Of all the things we need to organize, our time may be the most challenging. I have tried for years to figure out the best way to keep my schedule in order. Actually, it goes beyond just my schedule: It’s the papers that come home from my kids’ school asking for donated supplies. The information about which soccer field they are playing on this Saturday, and which color jersey they are supposed to wear. It’s remembering to get my dog’s nails trimmed every few weeks and remembering people’s birthdays far enough in advance to send a card or buy a gift. It’s setting up a schedule for writing blog posts, and all the other behind-the-scenes tasks associated with that.
Until recently, I kept everything on paper, buying a lovely new planner every year to schedule events and keep a running to-do list. But that system posed two major problems:
- Lack of Flexibility: Once I wrote something down, it couldn’t be moved or changed without creating a mess. I solved this for a while by just writing everything on tiny post-it notes and moving them around on the planner as needed. But that didn’t solve the second problem…
- Lack of Portability: Unless I carried my paper planner with me everywhere I went, I couldn’t check my schedule to plan new events, and I had nothing to prompt me to remember things when I was away from my planner.
A few months ago, I decided to give Google Calendar a serious try. I had half-used it for over a year, but I knew that unless I fully committed to keeping everything online and learning more of its features, it would never take. So I watched a few online tutorials, put my paper planners on my bookshelf, and did it. And it has been awesome. The more I use it, the easier it gets, and the more seamlessly it fits into my life.
Perfect for Teachers
If you work in education, it’s likely that your schedule is big and complicated. A tool like Google Calendar would be so useful for managing your weekly academic planning, your meetings, your to-do list, and your personal and family calendar. Because it’s cloud-based — it “lives” online and can be accessed from any device — you can keep it updated at school, at home, and even on your phone (available on Android and iOS devices).
Learning how to use it takes a little bit of time and a commitment to adding it to your daily routine, but once you’ve integrated it into your life, you’ll never want to go back. I put together this Google Calendar tutorial to show you the basics:
Next up in my summer organization series, I will be showing you how to organize your projects with Evernote. And check out the one after that, where I show you how to organize your digital files with Google Drive.