Organize Your Schedule with Google Calendar

I’ve partnered up with technology lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch, from Digitwirl, to bring you some fun yet informative videos on various products and services related to technology that will help you get organized and simplify your busy life.

Today’s Digitwirl:

I so love that I have Carley here to be my technology voice because I am soooo not qualified.  I’m not tech savvy but thankfully I have a 14 year old daughter that can usually figure things out for me.  When it comes to calendars though I’ve yet to see the benefit of going digital.  The only reason I say that is because I see how much the big calendar on my fridge benefits my kids (14, 12 and 6).  They look at it every day and can see exactly what is happening when.  They even remind me of things so I don’t forget.  I love not having the entire responsibility of time resting all on my shoulders.  That would be a lot of additional stress.  Instead we all share the load.  Even my 6 year old is less anxious now that he can read the calendar himself (before that I had a visual calendar to help him).  Kids like knowing what the day entails and what is expected of them.

So as you can see I’m conflicted about how going digital with my calendar will replace this type of organization when it comes to keeping my family’s sanity.  I suppose if each of my children had smart phones (they don’t!) then it would make sense to sync up with each other.

Carley shares a great video below about all the benefits of using Google Calendar.  After watching it, I would love to know what you think.

Notes from Carley:

Is my husband going to be home for dinner? Does that business meeting conflict with basketball practice? Game night, girl’s night, date night… keeping everyone’s schedules straight in my work and family life is a herculean effort. To manage everyone’s coming and going, I need something more than just a place to jot things down (sorry, paper calendar). What I need is a system that truly supports me and helps me get through my day, one commitment at a time.

That’s why I can’t live without Google Calendar. Let me count the ways I love it: I can use it anywhere (so every device I have gets me where I’m going), it’s easy to share schedules, so I can coordinate efforts with co-workers and significant others, aaaand it’s free.

Watch this week’s Twirl to learn to see why gCal and I have a standing appointment.

Can’t see the video?  Watch it here.

Digitwirl is the weekly web show that offers simple solutions to modern day problems. In 3 minutes, Digitwirl brings busy women the very best time, money, and sanity-saving technology, and then teaches them how to use it, step-by-step. Digitwirl was created by technology lifestyle expert Carley Knobloch, who uses lots of technology to manage her busy life as mom of two and entrepreneur. Become a subscriber to get weekly show alerts and exclusive deals at Digitwirl.com, or follow Digitwirl on Twitter at @digitwirl.

Filed under: Calendars/Planners, Technology

Comments

27 Responses to Organize Your Schedule with Google Calendar

  1. 1
    Emily @ Random Recycling says

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve just started playing around with Google Docs and I think the calendar is my next move. I love that it will work on my phone and at home.

    I too love a printed calendar for everyone to visual and get on the same page. I think I’ll just print out the current month so we all stay up to date.

  2. 3
    Jodi says

    LOVE Google Calendar.
    -My husband’s schedule is different each day and changes often – I can always see the latest update.
    -I can put the kids’ game schedules in my calendar and my husband can access them without needing to put them in his own.
    -It’s easy to see when we will need a babysitter.
    -We teach at a university and the academic calendar is available.
    -My parents travel a lot and I can see where they are when.

  3. 4
    Sharon at Momof6 says

    I am a huge fan of using a digital calendar- especially one that can printed out and posted for all to see – including my little ones. I use iCal which is Apple’s built in calendar that come pre-installed with their operating system, but there are several great electronic calendars out there- including Google Calendar, Cozi, and PlumLife.

    I actually have a post running on Momof6 today where I list the 6 Best Family Calendars- both electronic and paper- if you’d like to check it out…

    http://momof6.com/building-a-family-calendar/the-6-best-family-calendars/

    Thanks!

    • 4.1
      Megan Brown says

      Hi Sharon! I am so bummed we didn’t get a chance to chat before you did your post! My business partner and I (also my sister-in-law!) have created a calendar to meet the specific needs of families…it is really set up to be a dashboard for busy families…so in addition to being a sharable calendar is also allows you to set up Groups to eliminate email chains, populate your news and blog feeds that you would like to follow, and also curate things that inspire you. I would love to chat at some point!
      Meg

  4. 6
    Bernice @ The Stressed Mom says

    I love using Google Calendar. It was a lifesaver for the family when I was working a corporate job. Now, my house is empty except for hubby (and 2 dogs!), so I use it to help me keep up with my blogging schedule, my posts that are due for other sites, when they will be posting, etc. I use different colors for different things so I can look at a glance and see what needs to be worked on first.
    I love the flexibility of Google calendar as it can be used in SO many different ways!
    Bernice
    Are we stressing out our kids?

  5. 7
    Michelle says

    I LOVE Google calendar. I share with my husband and daughter and it is awesome! Now, if I could just get my co-workers to use it appropriately. :)

  6. 8
    Elizabeth L. says

    I love, love, love Google calendar. I homeschool and teach college full time at night. If my husband is at work and needs to know what is on the schedule, all he has to do is click the calendar online without bugging me at home while I am teaching the kids. My mom can access it any time. Since she lives 3 hours away, she likes to know when the kids big concerts and programs are. That way she can plan to be here for them. She can access it as well. Also, my sons have an ipod touches (not smartphones), and they can get the calendar there. If they want to sign up for a scouting event at the meetings (while I am in class teaching), all they have to do is check the calendar. No need to wait for me to get out of class or to miss an outing because they did not know if we had anything planned! We also use it for some of our groups, and every member can get on the calendar at any time to see what is coming up. It will even send event reminders to my email and/or iphone.

