Google Calendar—One CRAZY day at a time
Part 3 of my #CrazyBusyHelps series. Admittedly, I haven’t tried many other calendars, so I suppose many calendars have many of these same features. However, at a fairly early point in my electronic life, I discovered Google makes calendaring easy by offering a little bit of everything. That way I can have one account that can do countless things, so for me, I choose to use Google Calendar along with all my other Google products. But an online calendar that can be installed across all your devices is a MUST HAVE for us Crazy-Busies.
There are some of you out there who are going to argue with me--I know because I have a surprisingly large amount of people still show up to various meetings with a notebook and no electronic device. To you I must say: it’s time! I seriously can’t believe how many people don’t use Google Keep, Google Drive, or Google Calendar; I honestly have no idea how they keep their life in order. Hats off to those of you who can use the trusty old planner and notebook, but for the rest of you…I’m going to share with you why Google Calendar is a must have.
What problems does it solve?All family and individual scheduling….
- Have you ever double booked yourself?
- Do you often find yourself saying, "I don’t know, I’ll have to check with my spouse?"
- How many activities/events do you have your kids scheduled for?
- Are there countless committees and responsibilities with regular meetings? Or, even more likely, you have that one random meeting that is super important, but because it’s not part of the regular routine you completely spaced it?
- Can’t keep track of the kids school schedule?
- Or, if you’re like me, do you need to know which night the sporting event date night of the week is so you can schedule a babysitter?
- Syncing: A very big key to the success of a digital calendar is the syncing ability of that calendar. I have tried a few android calendars, but if you can’t access the calendar across all devices, don’t bother. You need to be able to add to your calendar whether you’re sitting at your desk reading an email, you’re in a meeting being given dates and deadlines, or you're scheduling your follow up appointment with your dentist. So, whichever device is the most handy, you need quick and easy access to view, add, and edit events on your calendar. This feature alone will save you from many future scheduling conflicts.
- Sharing: A must have in my world is the ability to share your calendar. You can share your calendar with whomever you want via link or invitation to edit, so you can control how much access an individual has to your calendar. So for instance, my hubby has full access to my “family” calendar, while he only has access to view my Family History Center Calendar. I give full access to my PTA Calendar to the members of the board, while parents are only given viewing access. And so on . . . .
- Importing: Along with syncing, importing is one of those features that will just make life so much easier. You can import a calendar from another organization or person straight into your calendar. So, if your favorite sports team, your church, your community, your local library, or whatever your interest may be has a digital calendar, you can auto-populate your calendar with its events. This saves a ton of time for the crazy sports fans like my husband, who must know exactly when and where each sporting event is.
- Reminders: Let’s face it--we’ve all missed an appointment at one point in our life or another when we had just thought about being there 1 hour before it started. Something side tracked us, and we completely spaced it until well past the time we could reasonable arrive. Reminders are your ticket to not having that happen again. You can choose how far in advance you want your reminders, and how many. So for some of us one reminder 15 mins before is adequate, while for others, three or four might not be enough. At any rate, you can set up a default for your events in general, but you can also edit the reminders based off of each event you create, so if it’s something that needs a little more warning you can make those adjustments.
- Embedding: This feature may not be as important for the every day user, but I’ve found it to be super helpful for me as a presenter, as a PTA member, and even for my family. You can embed a copy of your calendar into your blog, website, or email and share it with family members, or the world. That way you only have to make edits on your calendar itself, and they will be automatically updated across any blog, newsletter, or other place that you’ve embeded the calendar into. Pretty slick, huh!
My Favorite features?
- Numero uno on my list is Calendar Sharing. On my Google Calendar I have a different calendar for my family, my work, my PTA, my church responsibilities, and every other thing I can think of. For the people who I work with in those capacities I just share that calendar with them; then when there’s a meeting or event related to that committee or organization, voila! We are all aware and notified on our various devices. My favorite part though is sharing with my husband. He has his work calendar which is shared with me, and he has access to our family calendar. We don’t ever double book our family; I can check to see if he’s in a meeting before I call him, or if someone invites us to do something, I can just consult the calendar before committing and I don’t have to worry about forgetting to ask hubby. It’s incredibly convenient on so many levels.
- Syncing: If I can’t sync it across all devices, it’s of no use to me. I want to be able to access the calendar no matter what situation I’m in so I can schedule things as I go and avoid making additional items on my to-do list about scheduling, because who needs that?