Link a Digital Planner to Google and Apple Calendar

How to link a digital planner to Google and Apple Calendar

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Keep reading to learn how to link a digital planner to Google and Apple calendar!

Would rather watch a video? Watch my complete walk-through below.

Ever wondered how to add links for your digital planner that would open up Google and Apple calendar? Well my friend, you’re in the right place! This has been a hot topic for a while now and while most digital planner creators like to gatekeep this information, I will be doing the opposite.

I’m a huge believer that there is room for everyone to create a life that love, even if that means they love to do what I do. Whether it’s teaching you how to create digital stickers, or linking your planner to Google or Apple calendars. Honestly, if you’ve been thinking about creating planners, or are already creating planners, I’d probably tell you everything I know on how to make one. That is also why I’m eventually going to create a course all about this because I love to teach others too.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Whether you’re already creating digital planners, are thinking about it, or you simply create planners for yourself, I think adding these links to Google and Apple calendars comes in very handy. And, if you have customers who purchase your digital planners, they will definitely love this new addition!

It makes life SO much easier when you can simply click a link right from your digital planner and be redirected to your Google or Apple calendar right away.

How to Create Apple Calendar Links


Let me start off by showing you how to create links for Apple calendar. First off, you will need some sort of Apple device in order to be able to create the Shortcut. And of course, you will need the Shortcuts app on your device (which is free).

This is what the Shortcuts app looks like on my iPad. As you can see, I already have a few shortcuts made for my device. I specifically use the “CreativelyClaudia” shortcut for my digital planner.

Shortcuts app

This is what my shortcut looks like. As you can see here, this probably looks super confusing to you right now. But I promise you, by the end of this tutorial you will understand what all of this means and you will also be able to recreate it on your own.

Shortcut for digital planner

Step 1: Create a shortcut

The first step is creating a shortcut. You do this by clicking on the plus sign at the top of the app. Once you’ve done this, you can rename your shortcut and change the logo’s image and/or color.

Adding a shortcut on iPad

The name of your shortcut will be shared with those who purchase your digital planners so be sure to name it something that goes with your brand. For example, like I mentioned earlier, my shortcut is called CreativelyClaudia as that is the name of my brand.

Adding a shortcut name

You can think of this process as if you were creating a formula and that formula is basically communication between your device and the app. We want the formula to create the action of “when I click this link, I want this to happen.” So let’s create those actions.

From your menu on the right side of the app, you want to search for, “Open App.” Click on it so that the action can be added to your shortcut.

Open app action in shortcuts

Next, you will click on the “App” button and change it to “GoodNotes” (or whatever app you use for your digital planner.

Change variable in shortcuts

Your customer will be able to change this when they are setting up your shortcut. I’ll show you how later on in this tutorial. For now just add whatever app you prefer for the digital planners.

Next, search for the “Text” action in the menu. Once you’ve added the action to your shortcut, click on it and select the “Shortcut Input” variable.

Shortcut Input variable

Once you’ve selected Shortcut Input, you will see a new action appear at the top of your Actions list called “Receive.” Change the “Any” option to text only by clicking on “Any” and unselecting all of the options except for “Text,” “Rich Text,” and “Dates.”

Receive input in shortcut actions

Leave the rest of the action the same so at the end it should read, ” Receive Text and 2 more input from Nowhere; If there’s no input: Continue.”

Receive action in Shortcuts

Next, we will be adding a scripting action called “If.” Search for it in your menu and add it to your Actions list.

If action in Shortcuts

This scripting action is going to help tell the shortcut that “if this happens, then this happens.” Please keep in mind that this is all a formula that the app reads extremely quickly and it all happens within seconds.

I totally understand that this can get confusing so don’t worry if you have to go through the process a few times to really understand it.

Once you’ve added the “If” action, it will read, “If Text Condition.” Change “Condition” to “begins with.” This is the part that will be the link once you add it to your planner.

Begins with condition in Shortcuts

You will see that “Text” appears right after “begins with.” Let’s change the “Text” to whatever it is that you want your link to start with. For example, for my shortcut link, I have it start with “a-” so I wrote a- in that section. This is basically to let the iPad know that when I click on a certain link, and if the link starts with this, then something is going to happen (the action we will be creating next).

changing variable name in Shortcuts app

Next, you want to let your shortcut know what to do with the link you create. Essentially, we want the shortcut to grab the date that we will be adding to the link so we will need to split the text first.

To do this, go to your menu and search for the “Split Text” action. You will notice that the action is added to the very end. Move it up so that it’s under the previous action we just created (If action). Once you do this you will notice that “If result” changes to “Text.”

Split text action in Shortcuts

Now let’s change it from saying,”Split Text by New Lines,” to say “Split Text by Custom.” An option called “Custom Separator” appears and we will change that to whatever we added for the “If Text begins with ____ ” action.

For example I added “a-” for my “If Text begins with,” that means I will change the “Custom Separator” to “a-” by clicking on it and typing it in.

Custom variable in Shortcut

So this is basically letting the shortcut know that we want it to split the text so that it reads the part that comes after this. Once the system has separated the text, we want it to grab the dates that are in the second part of the split text which will be able to open up the correct date in the Apple calendar.

Next, search for “Get Dates from Input” in your menu and add it to your Actions list.

