Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Get Organized With Google Calendar

Busy! Busy! Busy!

I'm an organisation nutcase. Really. I live to make lists! I can never wait until January each year, only to get started in a brand new agenda!

 There's something about a brand new agenda: filling it with schedules, special dates, writing neatly in different colored pens assigned for different categories. Ahhhhhh... The bliss! I've even bought a brand new agenda, after "messing up'' my initial brand new agenda, with less than neat writing, or errors. In January, it has to be perfect (Although come October, I pretty  much just scribbble whatever I need to in it).... (Don't be fooled however, everything is super organised on paper perhaps, in action, not so much...) These days... an agenda is never enough. Let me explain: Me, work, appointments, meetings,  kid # 1, kid #2, kid #3, doctor's checkups for all said kids, vaccinations, dance lessons, art lessons,  hubby's irregular schedule, pay days, things to do, custody for kid # 1... All these categories quite simply, do not fit in one agenda. This being said, I refuse to carry more than one agenda. ...

About a year ago, I discovered an online calendar, supported by Google. It's brilliant. It's easy and complete. Best of all? It's free!!!   Google claims that all you need is a valid google account, but I use Hotmail, and I have access with that (?!?!). Instructions on how to sign up will be included at the end of this post. But first, let me introduce you to Google Calendar:

What's so great about it you ask? Well, for starters:  Color! You can color-code every single aspect in your life. Notice on the left side of the calendar, a checklist with different colours? Those are the different subjects (calendars) available. What's also really great about the color schemes, is the possibility of either viewing all of the subjects (calendars), or only those you select by hiding the layers. For example. If I assigned blue to ''work'', turquoise to ''meetings'', and navy to ''work assignments'', if I needed to see only these work related fields, those would be the only three categories I would check in the boxes, and tada, a calendar, with only my work life would sit before me! Magic!
Something else I find fantastic is the view options. You can view the calendar, as a  monthly page, a weekly, a 7 day week,  a daily page, or as an agenda. With nothing but a click, you can change from one viewing option to the next. All view options maintain the color-coding schemes you'll have assigned.

Thirdly, I adore the fact that you can Import or export your calendar to and from other calendar platforms you may be using such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple ICal, and others. The importing or exporting does not change the integrity of the document. 

Also worth a mention is the reminder system available. You can set-up reminders for appointments, at your convenience, say, 2 days in advance for example. These reminders can be emailed to you or even SMS-ed to you. My hubby, can't organize anything for the life of him (sorry D), and so I take care of everything. The emailed reminders is a great way to communicate any important things in our lives. I for one, have my daily agenda emailed to me everyday at 5h00 am... I have no reason to forget anything, unless the  internet crashes, and when does that happen!?!?

What else? I love the fact that I can share this calendar with whomever I please. It can be a private calendar, or a public calendar, or one you share with specific people only. We have shared custody of A, and the custodial calendar can be hectic with a 9 year old who takes dance classes, drawing classes, skies, and has a pretty hectic social life. This has proven to be our preferred tool to communicate with A's mother, where A is at any given time in the year, and any important schedule changes. The color coding has made it so easy. I could also make A's mother an administrator where she could also make changes, but I refuse to relinquish any power... Mwuahahahahaha! And Noooo, A's mother does not have access to all of our schedules, only what concerns her since as an adminstrator, I choose which calendars in my master calendar, she has access to. Amazing!

5) Finally, last but not least, I have a love-love relationship with my ipod. I'm on mat leave, it's winter, I'm not driving, and I'm nursing, so I don't go out much (at all practically)... thus, my Ipod has brought me much joy, being my main method of communication (Facebook and Twitter) and entertainment. Sure, at home, I'm connected to the net at all times, and easily have access to my calendar, but what about when I do go out, where I'm no longer connected to the net (gasp!) ? Well, suffice to say that there's this application called Calengoo supported by Google of course, which lets you have access to your calendar at all times. You can view it, and change it, and everything will be synced to your online calendar, the next time you sign in to your account online. Brilliant!

Added perks:
-you can use a tasks list;
-when booking appointments, there's a map option, and if you click it, it takes you to a map of the location you have entered;
-you can move appointments by simply clicking and dragging, and you can easily change the appointments to different categories (calendars) by editing the appointment. Easy.
-There's a tour, a discussion group and a help centre with many, many answers...

Now looking at my daily agenda, it seems that it's right about nap time for me... and you, you should get organised with Google Calendar! (And no, I'm not being paid to say this)!


Taken directly from Google help centre:
How to sign upPrint

If you have a Google Account, just visit the Google Calendar homepage, enter your Google Account email and password, and click Sign in. That's it!

If you don't yet have an account with us, just visit the Google Calendar homepage and click Create a new Google Account. Once you've completed the process, just sign in to Google Calendar using your new account.

(ps: I use Hotmail)...

Post a Comment


Anonymous said...

not paid heh!, you should, cause you do a hell of an excellent job selling the idea.....

Anonymous said...

I call myself, Ananymous2 and not Anonymous (AKA YANNICK MICHAUD)
So... Anonymous 2 Said...

Amen to that "Anonymous"

K said...

sorry for the delayed response... sick kiddies = bad naps = no time to blog... I miss my blog... but I should be up and at em shorthly!