Welcome to everyone who’s stopping by from Shannon’s blog for this week’s edition of Works-for-me-Wednesday. ! If you’ve been with me for a while, you probably remember a post very similar to this on my other blog. I’ve revamped it and added a few things that people mentioned in the comments from the old post.
I am a Google nerd.
It all started when I signed up for a Gmail account and fell in love with it. Then about a year ago, I discovered Google Docs, where you can create Word documents online and access them from any computer with the Internet. This was especially helpful when I was working on things both at home and at school.
It’s hard to describe how exciting it is for me to see all the colors and details when I open up GCal for the eighteenth time each day.
You can see from the categories at the left (shown bigger below, or you can click on the picture) that I’ve got a lot of different calendars within one large calendar.
Here are five ways you can use Google Calendar to make your life simpler.
1. Give each area of your life its own calendar, and color-coordinate them appropriately.
Each of these labels to the right is a different ‘calendar.’ You can open all of them, some of them or one of them at the same time within GCal. Having different colors is helpful when you’re opening a lot at once, because you can easily tell what’s what.
2. Update events with one click and set up frequent events to repeat.
If all you want to do is just add an event – below, I’m adding in a lunch date with my friend Emily – you just click on the date and this little bubble pops up. Type in the time and title of the event, choose which calendar (color) you want the event to be part of, and click ‘Create Event.’ If you’re adding an event that happens frequently, like soccer practice, you can set up events to repeat weekly, daily, monthly – even on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays.
3. Plan menus with as much detail as you want.
Below I’m showing a couple days of my ‘Menu’ calendar in ‘Agenda’ mode. It’s not very detailed because all it’s showing is what I ate for lunch and what leftovers I took to Christian for a few days (And the very observant will also notice that this is from July. I haven’t planned menus much now that I’m living at home). However, you can always add in more details, for example, about what you’re going to be making for dinner.
4. View as many or as few calendars as you’d like.
Maybe you just want to see how your dinner plans will fit into your work schedule. On my calendar, I’d just select “Menu” and “Work” and deselect the rest. Or maybe you just need to quickly glance to see who has a birthday coming up. Deselect everything but “Birthdays.” You get the idea.
If you have several kids with busy schedules, you could give each kid their own calendar. You could print off their own calendar for each of them, then select them all and keep a master calendar for yourself.
5. ‘Share’ your calendar with other people, or have them share their calendars with you.
When Christian was still living in Tennessee, I encouraged him to set up a Gmail account so that he could use GCal. It took a little prodding to remind him to actually update his calendar, but when he did, all I had to do was log into my calendar to see, for example, his work schedule. You can turn someone else’s calendar on and off with one click, and you can pick and choose with calendars you want to share.
Google Calendar works for me, and it might work for you, too.
This level of organization might not work for everyone, but it keeps me on track with menu-planning, exercise, Bible memorization and spending time with friends and family. If you’re having trouble keeping your life together, use this wonderfully free program to start pulling things back together.
How do you keep your schedule organized? If you use Google Calendar, what are your favorite features?