Almost every mover and shaker needs a planner to meet their daily demands.
It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed, are a number-cruncher in a cubicle, or work from home on team projects. Neither is age or lifestyle a factor. Students, moms, and grandpas all have to plan their days wisely.
So how do so many different groups of people balance every aspect of their lives?
By using their Google Calendar as a planner, of course!
With 500 million people using Google Calendar worldwide, it may still surprise you that this ubiquitous little digital service does so much more than many people realize.
Stay put to learn about the five principles that turn Google Calendar into the Greatest Planner on Earth.
1. Color Code to Connect Categories
Google Calendars lets you colorize your specific calendars as well as events.
You can make work tasks, chores, and personal events different colors, like red, blue, green, and so on. After some time, you’ll remember which color matches which category and can plan for your day around that.
A lot more blue tasks ahead?
The weekend and oodles of chores must be around the corner!
Having a red day?
Must be a weekday with lots of meetings, tasks, and other work to-dos.
As a bonus, a color-coding system can help you meet other goals. Say you want to make this year the one you finally spend more time with family and friends doing what you love. If you look at your Google Calendar and see you always have more business events than personal, you can plan on changing that post-haste.
Color coding your scheduled events will make it easier for you to see, at a mere glance, how to plan your time in the future beyond the week or month. This is not a feature most planners have and helps Google Calendar stand out.
2. Set Reminders
The best aspect of most digital calendars is that they notify you as an event approaches.
You can set up, edit, and delete reminders on your Google Calendar app or website with ease.
If you’re using the app, do the following:
Click the plus sign at the bottom of the screen.
Name your event, select the date or date range, the time, and then click “Reminders.”
Set it to remind you by notification or email at a time frame that suits you, like at the time of the scheduled event or 15 minutes beforehand.
Be sure to save the reminder before clicking out of the app!
If you’re setting a reminder on your web calendar, follow these simple steps:
Click on the day of the event in question.
Give it a title, and select “Event” or “Task.”
Add the time of the event or task and set the notification you would like to receive.
Save it, and you’re all set.
What’s great about using your Google Calendar for reminders is that it allows you to use added features.
You can select “repeat” so that you only have to set one reminder for events that’ll happen weekly or monthly. There’s also the option of adding Google Meet conferencing to the event. Or you can show others you’re busy at the time of the scheduled event.
With only a few clicks or taps, you’ll not only be sure to remember every task before you but can be more productive to boot.
3. Use Weekly and Monthly Views
At the top right-hand side of the calendar, you can select your view, as in what timeframe the calendar presents you.
The options are day, week, month, year, schedule, and four days.
Unless you have dozens of tasks each day, you shouldn’t need the day view. The same goes with the year unless you need to check on a specific event far in the future.
To maximize your efficiency, keep your Google Calendar set to weekly or monthly view. That way, you’ll see everything you listed for your immediate future without distractions, helping you be more productive.
You can also go into the General Settings and set a *custom* number of days in your view, so two days, six days, three weeks, whatever makes sense for you.
Yet another way Google Calendar is the greatest planner!
4. Share Your Calendar
You may want to share your schedule with friends, family, or coworkers. Google Calendar makes doing that a breeze.
Here’s how you can share your Google Calendar:
Hover over the calendar in question on the left-hand side to access its “Settings and sharing” tab.
Under “Share with specific people,” select your contacts you wish to share your calendar with.
You can also make your calendar public in the same section. However, this is not ideal for anyone with privacy concerns.
5. Up Your Planning Game With Integrations
Under Settings, you’ll see a button that says “Get add-ons.”
If this is your entry into the Google Workspace Marketplace, then welcome!
Here, you can add Zoom, GoToMeeting, Attendance Taker for Classroom, TimeNavi, SalesForce, and so many more apps that fully integrate with your Google Calendar.
You can also import other calendars you use on other websites, instantly maximizing your efficiency.
Staying organized and remembering every task and event isn’t easy for most of us.
But making the most out of your Google Calendar and using it as a planner is a genius move. Besides keeping up with a hectic schedule, it can also make you a more communicative coworker and help you carve out more time for friends and family.
So yes, Google Calendar is pretty much the greatest planner on Earth when you wield it with care. Do so by keeping these principles in mind and then get on with your day.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Diega with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Diega the place to call home.