- 2.1. Getting started with Google Calendar
- 2.2. Creating an event
- 2.3. Creating an event for a Zoom meeting
- 2.4. Direct links to the calendars
So far, we use Google Calendar to coordinate event appointments, milestone dates and task deadlines in our company. It is not obligatory to use this as your calendar system if you keep track of project milestones and your Dynalist task deadlines in another way. The only “obligatory” part is to receive event notifications for events in the “Edgeryders Events” calendar, and to respond accordingly; that’s covered once people know your Google Account e-mail address.
All our calendars are non-public, but those with access all have the highest level of access. That’s why these calendars are listed under your “My calendars” section and not under “Other calendars”.
Currently, the following people have access:
- anyone invited to an individual event (gets access to that event only)
2. General instructions
2.1. Getting started with Google Calendar
Log in. Log in to Google Calendar with your Google Account.
Make timezone settings. Go to “ → Settings → General → Time zone” and make sure your primary timezone is correct. Enable “Ask to update my primary time zone to current location” if you’re travelling frequently, and the world clock etc. if you like.
Get calendar access. If the left sidebar does not list the calendars “Edgeryders Events”, “Edgeryders Milestones” and “Edgeryders Tasks”, ask anyone who has access to share them with you. Preferably ask people via Riot chat.
Note, when sharing access to the calendar, you can only do so with people who appear as suggestions in the dropdown to enter people to share with. If a person does not yet appear there, add them to your Google Contacts, then reload the calendar sharing settings page. It will work now.
Another note, in 2018-10 we had some issues with sharing calendar access – sometimes the target account would still not have the calendars listed in their sidebar, and not have access via direct links either. To work around that Google bug, it helped to remove the access rights and immediately add them again. This helped eventually, but had to be repeated up to four times in some cases.
2.2. Creating an event
When you have access to an Edgeryders calendar, you do so with full permissions. So you can add events to it and also change them:
Click into the calendar view or click the bottom-right “+” button.
Click “More details” to see the extended event editing form.
Select the right calendar for your event: either “Edgeryders Events” or “Edgeryders Milestones”. (Items in “Edgeryders Tasks” should only be added via Dynalist.)
Invite those as guests who you want to attend your event resp. for whom the milestone is relevant. This allows them to see it in their personal Google Calendar, and to receive notifications.
Adjust the notification settings as suitable for the event.
For more details about creating events, see here.
2.3. Creating an event for a Zoom meeting
These events should go into the “Edgeryders Events” calendar. See our Zoom Video Conferencing Manual for how to create them.
2.4. Direct links to the calendars
It is best to view these calendars inside the Google Calendar interface, because the embeddable versions listed below look different and lack several tools such as showing events from multiple calendars in one.
However, for reference, here are the IDs and public URLs of the Edgeryders calendars. (You still need somebody to share access with your Google Account before you can see them, see above.)
Edgeryders Events, calendar ID
Edgeryders Milestones, calendar ID
Edgeryders Tasks, calendar ID
3. Using the different calendars
Find some “best practice” usage hints below.
3.1. Edgeryders Events
This contains all the appointments relevant in the Edgeryders OÜ company: everything that happens at a fixed date and time and location (or URL). For example community calls, director calls, LOTE conferences etc…
Use it to create Edgeryders events. Create events related to the Edgeryders OÜ company, such as conference calls, conferences, LOTEs etc. in this calendar, not in your personal calendar. Because in the latter case, only those invited to the specific event have a way to see that it exists, while in Edgeryders we prefer to keep everything as open as possible.
Add events as whole-day / multiple-day if their time is not yet fixed. The “events” calendar is meant to help with personal time planning of attendance, so it makes sense to register event even while details are vague, to block the time. So, enter it without time as a “full day event” and note in the title that the time will be announced later.
Normally no need to display. There is no need to always see all the Edgeryders Events, so by default uncheck the calendar in your left sidebar to not display these event until you want to see them all.
(Explanation: You will receive the relevant invitations by e-mail anyway when somebody creates an event in this calendar. When you react to an invitation, the event automatically is displayed in your personal default Google Calendar. Displaying the whole Edgeryders Events calendar would display a second instance of that same event.)
3.2. Edgeryders Milestones
This contains the major milestones of the past and current Edgeryders projects. “Milestone” is used informally here to mean “important deadlines”, not “contract checkpoints”. This will help us be clearer on what’s going on and when.
