If you are using a Gmail calendar (actually a Google calendar), but are used to creating your calendar events on your computer rather than directly in the Google calendar interface, you may have gotten used to being able to create a “custom” repeating interval for your events (such as every X days or every other week, instead of every week or every month). Then, when you need to create an event with a custom repeat interval in the Google calendar interface, you may be perplexed at the seeming lack of the ability to create a custom repeat interval. It’s actually easy to do, but like so many other things designed by Google’s engineers – and there’s the problem, they think like engineers, not like mere mortals – it isn’t obvious. Here’s how to do it.
To add an event to Google calendar, just click on the day to which you want to add an event, which will bring up this pop-up:
Click on the “edit event” link, which will take you to a page to edit your event, where you can add the details including, yes, a custom repeating event:
See that check box next to “Repeat”? Check it, which will bring you to this pop-up:
This is where the magic happens. Click on the drop-down that is defaulted to “Weekly”:
Ok, see how your options are Repeats: Daily, Every weekday, etc.? It is this poor wording that leads to the confusion – first, it seems like your only options are “Daily” (every single day); Monday through Friday; every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; every Tuesday and Thursday; Weekly (every week); Monthly (every month); or Yearly (once a year).
It is the ‘Repeats:’ “Daily”, “Weekly”, “Monthly”, and “Yearly” that are the problem. Because, you see, “Daily” doesn’t actually mean ‘daily’ here, nor does “Weekly” actually mean “weekly” (clearly the Google engineers are better coders than they are linguists – don’t they have non-engineers test for usability before releasing things? Apparently not.)
In fact, if you click on “Daily”, as you can see below, you will get a drop-down that allows you to pick “every how many days” the event should repeat. Same for “Weekly”:
Had Google labeled this section “Repeats every:” “Days” and “Weeks”, there would have been no confusion. But they didn’t. Which is why you are reading this article (and why we wrote it for you).
Now, you may maintain that it says that right below the first drop-down, but it is that first wording which so confuses many people.