Get Started with Notion Calendar

After acquiring Cron in Mid-2022, Notion kicked off the year with a major update.

Notion Calendar – the next iteration of the standalone calendar app – makes a few key changes that got the Notion Ambassador community incredibly excited about what’s to come. On its surface, it may not look too different from any other calendar app, but for Notion users, some huge features elevate the functionality of both your Notion workspace and calendar.

Doesn’t Notion Already Have a Calendar View for Databases?

It may be slightly confusing for Notion to release a standalone app, versus making improvements to the in-Notion calendar view of databases. But after using Notion Calendar for a few weeks, it’s clear certain calendar-only features work best in a separate app, versus trying to fit everything into the Notion workspace.

The requirement of a Google account makes it likely a large majority of current Notion users are using Google accounts to manage their calendars, so Notion Calendar allows users to bring their calendars with them (hopefully Outlook integration is coming soon), while surfacing information from Notion databases.

Why Make a Separate App?

From a recent tweet from Notion’s CTO – Akshay Kothari – it’s clear Notion is building an ecosystem of tools, with the Notion workspace at the center.

This will put Notion in more direct competition with Microsoft Office and Google Workspace tools; I’m curious to see what this means for Notion (the app), as its core feature is giving users the ability to build their own tools. Some of Notion’s big updates from 2023, like Projects and Wiki, go in the opposite direction of ‘tool for tool-building,’ instead opting for ready-made solutions that new teams and companies can easily implement.

As a Notion Consultant, I heavily favor the open, tool-building approach, but for many teams new to Notion, onboarding team members, and customizing their workspaces can be overwhelming, whereas the plug-and-play Notion Projects template is easy to manage.

How Do You Get Access to Notion Calendar?

Notion Calendar is now available for everyone! There are a few ways to set it up. You may have noticed an update at the bottom of your sidebar that looks like this:

Clicking on Calendar will send you directly to the setup screen. You can also head to calendar.notion.so to get started.cal

From the home screen, type in your Gmail account and password

Next, you’ll be prompted to grant access to your calendar.

Once you’ve connected your Google account, you’ll see your calendar, along with next steps to get you fully onboarded.

Next, you will see some welcome tasks to get started. Although the Desktop app isn’t required, there are some useful keyboard shortcuts that make it more powerful, the main one being showing calendar events in your Menu Bar (we’ll take a look at that later).

A few additional steps to get setup:

  • Enabling notifications

  • Adding additional calendar accounts

  • Connecting your Notion workspace

  • Adding and showing Notion databases


Clicking on your avatar will open up Settings, where you can make all of these changes.

To add additional calendars, go to Settings/Calendars, then click Connect to add another Google account.

The Most Important Part: Connecting a Notion Workspace

This is what really sets Notion Calendar apart, especially for users and teams who are organizing most of their work in Notion.

Note: this is not a full 2-way sync (automatically updating calendar invites when you edit a Notion database page and vice versa), but rather allows you to surface database pages in Notion Calendar, keeping them as Notion pages. In other words, there is still a structural difference between calendar events and Notion pages, with slightly different functionality.

To connect your Notion workspace:

  1. Head to Settings

  2. Click Notion

  3. Click Connect.

Here, you’ll be prompted to log in to Notion (if you’re not already), and your workspace should now show up in Settings.


Showing Events from Notion Databases

Any database that has a Timeline or Calendar view (ie. has a Date property) can be shown in Notion Calendar.

In the Welcome to Notion Calendar onboarding section (top right):

  1. Click Notion database

  2. Type the name of your database

Once you select the database, you’ll see it show up in your Notion workspace calendars on the left sidebar.

From here, you can rearrange workspace calendars, and Show/Hide each.


Other Useful Features

There are a few additional features that are nice UX improvements over standard calendar apps.

Add Notion Meeting Notes Pages to Events

For calendar events, you can create a new Notion page within a specified database (like Meetings or Events).

To add a meeting notes page:

  1. Select a calendar event

  2. Go to Docs and links

  3. Select Create Notion Page

  4. Give the page a title

  5. Specify the database to add the page into

  6. Confirm it’s being added to the right workspace

Now, meeting attendees will see a link to the Notion page, allowing everyone to open and add info to the same meeting notes page in Notion.

Integrate Zoom or Google Meet

If your team uses one of these, integrating it to Notion Calendar saves a few steps. For example, you can automatically create a new Zoom/Meet link when creating a new event. If you’re using the Share Availability tool, when an attendee books time, a link will also be created.

To link a conferencing tool:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Go to Conferencing

  3. Because you’re using a Google account, Google Meet is already connected. Just select at the top toggle to use by default

  4. To connect Zoom, select Zoom in the Default conferencing toggle

  5. In Add Zoom to Events, click Connect.

Show Time Zones

For remote teams or consultants working across time zones, this is a super useful feature!

To add multiple time zones:

  1. Click the + button at the top left of the calendar.

  2. If you know the time zone code, select

  3. You can also type and add a city

  4. Right clicking the new time zone allows you to rename it

Share Availability

This feature allows you to quickly block out time options, and share with a contact to book a meeting.

Though it’s not a full-blown replacement to Calendly or Cal.com, it’s a useful feature that is fast and simple.

To share your availability:

  1. Click Share Availability

  2. Drag the cursor across available time slots

  3. Name the meeting (the default will be “Meeting with {Your Name}”)

  4. Toggle on Scheduling link to share the link for someone to book the time instantly

  5. Click Create to block the time slots and publish the link

Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts is where Notion Calendar really shines, mirroring power apps like Spark or Superhuman. For people who live by their calendar, leveraging shortcuts can save countless clicks and scrolls.

To access all shortcuts:

  1. Click Cmd + K

Some notable shortcuts:

  • “O” Add a Notion database

  • “P” Show teammate calendar

  • “C” Create event

  • “.” Go to date

  • “T” Go to today

Recommendations and Final Thoughts

It’s still early days for Notion Calendar, but the future for Notion is becoming clearer: expect a suite of tools that are closely integrated, with the Notion workspace at the center.

Although improvements to calendars within Notion are still welcome, the ability to turn any database into a calendar in one window is a game changer.

If you or your team would benefit from consolidating multiple database calendars in one place, and your team uses Google accounts, definitely check out Notion Calendar!

ps. If your team could use some help getting the most out of Notion, let’s jump on a call to discuss whether hiring a Certified Notion Consultant is the right move. {link}

I’ve helped launch over 40 Notion solutions, including full workspace builds, migrations, automations, and workflows. We’ve helped a variety of clients, from solo content creators to 300+ person startups.

thenotioncoach.com

@notioncoach

©2024 Manifest Labs LLC

thenotioncoach.com

@notioncoach

©2024 Manifest Labs LLC

thenotioncoach.com

@notioncoach

©2024 Manifest Labs LLC