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In Pictures: 6 Google apps tips and tricks for better productivity

From remote Google Calendar access to auto-declining appointments, here are 6 tips and tricks that will keep you focused, organized and productive.

  • 1. How to Receive a Daily Agenda Want to see your day at a glance before it starts? Google Calendar gives you the option to receive a daily email detailing all your appointments and meetings. Generally, the email is sent to you around 5 a.m. local time. To receive a daily agenda, click the drop-down menu next to the appropriate calendar and select "Notifications." Select the Email check box next to "Daily agenda" in the section called "Choose how you would like to be notified." Then, click "Save."

  • 2. How to Sign Out of Gmail Remotely If you use multiple computers or devices to sign into Gmail and think you forgot to log out, you can do so remotely. Scroll to the bottom of your inbox: You'll see information about the time and location of the last activity on your account. Click "Details" to see whether your account is still open in another location. The page that pops up shows you if your account is open in another location, recent activity, (which includes whether it was accessed by browser, mobile, POP3 and so on) the IP address; and the date and time. You can also log out of all other sessions from here.

  • 3. How to Access Google Calendar Offline If you're traveling and don't have access to an Internet connection, you can still access your calendar. To enable Offline, you must download the Google Chrome browser. Click the gear icon and choose "Offline" from the drop-down menu. You'll be prompted to install the Google Calendar Web application from the Chrome Web Store. Once the installation is complete, a new Chrome tab will open and the Google Calendar Web app icon will appear. Click the icon to go to Google Calendar. Next to "Offline," you should see a green icon with a checkmark. This indicates that your calendar is synched and ready to use offline. If your calendar is still syncing, you'll see a green spinning icon.

  • 4. How to Alert Others When You're on Vacation Going away? Gmail's out-of-office feature, called Vacation Responder, will automatically send a response when someone e-mails you while you're away. To activate it, click the gear icon and choose "Settings." Under the "General" tab find "Vacation responder." Enter the subject of the email you want sent to those who contact you via Gmail, type in a message, set the period of time you will be away and click "Save Changes."

  • 5. How to Learn More About Your Contacts If you generally don't have anything scheduled at 3 a.m. (except for sleep, hopefully), the "Hide morning and night" feature lets you customize your calendar so you see only events within the time range of your choice.Google+ posts your contact has made visible to you, which you can +1 directly in Gmail; recent emails your contact has sent you; Google Calendar events if your contact's Calendar is shared with you; and Google docs, shared with both you and the contact. To disable the people widget, click the gear icon in the upper right and select "Settings." On the "General" tab, select "Hide the people widget" button. Then click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.

  • 6. How to Auto-Decline Appointments If you'll be away on vacation or know you have a prior commitment, a handy tool in Google Calendar labs is "Automatically declining events." To turn on this feature, click the gear icon at the top right of your screen and select "Labs." Click "Enable" next to it, then "Save" at the bottom of the page. This feature lets you block times in your calendar when you know you'll be unavailable. When someone sends you an invite for an event during this time period, Google Calendar will automatically decline it.

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