How to set up recurring events on the last working day of the month in Google Calendar

Google Calendar doesn’t support repeating events on the final working day of the month

This week, I thought it would be useful to add a recurring event to my calendar to remind me of when pay day is.

My company pays its employees on the last working day of each month. If the final day of the month is a Saturday or Sunday then they bump it back to the Friday.

But the last working day of the month isn’t an option in Google Calendar’s recurring appointment options.

Recurring events options in Google Calendar

How to do it

Thanks to this post by Brian Jackson, How to Set up Repeating Event in Google Calendar on Last Day of the Month, I managed to achieve this by creating a custom iCalendar (.ics) file and importing it into Google Calendar.

Create an iCalendar file

In a plain text editor (I use Sublime Text, but Notepad will work) copy and edit the following:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
VERSION:2.0
BEGIN:VEVENT
RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=1;BYSETPOS=-1;BYDAY=SU, MO,TU,WE,TH,FR, SA
SUMMARY:Pay day
DESCRIPTION:Woohoo! It's pay day!
DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20220326
SEQUENCE:0
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

You will want to edit a few of the lines. (Refer to the full iCalendar specification RFC5545 for more details.)

1. RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=1;BYSETPOS=-1;BYDAY=SU,MO,TU,WE,TH,FR,SA

This is the recurrence rule (rrule) that sets the repeating pattern for your event. As it is currently, this will repeat your event on the last day of each month. If you don’t work Saturdays and Sundays then simply remove the SU and SA from the BYDAY parameter: BYDAY=MO.TU,WE,TH,F.

2. SUMMARY:Pay day

This is the text that will appear as the title of your calendar entry.

3. DESCRIPTION:Woohoo! It's pay day!

This is the text that appears once you open the calendar entry.

4. DTSTART;VALUE=DATE:20220326

This is date of your first event. The format is YYYYMMDD. So, today, Saturday 26 March 2022, would be: DD = 26, MM = 03, YYYY = 2022, or 20220326.

Save and import

Once you’re happy, save your file with a .ics extension, e.g. payday.ics.

Then, import it into your Google Calendar:

  1. Click on the settings cog icon and select Settings.
  2. Select Import & export from the left-hand navigation.
  3. Select your new payday.ics file, and select a calendar to add it to from the dropdown list.
Import dialog in Google Calendar

4. Click the Import button and all being well, you will see a confirmation that 1 of 1 entries has been imported successfully.

Note: if you need to edit this recurring event, you cannot edit it in Google Calendar. You will need to delete the event, edit it in another iCalendar file and re-import it.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 50 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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