Do you have Google Calendar items that repeat each year but not on the same date? You can export from a Google Sheet into Google Calendar.

Are you in charge of preparing a yearly calendar for your organization? Do you notice that many events happen about the same time every year? If so, you can make the job easier by listing the events in a spreadsheet, downloading it as CSV, and importing that file into Google Calendar.

Marisa Donovan, principal at Clarks Creek Elementary in Indiana wrote to me saying:

“I love your tips on productivity, so I’m reaching out to you for an idea, if you have one. As a school principal, at this time of year I am working on next year’s calendar.  It’s convenient to have all of our upcoming dates listed on a spreadsheet, but then we use our Google Calendars for actually keeping things on a ‘real’ calendar and creating invites, etc. It seemed to me that after working for hours on the spreadsheet of events there should be an easy way to automate creating events on Google Calendar from the spreadsheet.”

Marisa faces the same challenge as every school leader. Education is a very cyclic business. We have the same holidays that happen at about the same time each year. Grading periods end about the same time each year and report cards go home about the same time.

It’s that “about the same time” that’s the problem. The Veteran’s Day program is going to be somewhere around November 11th, but it may be November 8th one year and November 10th another, all depending on where weekends fall. Therefore, you can’t just make it a yearly repeating event.

Create The Spreadsheet

First, create a spreadsheet. It can be in Excel. It can be in Google Sheets. Your columns, however, must be in a specific order and named in a specific way:

  • Subject
  • Start Date
  • Start Time
  • End Date
  • End Time
  • All Day Event
  • Description
  • Location
  • Private

Below is an example of a few events you might have in your own calendar. Note the names and order of the column headers:

Exporting Google Sheet to Gogle Calendar

Second, look at your present calendar. Which events will happen next year as well? Enter them on the spreadsheet. This technique isn’t only for schools. Any organization that sponsors annual events can use this idea. Assign the dates for next year, along with any needed descriptions and locations.

Download as CSV and Upload to Google Calendar

Next, download the spreadsheet as a “CSV” file. The information is ready to upload to Google Calendar. Consult the video for the entire process.

Making “Tomorrow” Easier

A year from now, you won’t need to make that spreadsheet. It’s already made. Your events are already listed. If your project is an athletic schedule, for example, you likely play many of the same opponents each year. Update the dates, save as “CSV,” and you’re ready to import.

The answer to many of our challenges begins with asking the right question. When you think to yourself, “There must be a way to…,” there probably is, and the answer is often easier than you might think.

How will you spend your time today? Will it be doing what’s necessary to “just get through the day” yet again? Or will you be doing things today that make tomorrow easier? Your future self is listening for the answer.

Life is too short and time too precious to waste one more day. If you are someone who stumbled upon this site for the first time, let me help you take a major step forward right now. When you join my email list, I’ll give you two free gifts. The first will get your desk clean. The second will put everything you have to do in one place. Plus, each week you’ll hear from me with nuts & bolts tools and strategies to make life easier and more productive. You’re one click away from making it happen