It’s time for some honesty. I am terrible at remembering birthdays. Like truly awful. If it weren’t for my Google Calendar, I don’t think I’d ever have even so much as a text ready, nevermind a card or a gift!

When you add an event to your calendar, you can also have a remider set. The default reminder time can be set in your general calendar settings (same place we went to share the calendar to others has a space where you can control the default reminder time). I have my default set to ten minutes. That means that ten minutes before my next meeting a window will appear in the top corner of my screen letting me know that I have ten minutes until start time. Events that I am invited to (and that I clicked “yes” to) will automatically remind me about them ten minutes before they start – (unless I edit the event – which only edits it for me; not for everyone).

However, my reminders for birthdays, I change. Ten minutes isn’t enough lead time!! To control when you will be reminded about the event, just open an event on your calendar, and look closely at the screen. You will see an icon that is a bell, and beside that it will tell you if you will be notified, and if it is “yes, you will be notified”, it will state how much in advance. I have a lunch meeting booked today with Karyn, and when I open the event on my calendar, this is what I see:

I can change the reminder if I want to. To do so, I will need to click on the pencil (leftmost icon) located in the green space at the top of the event’s screen. When I click that pencil, I am presented with a much more detailed screen, and as part of that screen, I can change the time of the reminder for the meeting. I have a lot of control of this.

Mine is set for “Notification” – that’s the thing that pops up on my computer screen, or on my smartphone (if I have notifications enabled for Google Calendar on my phone!).

  • I can change “notification” to “email” if I prefer to be notified that way.
  • I can also change the number. I suppose I could change it to pretty much anything I want.
  • Finally, I can choose the time increment.

So, the bottom line is, you can customize your reminders to be whatever is most effective for you and your style!