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How to Replace the Target Feature in Google Calendar After Google Kills It for Good « Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

How to Replace the Target Feature in Google Calendar After Google Kills It for Good « Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks

If you use Goals in Google Calendar, you’ve probably already received the notification that Google, in typical executioner fashion, has marked the feature for dead. As of November 2022, you cannot create new goals and your current goals will no longer repeat. Google suggests switching to recurring events or tasks, but it’s a better option to use on your Android and iOS device.

Count me among the fans of Goals. From a curated collection of preset habits, including exercise, building skills and making time for friends and family, Goals sets up appointments in your free time based on your preferences for frequency and time of day.

Once your target appointments are set, Calendar reminds you of upcoming events, and you can tap “Later” to move it to another day. After the event, you can mark it as done and goals will track your progress. The feature also learns from your habits over time and adjusts them based on what works best for you.

Even if goals were to reach the end in November 2022, I can still create new goals. I also have a pending Google Calendar update that I haven’t installed that will likely remove the target option. So you might be able to keep the execution of goals by doing the same.

Eventually, it will be time to move on. When you’re ready, see below for how to replace the target functionality in Google Calendar with other features or apps.

Method 1: Recurring events in Google Calendar

Tap the floating action button (the plus sign) at the bottom right of the Google Calendar home screen — the same button you’d use to create a goal. However, we are going to press “Event” instead.

Add the title of the event in the first field. Then set the day and time. To repeat the repeat until the target, press “Do not repeat” to set the repeat. You will probably need to use the “Custom…” option for habits that occur several times a week. Keep the default reminder or adjust it according to your requirements. The other fields are optional, but you can use them however you like. Press “Save” to add it to your calendar.

Events lacks intelligent scheduling and progress tracking functionality, but it does allow you to add location, something Goals never did.

Target event in Google Calendar (left) versus a recurring event (right).

To highlight how useful Goals are (and mourn their disappearance), Calendar moved my training event to 21.00 from the usual opening at 20:15 when I added the recurring training event to the site.

Method 2: Repetitive tasks in Google Calendar

You can also set a recurring task, which will appear in the Google Calendar and Tasks apps for your account. Add a task from the same floating action button as with events. You can set the title and recurrence as you would for an event, but tasks don’t let you set the location.

If you want to add your task to a new list, you must do so in the Tasks app. Add a new list from the tabs at the top of the home screen (you may need to swipe right if you already have multiple lists) or tap the hamburger menu button to display your existing lists and select “Create New List.” Either way, enter the title, then hit “Done” to set up the list.

Creating tasks in the Tasks app is similar to the process in Calendar, but the user interface is different. Start with the plus button at the bottom of the screen in the list where you want the task to live. Add the title. Tap the icon with three lines to add details. Tap the calendar icon to set the day, time, and recurrence, then tap “Save” when you’re done.

Tasks also lack the smart scheduling feature of goals. You can check off a task as completed, but you’ll lose the weekly progress tracking that the goals feature offers.

Method 3: Install the Goaly app

To recreate the intelligent planning and progress tracking functionality, use Goaly, an app created by an independent developer in response to Google’s death sentence passed on Goals.

To get started, you need to connect Goaly to your Google account and accept permissions. Scroll down and tap “Accept” to continue.

The process of setting a goal is actually easier in Goaly. You start with a similar collection of goals, but instead of pushing through multiple screens, you put all your parameters on one screen.

You can set three goals for free; after that, you can choose monthly subscriptions or a one-time payment to unlock the app. Goaly is still early in development, but once the bugs are worked out, it stands as a competent replacement for Goals in Google Calendar.

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Cover image and screenshots by Tommy Palladino/Gadget Hacks
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