How to add a Countdown to your Twitter Profile Photo

 How to bulk upload Google calendar entries

Now we have our images, the next step is to create the Google Calendar entries. We could do this by hand – but the chance of making a mistake is high so I prefer to spend time automating it. The idea here is to fool Google Calendar into accepting a CSV file which it thinks has been exported from Outlook. Instead, we have hand crafted it in Excel. This spreadsheet should make life easier for you:


Basically you fill in the boxes on the first sheet.

Fill in the excel spreadsheet with the details of the countdown

Switch to the second sheet and it is already filled out, ready for you to export as a CSV file. Don’t worry that there are empty rows towards the bottom of the sheet (it will create up to 366 calendar entries – enough for a full year countdown), or that there are some numbers in column A (used as part of the functions to fill the fields). Google Calendar seems to just ignore any data it doesn’t understand.

Save the second worksheet as a CSV file - select "Save As -> Other Formats"

You will need to select “CSV” from the “Save file as type” dropdown menu.

Select "CSV" from the "Save as type" drop down menu.

During the save you will be prompted by two warning boxes. One tells you that CSV files can only contain one sheet (click “OK”), and the other talks about features that are not compatible with CSV format (Click “Yes”).

Now you need to import your CSV File to Google Calendar. I’ll assume you already have a Google calendar set up.

The first thing to do is to turn off default reminders. This is because you don’t want an email or text message at midnight each night to tell you that the profile image is changing! I have bolded it because Google Calendar won’t allow you to reimport the same appointment twice, so you need to get  it right first time!

In Google Calendar, select “settings”

Remove default reminders by clicking "settings"

and then remove the default reminder settings:

Remove any default reminders in Google Calendar

Save your change and go back to the calendar. It is now time to import the CSV file. Select “Other calendars –> Import calendar”.

Now choose the CSV file you saved earlier.

and hey presto – 180 calendar entries (well 181 – because of the “Slide0” one) ready and waiting to be picked up by IFTTT.

Next page: How to tie it all together with IFTTT…

7 thoughts on “How to add a Countdown to your Twitter Profile Photo”

  1. Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

    Superb work, we have just followed your excellent guide. Looking forward to midnight for the first update! Thanks

  2. Simon Radford

    Thank you for this – however I don’t know where you and the other satisfied users have been storing your images – EVERY SINGLE site I have tried mangled up the name with a random one – with potentially over a hundred images I was not going to be sorting that out.. I could see that the ifttt end was attempting to work from the google calendar (which I had set at hourly updates) but it couldn’t get any images and so failed. I have spent 9 hours on this and am now giving up. We will be doing it manually and at less than hourly intervals!

  3. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing. Please assist, my images do not display. I get an error message saying image not found though I followed all steps correctly.

    Kind regards.

  4. Hi. I’ve been meaning to write an update to this post for a while – but I need to test something first!

    The updated technique would be to store the base image on Cloudinary.Com (an account is required but for this purpose the account should be free) and then use dynamic image generation to add the countdown to the image.

    I’ve not yet tested this, but there is no reason I can see why it wouldn’t work. Hope this helps.

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