Use this calendar for your project. While not obligatory, we encourage all project managers to add key events and milestones for their projects. @anique.yael has started this system and already listed all major deadlines and milestones for the Research Network’s Horizon2020 projects.
If it’s something to attend, it’s an event. And events should go into the “Edgeryders Events” calendar, to avoid redundancy.
Invite people for whom the milestone is relevant. This will display the milestone event also in their personal calendar, without creating a redundant copy that could get out of sync.
Take over relevant milestones into your personal calendar. Not all milestones are relevant to everyone. It seems best to use a “hack” to only see the milestones relevant to you: for a relevant milestone, invite yourself as an invited guest to that event. This will show the milestone in your personal, default Google Calendar, so you don’t need to display the whole “Edgeryders Milestones” calendar usually. Ideally, your project manager will invite you already when creating the milestone events.
Display on demand. Project manager will show this calendar (by checking it in the sidebar) during project planning work, but everyone else does not need to display it after taking over personally relevant milestones into the personal calendar.
3.3. Edgeryders Tasks
Do not yet rely on the Edgeryders Tasks dynalist being synced to this calendar. We found a bug in Dynalist that means this will succeed only for events added, deleted or changed by the Dynalist user having the Dynalist Pro subscription. We’re working with Dynalist staff to get this resolved asap. (@matthias, 2018-10-08)
The Edgeryders Tasks calendar contains all list items from the Edgeryders Tasks Dynalist document that have a date using the
!(yyyy-mm-dd) expression in Dynalist. By convention, these dates represent deadlines up to which a task should be done.
Do not add events to this calendar manually. That would create a mess since people can’t see them in Dynalist where we keep all our tasks. This calendar is only for viewing; to add something, add it in Dynalist and wait for it to be synced.
How synchronization works. Dynalist Pro has a feature that you can enable per document and that synchronizes list items with dates to a single, selected Google Calendar. Synchronization happens every minute but might sometimes take 2-4 minutes – if the item does not appear in the Google calendar after 10 minutes though, something is wrong. Synchronization happens only from Dynalist to Google Calendar: items you add, change or delete in Dynalist will be added, changed or deleted in Google Calendar, but not vice versa. So when you delete an event in Google Calendar, the corresponding item in Dynalist will stay in place. (The event in Google Calendar will however not be re-created from Dynalist, except when you edit the corresponding Dynalist item.)
How to show your upcoming deadlines. There are two comfortable ways to show tasks with deadlines relevant for you:
Select “Schedule” in the top-right dropdown (or press A), while only displaying events from this calendar. This will display everyone’s deadlines, and you can then highlight yours by searching in the page (Ctrl + F) for your Dynalist task assignment tag
Search for your Dynalist task assignment tag
#username. This is not that useful as Google Calendar ignores special characters in search terms and does not have search operators, it searches for
usernameinstead, in both the event title and description. So it’s only a pre-filter and you still have to highlight your tasks by searching in the page (Ctrl + F) for your Dynalist task assignment tag
Send yourself reminders. For a flexible way to get e-mail notifications and audible in-browser notifications about your upcoming deadlines, invite yourself to the calendar event of a task assigned to you and configure the notifications in the event’s settings.
Display on demand. Display this when you want to get an overview of your (or others’) upcoming task deadlines. If you invite yourself to the events for your tasks, these events will also be displayed in your personal, default Google Calendar. So if you do this whenever Dynalist Companion notifies you of a new task with a deadline (see the Dynalist Manual chap. 4), there is no need to display the Edgeryders Tasks calendar.
Why do tasks have a full-color background? If you are wondering why events in this calendar are shown with a colored background in the calendar instead of the usual small colored bullet: because tasks are full-day events without an assigned time.
4. Design rationale
The principle idea in our use of Google Calendar was to (1) create different calendars for collections you want to display independently and (2) to use the invitation mechanism for adding calendar events to your personal calendar.
The latter will result in “duplicate” events – one in the personal calendar, one in the original one. This is slightly annoying, but there is at least no redundancy: when one of the two events changes its date or description, the other changes as well. The invitation mechanism is the only way to take over an individual event into your own calendar without creating a redundant copy, so we use it. The upside is that you don’t have to display the three Edgeryders calendars once you have taken over the relevant events into your own calendar. For the Edgeryders Events calendar, this mechanism yields a nice organization-wide calendar (where we can look up events even if we have not been invited to them).
For the Edgeryders Tasks calendar, creating the invitations for the task assignees can later by automated by our Dynalist Companion software. But that is only for later