If you use Google Calendar in Chrome on a laptop or desktop, you might not need to use your device’s trackpad or mouse as much as you think. Yes, it’s true: no need to click several times to move forward or back several months. No need to select from a drop-down menu to change the calendar view. And it doesn’t take more than a click (or tap) to access event details.
When hotkeys are enabled, you can accomplish the 10 tasks below with the press of a single key. As you’d expect, all of these keyboard shortcuts work when accessing Google Calendar in Chrome on any laptop or desktop. They also work if you access Google Calendar in Safari on a macOS system and in Safari on an iPad with an external keyboard as well.
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If you want to check that keyboard shortcuts are enabled, open Google Calendar on the web, select the settings menu (the cog in the top-right corner), then choose Settings from the options displayed. Scroll down to General | Keyboard shortcuts and make sure the box to the left of Enable keyboard shortcuts is checked (Figure A).
Also, be sure to wait for Google Calendar to fully load before pressing any shortcut key. If you open your calendar and immediately press a key, nothing may happen. Wait for your browser to indicate that the page is fully loaded before pressing any shortcut key.
How to change the dates displayed in Google Calendar
The first five shortcut keys allow you to quickly switch to another calendar view (Figure B):
- D for the day view,
- O for the weekly view,
- M for the monthly view,
- Yes for the year view, and
- A for displaying the diary (or calendar).
How to Jump to Any Day in Google Calendar
Press G, then enter a date (i.e. month, day, and year) to jump to any date (Figure C, low). Remember this command as “type G to go to a date”. Especially when you want to access a date that is several months or years away from the currently displayed date, the G shortcut can save you significant browsing time.
Press the T key to return the Google Calendar to the current day (Figure C, High). Think of this as “press T for today”.
How to add a new Google Calendar event
To create a new Google Calendar event, press C. This takes you directly to the new calendar event detail form (Figure D), which you could otherwise access by selecting the +Create button and then choosing the More Options button. Enter your event details, then select Save.
How to find a Google Calendar event
Press the / key to activate the search field (Figure E), then enter terms to search your Google Calendar data. Also, many people find it useful to manually select the downward-pointing triangle (in the right area of the search box) to narrow calendar searches. (Tip: The / key enables search in Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Drive on the web the same way.)
Check out more Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts
Once you’ve used the above commands enough to become a habit, press Shift+/ (think of it as Shift+?) to reveal a long list of keyboard shortcuts available in Google Calendar (Figure F). The calendar includes shortcuts that allow you to navigate to next/previous time periods, access the side panel or open calendar settings. (As noted above, the Shift + / key combination also brings up a long list of keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Drive on the web.)
What Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts do you use?
Typically, I use D and W most often. I stay in the day view most of the time, then press the W key to switch to the week view. More rarely, I most often use M for month view when planning future events.
If you access Google Calendar in a desktop browser, are you using keyboard shortcuts? If so, are there any shortcuts other than those mentioned above that you find useful? Let me know which Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts you use, either with a comment below or on Twitter (@awolber).