Calendar > Chapter 8: Calendar Labs

Table of Contents

Overview

Add labs to your calendar

Turn on Google Labs

Useful labs for school

Labs available in Calendar

Show/hide calendar gadgets panel

Overview

Labs in Google Calendar allows you to try out experimental new features in Google Calendar, very similar to Labs in Apps mail. Labs is a place to try the newest - but not necessarily the most stable - features of Google Calendar.

Just as in Labs in your school Apps mail account, in Calendar Labs you'll see a list of options to try - each of those options is called an 'experiment.' You can pick and choose which experiments to try, and you don't have to turn them all on (although you are certainly welcome to!). Throughout the chapters on Apps mail we will introduce several useful Labs that can help with managing your inbox and messages.

If you're going to brave the Labs world, it's important to keep the following things in mind about these features:

They may break at any time.

Similarly, they may disappear temporarily or permanently.

They may work so well that they graduate and become regular features.

So, with that in mind, If you encounter any problems while you have a Labs feature enabled, here are some things you can do:

If you'd like to help pinpoint the problem, you can disable each 'experiment' until the problem goes away; then, report what happened.

Temporarily disable Labs and get your account back to normal.

Visit the Labs Feedback Forum to provide feedback on all Labs features and receive assistance from other Labs users. You're also welcome to share your ideas and suggestions for future Labs features in the forum.

Please note: The Calendar Labs feature is enabled when you sign up for a Google Apps account. If you do not see Labs available in Google Calendar, you will first need your domain admins to enable Calendar Labs.

 

To disable Calendar Labs:

Sign in to the Google Apps administrator control panel. The URL is https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/primary-domain-name.com, where primary-domain-name is the domain name used to sign up for Google Apps.

Select Settings > Calendar.

In the General tab, scroll to the Calendar Labs section.

Uncheck the box labeled Enable Labs for my users.

Click Save changes.

To re-enable this feature for your users, navigate to the Labs section, check Enable Calendar Labsand Save changes. There may be a delay before changes take effect.

Note: Enabling or disabling Calendar Labs affects all users.

Labs exists as a new tab in Calendar Settings where, just like in Gmail, we'll list new highly experimental features for you to try.

 

Add labs to your calendar

Turn on Google Labs

To enable Labs, sign into Google Calendar, click on gear icon located in the top right corner, then click on Labs to access the Labs settings page.

 

 

You can also access the Labs settings page by clicking Settings and selecting the Labs tab.

 

Select the Labs tab and identify the labs you'd like to enable. Click the Enable radio button to turn on a lab then click Save at the bottom of the page to save your settings.

 

Useful labs for school

Some of the Labs that can be useful in the classroom are the 'Event attachment' Lab, 'Event flair' Lab and the 'Year View' Lab.

With 'Event Attachments' you can add links to relevant documents right in the calendar entry. There will be a new box that appears in your 'event details' page where you can click to view your Doc list and select the document you want to add.

If you have a homework calendar, you could link directly to the assignment. Or if you had a meeting planned for a brainstorming session, you could link to the brainstorming document. You could also attach a presentation that goes with a class lecture, or the lecture notes to a specific day in a course calendar.

To add the 'Event Attachments' lab, follow these steps:

Click on the Gear  

located in the top right corner.

Click on Labs to access the Labs settings page.

Look for the 'Event attachments' lab.

Click Enable. Click Save.

You will now see a new section labeled 'Attachment' beneath the description on the event details page.

 

To add the 'Event Flair' lab, follow these steps:

Click on the Gear  

located in the top right corner.

Click on Labs to access the Labs settings page.

Look for the 'Event Flair' lab.

Click Enable. Click Save.

Now you will notice a "gadget" on the far right of your calendar that says Event Flair. With this calendar gadget, you can select an event, then click on the Event Flair you would like to have associated with your event and Calendar will display that flair item next to the event in your calendar grid.

 

 

Use 'Event Flair' paired with 'Event Attachments' to let students know when there is attachment with an event.

With the 'Year View' Lab, you can quickly jump to see 12 mini calendars of all the months - a quick way to view the entire year.

To add the 'Year View' lab, follow these steps:

Click on the Gear located in the top right corner. Click on Labs to access the Labs settings page.

 

Look for the 'Year View' lab.

Click Enable. Click Save.

Now you will notice a "gadget" on the far right of your calendar that says Year View. In this calendar gadget, you can type the name of a year, click Go, and Calendar will display 12 mini months for that entire year.

 

Labs available in Calendar

Here are a couple of labs that are available. For a comprehensive list, go to the Labs tab under Settings.

Background image: Personalize your calendar grid by adding an image. You can choose to center, tile, or size the image to fit.

Event Attachments: Meeting to discuss the latest draft of that group project? Attach a Google Document and always be prepared for your events. Keep in mind that only those with permission to view the document will be able to access the contents of the document. Learn more about Google Docs

Event Flair:  Use event flair to make your events stand out on a calendar or use it to let students know when there is something special about that event, like an added attachment.

Dim future repeating events: Ever lose track of an individual event in the sea of repeating events on your calendar? With this feature, repeating events will visually fade when looking to the future -- this will make your one-off events really stand out.

Add any gadget by URL: You can use this gadget to add any Google gadget to your calendar. Examples include a twitter gadget, or other gadgets that you might use on an iGoogle page.

World clock: View other gadgets in Google Calendar by adding its URL. Now some of your favorite Gmail or iGoogle gadgets never have to leave your sight.

Time zone: Always know the current time in multiple time zones. Plus, click on an event and the time zone gadget will display the corresponding event time across the different timezones. Scheduling events across time zones just got easier.

Jump to date: Quickly navigate to specific dates in the past or future. Your calendar view (e.g. Day, Week, Month) will stay the same, but the appropriate date will be displayed.

Next meeting: A handy countdown to the next event on your calendar. Note that only events scheduled on calendars you've selected for viewing will be displayed in the gadget.

Free or busy: If your friend is sharing a calendar with you, find out what's on their schedule by entering their email address. You must have access to view your friend's calendar in order to use this feature.

Year view: Perfect for planning in advance, this feature allows you to see the entire year in Google Calendar. Simply enter the year you'd like to see and click Go -- a year view will display. You can click on an individual date in the Year View to jump to scheduled events for that day

Show/hide calendar gadgets panel

Some Labs features are gadgets that display in a panel on the right side of the calendar grid. To hide or display each calendar gadget, simply use the +/- in the top of the gadget. All the gadgets are located to the right side of the calendar grid. To collapse or open the entire right side gadget column, click on the line to the right of the calendar grid.