Get dates from input action

Once again, it will add the action to the bottom of your Actions list so be sure to move it so that it’s right under the last action we just created. Once we move it up, you will notice that the “If Result” automatically changed to “Split Text.”

Split text action in Shortcuts

Now, if you will be adding multiple actions to this shortcut then I highly recommend you change the variable name so that it doesn’t get confusing as you start adding more actions. You can do this by clicking on “Split Text” and typing in the variable name.

In my case, I would write my variable name as “Split Text a-” so I know it’s for this specific action. It’s good to get into the habit of doing this if you will be creating more actions such as opening up the calendar at a specific time, etc.

Variable name in Shortcuts

If you will only be creating the action I am teaching you in this tutorial, then you really don’t have to worry about this as it shouldn’t get confusing.

Next, search for the “Add New Event” action in the menu. Remember to move it up and under the action we created in the last step.

The action will say “Add Title from Tomorrow at noon to Tomorrow at 1pm.” We want to change this to say, “Add Title from Dates to Dates.” Do this by simply clicking on the variable and changing it in the keyboard menu. Again, you can change the variable name if you will be adding more actions. For example I would write “Dates a-” in the variable name window.

Add title from dates to dates action in Shortcuts

Next, search for the “Open App” action in the menu. Change “App” to “Calendar” and again, don’t forget to move it up so that it’s under the previous action we created.

Open calendar action in Shortcuts

Now let’s add the “Open in Calendar” action from the menu. It will read “Open If Result in Calendar” when you add it to your Actions list. Before moving it up and under your last created action, click on “If Result” and tap “Clear Variable.”

Clear variable in Shortcuts

You will see that “Event” pops up in place of “If Result.” You need to change “Event” to “Dates” and you can do so by clicking on it and finding the Dates option. Now you can move it up and under the last created action which was “Open App.”

Open dates action in Shortcuts

Now you can delete the “Otherwise” action from your list as it is not necessary and just leave “End If.” Now you’ve ended the “If” statement!

So this is pretty much the creation of the shortcut! Next I will be showing you how to create the links, create setup questions, and how to actually share your shortcut.

Step 2: Create Links

Okay, now that we’ve created our shortcut, it’s time to put it into action! You can do this by going to wherever it is that you go to add links to your planner. In my case, I use Adobe Acrobat so I will be adding the link to the dates on my weekly spread.

Disclaimer: You will have to go through all your dates and add the link one by one, which sucks, but it’s worth it in my opinion.

Your link will look something like this:

Shortcuts link for digital planner

In the link you’ll see that it says “CreativelyClaudia.” Yours will be whatever name you chose for your shortcut when setting it up.

Now, where you see “a-,” that is what I chose my link to start with when creating the shortcut. So whatever you chose for “If Text begins with ___,” that is what you will be adding to this part of the link.

The rest of the link you will create will practically match mine. So basically all that changes is the name, the “If Text begins with ___,” and the date you will add to each link.

Now, when the link is clicked on, your customer will be able to open the Apple calendar on an exact date.

Step 3: Create Setup Question

Let’s talk about another important step in the creation of the shortcut, creating the setup question. This is important so that your customer can change the app you chose for the beginning of the shortcut to whatever app they use for their digital planners.

To do this, go to the information icon that’s located in the menu to the right. Next, click on “Setup.” Click “Add New Question.” Choose “Tap to Choose” under “Open App.”

Open app action in Shortcuts

This is where you will want to add a question that your customer will read once they are setting up your shortcut. For example, “Which app will you be using?” Then you can decide to add a default answer or leave it blank. I added GoodNotes as the default answer but my customers can change this if they use a different app.

Add question text in Shortcuts

Step 4: How to Share Your Shortcut

Let me show you how to actually share your shortcut. You want to make sure you tell your customers what to do in order to actually install your shortcut. In your Shortcut, click on the “Share,” icon and click on “Copy iCloud Link.”

How to share a shortcut

This is the link your customers will click on so that they can actually install your shortcut. Now what you need to tell the customer to do so they can actually receive the shortcut is to turn on “Private Sharing” in settings. You do this by going to “Settings,” scroll down to “Shortcuts,” and turn on “Private Sharing.”

How to turn on private sharing settings

Once they’ve installed your shortcut, they can turn Private Sharing off again. This is just for them to install your shortcut, otherwise, if it’s off they won’t be able to install it. And of course, they need to have the Shortcuts app on their Apple device so that the Shortcut can actually be installed.

I recommend adding these instructions to the beginning of your planner so that it is clear to your customer and they understand how to install your shortcut. I’ve added this to the first page on my planner and you’re welcome to create something similar to this.

Notice for customers to install shortcut

Once they’ve installed your Shortcut, it will then be saved to their Shortcuts app.

How to Set Up Google Calendar Links

Setting up Google calendars is SO much easier than setting up Apple calendar links because you don’t have to install anything. All you have to do is change the dates in the link on each of the dates.

This is what the link will look like:

Google calendar link in digital planner

You will have to do add this link to each of your dates but it’s pretty simple if you copy/paste them in and just change the date as you go. Once you click on the link, you will be redirected to the specific date in your Google calendar.

And that is all my friends! If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below as I know this can be confusing. It took me forever to actually figure it all out on my own but I hope I was able to help you get a better understanding on how to link a digital planner to Google and Apple calendar.

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