Settings > General > Show events you have declined, and select No. If you later want to find a meeting you declined, temporarily change this setting to Yes to display declined meetings. 

Can I prevent invitees from changing meeting details?

If invitees change details about a meeting, their changes show up only on their calendars. Only the person who scheduled the meeting can make changes that appear on all invitees' calendars.

Additionally, if the meeting creator modifies a meeting, the creator's updates override any changes that invitees made.

For example, if you create a meeting and invite John, and then John changes the room, the room change shows up only on John's calendar. If, however, you later change the time of the meeting, the meeting is moved to a different time on John's calendar and the room change that John made no longer appears on his calendar. 


How can I send meeting notifications only to specific people?

To send notifications only to specific individuals, do the following:

  1. Schedule the meeting.
  2. Add the people to whom you don't want to send notifications.
  3. Save the meeting, and then select Save.
  4. Open the meeting and add the people to whom you want to send notifications.

    Don't make any other modifications to the meeting before you save it. If you change the time, room, description, etc., Google Calendar will send the updated notification to all guests on the meeting list. The only time Google Calender sends an update to only new guests is if your only change to a meeting is to add guests.

  5. Save the meeting, and then select Save and send emails.

    Only the newly added invitees received the email notification.

Note: Individual users can set a preference to not receive notifications.

Can I add meeting notes for just one of the invitees?

Not if you are the meeting organizer. If you are the meeting organizer and you add a note in the event Description field, it appears in the event on every invitee's calendar. I someone else is the meeting organizer, and you add a note in the calendar of the individual for whom you are a designate, only that individual can see the note. However, if the meeting organizer updates the Description field in which you put the note, your note is overwritten.

How do I turn off automatically adding invitations to my calendar?

  1. Click Settings on Google Calendar.
  2. Under Automatically add invitations to my calendar, select No, only show invitations to which I have responded.

Important:  If your manager's calendar is set up to show only invitations to which he or she has responded, your manager might miss a scheduled event. For example, if you schedule a meeting for your manager, but don't send an email invitation, your manager will never learn of the meeting unless you specifically tell him or her about it. 

Can I create a resource or calendar that never accepts invitations?

There is no way to set up a calendar that will decline all invitations by default. 

Viewing Calendars

How can I view a different time zone?

You can change your calendar's time zone, as follows:
  1. Click Settings on Google Calendar.
  2. On the General tab, you'll see your current your time zone. To add an additional time zone, first, choose the country of the additional time zone, and then click the Show an additional time zone link.
  3. Choose a time zone from the list and type a name in the Label field.

  4. Click Save.

How do I hide a meeting on my calendar?

There is no way to hide individual meetings. However, you can hide meetings that you've declined. See below.

Why does my calendar take so long to load?

Having multiple calendars in your "Other calendars" list makes overlaying those calendars very convenient. But, having too many calendars in this list can increase the load time for your calendar.

To hide a calendar from your "Other calendars" list, click the down arrow to the right of the calendar owner's name, and then select Hide this calendar from the list. Or click the calendar name in the list to deselect it, which prevents the calendar from overlaying in your calendar but still keeps it in the list. To redisplay the calendar, click the calendar name again.

How can I hide meetings that I declined?

If you don't want to delete the meeting, you can change your settings to hide all meetings that you have declined.
    1. Click Settings on Google Calendar.
    2. On the General tab, under Show events you have declined, select No.
    3. Click Save.