How to Make Guest Optional for Google Calendar Events

Not everyone you invite to a meeting may be a required guest. There might be someone that you want to give the choice to attend. Google Calendar provides the ability to make attendees optional, but it’s not obvious.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
December 9, 2021

Not everyone you invite to a meeting may be a required guest. There might be someone that you want to give the choice to attend. Google Calendar provides the ability to make attendees optional, but it’s not obvious.

It could be your supervisor, a coworker who may not be available, or someone else with an interest in the meeting. By marking them optional, they can decide for themselves if they should or want to attend. And you can make guests optional at the time you create the Google Calendar event or afterward.

This is for devices using Google Calendar

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When Creating the Event

First, launch Google Calendar and sign in if necessary. When you click to create a new event in Google Calendar, you see a small pop-up window to add all the details including your attendees. But you will not spot the optional feature for your guests immediately.

Next, hover your cursor over the attendee’s name or email address after you add it. To the right, you will see a gray contact (person) icon. Click that icon to mark your guest as optional. Refer to the below image:

Optional 1
Marking a guest as Optional

Now, the icon will appear white indicating the Optional status. You can click it again to make the guest required. See the below image:

Optional 2
Guest is Optional

After Creating the Event

If you have already created the event, you can still make an attendee optional. Select the event on your Google Calendar to open the small detail window and then click the pencil icon to edit it. See the following image:

Optional 3
Selecting to Edit the event

Next, on the event detail screen, hover your cursor over the attendee you want to make optional in the Guests section. To the right, click the gray contact icon. Refer to the below image:

Optional 4
Marking a guest as Optional

Now, click Save at the top to apply your change. See the below image:

Optional 5
Save your changes

Next, the icon turns white and shows you the person is optional. If you want to make the attendee required again, just click that icon and hit Save. See the following image:

Optional 6
Guest is Optional

What Guest See

When you make an attendee optional for your event, the word Optional appears below their name. Anyone in the list of guests without the word Optional is required. Refer to the below image:

Optional 7
Viewing guests who are Optional

If you are setting up a meeting, conference call, or video call in Google Calendar and have certain guests that may want to attend but are not required to, you can easily use the Optional feature.

Quote For the Day

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That’s it. Now you know a seldom-used feature for making guests Optional in a Google Calendar event. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

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Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to Use Different Time Zones in Google Calendar on Mobile Devices

You can change your time zone and create events with certain time zones. This helps if you will be traveling when the event happens, or if you are creating events for people in different time zones.

You can change your time zone and create events with certain time zones. This helps if you will be traveling when the event happens, or if you are creating events for people in different time zones.

Time might be constant, but your time zone does not have to be. You can set a one-off time zone to an event, or set primary and secondary (desktop version only) time zones for an entire calendar or account.

This is for Android, iPhone, and iPad running Google Calendar

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How Your Calendar Uses Time Zones

According to Google:

  • For Events; When you create an event, you will see it in your local time zone. It will also show up in the local time zones for anyone you invite, even if they are in a different time zone.
  • For Reminders: Reminders always show up at the same hour regardless of time zone. For example, a daily 9 AM MT reminder becomes a 9 AM ET reminder if you travel from Denver to New York.
  • For Tasks: Tasks adapt to the new time zone if the Calendar’s time zone is changed after a task is created. For example, a 9 AM MT task changes to an 11 AM ET task if you travel from Denver to New York.

Confused, I am. Why not make all these options the same? I do not know why Google treats each option differently. Lets explore how to set a Google Calendar time zone.

Change Your Time Zone for One Event

You can change the time zone for a new or existing event in the Google Calendar app on Android, iPhone, and iPad.

To create a new event, click the Add button in the bottom-right corner and select the type of event you wish to create. Refer to below image:

Calendar 1
Add an Event

To edit an existing event, tap on that event in your calendar view and then tap the Edit Event button. See below image:

Calendar 2
Edit an Event

Next, in the event details menu, tap the current time zone. (Note!. You may have to tap More options to see the time zone). See following image:

Calendar 3
The current time zone for the Event

In the next menu, search for a country or specific time zone. Next, tap one of the results to select it as the new time zone. (Note! I kept the Event in CST). Refer to below image:

Calendar 4
Selecting a time zone for the Event

The time zone for the event will be added immediately after selecting it from the Search menu.

Confirm the rest of the event details are correct. Now, tap the Save button in the top-right corner to save the Event with the new time zone details. See below image:

Calendar 5
Save your changes

Change Your Time Zone Settings for All Events

When you travel to a different time zone, you can see your calendar in the local time. This can be confusing. The time zone is updated depending on if you are creating an event, reminder, or task. To keep your event times in your local time, I recommend not to create events, reminders, or tasks while in a different time zone, espicially if you are only going to be away from home a short while; wait till you get back to your local time zone to create them.

To change this setting:

Launch the Google Calendar app.

Next, tap the Menu hamburger icon in top left of your screen. See following image:

Calendar 6
Acccess the Menu

Now, swipe down and tap the Settings option. Refer to below image:

Calendar 7
Access Settings

Next, tap the General option. See below image:

Calendar 8
Access the General option

Now, tap Use device time zone on or off. If On, your device will update automatically as you travel. See following image:

Calendar 9
Selecting Use device time zone toggle

If Off, you can select a new time zone from the drop down menu. (Note! I kept the Events in CST). Refer to below image:

Calendarr 10
=Select a time zone for all Events

The new time zone for Google Calendar on your device will be applied automatically. Any entries in your Google Calendar will now be displayed in this new time zone on your mobile device. As I mentioned previously, this can be confusing, at least to me it is, so make sure what time zone you want to create events, teminders, or tasks. Now, tap back and exit Settings.

You are finished. Now you know how to see time zones in Google Calendar for events, remindars, or tasks. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter, as mentioned below.

Just click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath
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