How to Use Google Calendar to Organize Your Life

How I use Google Calendar
I use Google Calendar to organize my life… every aspect of my life.  I’m an A-Type, OCD, overachiever lady with a horrible memory thanks to my condition of over committing to everything.  I’ve always had the issue of saying yes to every opportunity that comes my way.  I have a fear of missing out, not making memories, and being left behind.  So I go overboard.  I say yes to almost everything, which is probably why I love my down time so much.  I just don’t get it that much.

I use Google calendar for my personal appointments, work appointments, family events, J’s school assignments, birthdays, anniversaries, and important dates to remember.  What I love about Google calendar is that everything is searchable.  Say I can’t remember exactly what date my conference is in June.  Instead of having to search every month, week, or date until I find my event I can just use the handy search bar and it will pull it up.  Love.

I probably drive J crazy because if it’s not in the calendar then it’s like it’s not happening.

I have different calendars for everything so that it can be color coded.  Here’s what I have:

J’s School
Rines’ Family Events
Holidays (that’s a default one I have turned on)

I used to have two more – one for meals and blog posts, but it got overwhelming.  Now, I just use a written planner for meals and then just start a blog post every time I get an idea and save it has a draft until I can finish it.  Plus, I have an editorial calendar that I have saved in Google Drive that I use for my blog.  I shared that awhile back.  You can read about my setup here.

How I use Google Calendar
Here’s the breakdown of how I decide what goes on what:

Meredith – my work appointments, such as my lunch meetings or other happenings that occur Monday-Friday during working hours.

Birthdays – that’s pretty self explanatory

J’s School – we went through and added every reading assignment, Blackboard posts, writing assignment, etc to the calendar.  That way he knows what he needs to be reading for that particular week and when everything is due.

Rines’ Family Events – This is more encompassing.  This is for any appointment, out-of-town meeting, trip, etc. that comes up that the other person needs to know about.  I started working Saturdays for tax season, so this is a family event.  J should remember but just in case… it doesn’t hurt to put it on there.

I also put on the family one:

  • what days I’m going to crossfit or J is going to the gym so we know where each other is if we haven’t heard from one another all day.
  • when our bills are due
  • Dr. appointments
  • date night
  • work that needs to be done to our cars
  • conferences that are out of town
  • family get-togethers

Tips for Using Google Calendar:

how to use google calendar
Make events repeatable to save from rewriting them.
 I use this for crossfit, the Saturdays I have to work, etc.  You can always delete an individual event without messing up your repeated ones.

Share your calendar.  J and I have the Rines’ Family Events and his school calendar shared between us.  That way we both can see everything.

How I use Google Calendar
Color code
.  I love how Google allows each calendar to have a different color.  That way I know just by glance what type of event it is.  Also, you can make a specific event a different color.  I like doing that on things that I really want J to pay attention to.

Find the view that works for you.  You can view daily, weekly, monthly, agenda or create your own.  I created a 2 week view, but mostly stick to the weekly look.

how to use google calendar search
Use the search
.  It will help you find an event quickly.

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Meredith Rines, a budget and financial strategist helping fans pay off debt and live the life they've always wanted.

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