Google rolled out an interesting perk to its Calendar app, and the feature is dubbed Goals. The ultimate purpose of Goals is to help you find that window in your busy life that will let you engage in the activities you have been postponing due to.. busy schedule. In other words, Google Calendar now wants to be that part of the smart world that learns from your activities, interacts with you based on your input, analyzes your schedule and helps you meet your personal goals.
We have tried the feature, and here is how it works. Say, you want to learn a new software (I do, but I keep postponing), or read a book (I am looking at you, Political Ponerology), or teach your kid to ride a bike, or finally commit to jogging at least twice a week. There are always things that seem to matter more than these seemingly easily achievable goals, but somehow, you keep failing to make time for them. Enter Goals.
Google Calendar will analyze your schedule and suggest the time nooks when you can engage in the said activities without hurting your priority tasks. If, for example, you can not or will not dedicate that allocated time Goals found for you to the said activity, you can defer it, and the app will find another available spot in your schedule. Let us see how to use the feature because you will want to give it a try!
How to add Goals in Google Calendar
- First of all, you will need a Google Calendar app for iOS or Android. Make sure it’s updated to the latest version because the feature is quite new.
- Launch the app, make sure you have your schedule more or less filled in – the more the app knows about your chores, the more chances it has to suggest a relevant time when committing to the goal would be realistic.
- Se that red + icon in the bottom right corner? Tap it and see the options – choose Goal.
- The app will now show a drop-down list of goals categorized in quite a smart way – Exercise, Build A Skill, Family and friends, Me time, Organize my life. Each category has sub-headings. For example, Organize My life includes plan the day, clean, do chores or custom, which expands to a larger list of suggestions, or can be anything you need – just enter the title manually.
- Once you choose the activity, you need to choose how often you would like to partake in it – once a week, twice a week, 3 or 5 times a week, or every day.
- Next in line is the option to set for how long you wish to do it – 15 minutes, 30 mins, 1 hour or 2 hours.
- It’s not over, yet! The app wants to know the best time you would like to do it – in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You can also choose “any time.”
- Then the app shows the summary of your goal – if everything looks good, tap the check button.
In my experience, the goals did not appear in my calendar right on. I force closed the app, then opened and hit refresh and that’s when the new goals would populate my calendar. Your experience may differ. The important thing is to keep in mind the feature is new, and it’s learning, so be patient.
Edit, delete, or better yet, defer
The Goals are color-coded in blue, so you can tell them from the rest of the tasks. You can edit them, delete them, or simply defer them. This happens when the app reminds you of a scheduled time for your Goal, but you can not commit to it, so you just hit defer, and the app will find the next slot available for your goal.
It’s non-intrusive, and won’t look with a sad reproach in the eyes if you fail to commit. Instead, it will keep looking for available time slots to allocate to your personal life goals and keep reminding you when the time comes you actually wanted to clean that wardrobe.
Also, the app will reschedule your Goal if you appoint something else to that time it previously booked for the goal. Easy.
Goals are smart and flexible, and just might be that polite voice in the background reminding you about the objectives of your personal life. It works around your busy schedule, and in a way, it’s more of a personal assistant than a reminder. It learns from your preferences, and asks enough questions prior to selecting a time for your goal, which helps it choose realistic time boundaries for your goals.
Another neat peculiarity of Goals is they don’t go off at the same time each week, as reminders do. The flexibility of Goals lets you schedule other, more important tasks in the place of Goals, and Calendar will just move your goal to the other available time slot. The app will also adhere to your requirements about the frequency and time of the day you specified as the best time for the specific activity. Likewise, if you just don’t feel like completing that goal right now, you can hit defer when you get the reminder, and the goal will be rescheduled.
Goals feature has a huge potential, being the smart and flexible, learning algorithm. Keep in mind it’s a brand new feature, so the sync may take a while, but the most important detail that affects how relevant the suggestions Goals make is how much information you enter into your Calendar app, and how detailed it is.
All things considered, it’s a great 21st century feature. Try it.