  7. 9
    Dreena Tischler says

    I have 5 kids in 3 schools and a disorganized hubby! I couldn’t live without my google calendar. And I can print out an agenda for the day, events for the week, whatever I need.

    But here is the real, amazing and hugely timesaving benefit of Google calendar; I plan my menu on it! It’s shareable — which is great – but more importantly, REPEATABLE. I set my dishes to repeat with a frequency based on how much we love them, or how much trouble they are, etc. I put a post about it on my weight loss blog: http://brightweightloss.blogspot.com/2012/01/menu-sharing.html

    Give it a whirl!

  8. 10
    Leanne says

    We use it for our birth work business to share when people are on call for births, when we teach workshops, tasks us owners need to complete and when the EDDs are for our placenta clients. Since I can see when my husband is or isn’t free, it makes it really easy to schedule consults and private prenatals classes.

    At home, I log in whenever our library books are due and I haven’t been paying nearly as many late fees as I once did!

  9. 11
    Rhonda says

    My family also uses Google calendar. My husband and I can both access all of our calendars and add info as needed. We also print out each month and post it on the refrigerator since our 6 year old twins don’t have their own phones or computers. :) If I add something mid month, I just write it on the printed calendar when I add it to Google or after I get home if I schedule something while I’m out and about. It’s the best of both worlds. Because really, what good is calendar hanging on my refrigerator, if I’m at the doctor’s office trying to book a followup appointment.

  10. 12
    Lara says

    I love Google Calendar! I have 3 kids (13, 11 and 10). They all know how to check the daily schedule via a computer, itouch or ipad. I love being able to set up recurring events. I especially like being able to cut and paste information from emails directly into the notes sections. I’ve taught several people how to make the jump to a digital calendar. Once you see the benefits, you won’t go back to paper.

  11. 13
    Lara says

    I love Google Calendar! I have 3 kids (13, 11 and 10). They all know how to check the daily schedule via a computer, itouch or ipad. I love being able to set up recurring events. I especially like being able to cut and paste information from emails directly into the notes sections. I’ve taught several people how to make the jump to a digital calendar. Once you see the benefits, you won’t go back to paper.

    • 13.1
      Megan Brown says

      Hi Lara, I know it is a total pain to even consider looking at another calendar…but…..my sister-in-law and I have created one that fills in the gaps we were finding with Google…
      http://www.HATCHEDit.com Would love to have you look at it! It also allows you to set up “Groups” and start conversations to eliminate those email chains…you can also set up your blog/news feeds so you can follow The Org junkie right there! Anyhoo…thought it would be worth a look for you!
      Best,
      Megan
      Founding Partner
      HATCHEDit.com

  12. 14
    Andrea says

    Laura – I understand your hesitation when it comes to moving from the paper calendar. However I CANNOT function out in public without having my calendar on hand. So… I use google calendar and at the beginning of the month I print it out to have on hand in the kitchen for all to see. Works great!!!

    • 14.1
      Becky says

      I always forget about printing out Google things. The formatting is pretty good too. Printing out an individual event is great for meetings.

      When I have kids and they get older but not old enough for smart phones/tablets, I’ll do this – weekly view for menu, and monthly for general.

  13. 15
    Monica says

    I’ve been using Google calendar since I got my new i-pod touch (replaced my beloved Palm). I finally got DH on board with it. It has simplified managing time with a family of 5. DH can check the calendar when he’s meeting with his colleagues to determine the on-call schedule. As long as I’m up-to-date, he can freely schedule himself around my commitments.

    DH has his own Google calendar which I import and am authorized to make changes. The rest of us have a color-coded calendar under My Calendar. I am the only one who can make changes to this calendar (DH is not quite computer-literate and I’m too much of a control freak to let him have authorization to make changes!)

    I love that I can see at a glance what each of us is doing. I print the boys their own calendar for the month to post on the bulletin board and they can put stickers on if they want. Printing the calender in color is great for seeing who’s doing what, where and with whom.

    With the calendar accessible, on-line or off-line, on my i-pod, I always know what’s happening; or has happened. Today while waiting to drive for a field trip, I needed to have the date that I drove the last field trip (to qualify for family service hours) and I was able to access that date quite easily. I can see a day-at-a-glance, the week, the month, whatever way I want to look at it. Love, love, love my Google calendar!!!

  14. 16
    Becky says

    My husband and I would not know what to do next if not for Google Calendar. The wall calendar idea would never work for me. I have not yet found a spot in the house that is something we’d be sure to see. Maybe our bedroom door but what if I’m in another room or not at home? If I don’t enter an event on my calendar as soon as I hear about it, it’ll never get added. My husband can pull out his phone and see if we have something going on before agreeing to help someone with something. We can answer immediately if this Saturday or next works for a project meeting. We can remember what happened last month and figure out which set of parents turn it is for Christmas. I also use it to plan our vacations and menus. It’s nice that I only need to enter it once and then can drag it around or swith calendars as needed.

    BTW, I have at least 7 calendars: personal, husband (owned by him, shared to me), family (both of us, so most things are on this one), church (public), business, fairs & festivals (public, copied to our calendar if we are attending – otherwise it’s more like a wishlist/idea board for me), menu plan, and various less used ones that I subscribe to, and copy to my calendar if it’s relevant. I keep them hidden most of the time; they are more for reference.

  15. 17
    Tia Gannon says

    If you want to take your online calendar to another level, try PlumLife. It is free and has so many convenient tools that the other online family calendars do not have. PlumLife simplifies your hectic life: managing schedules, to-do lists, babysitters and much more all from one place. It even communicates with the people in your network, notifying them of events or important information for you!

    We love getting feedback from our mommy bloggers!

    -The PlumLife Team

  16. 18
    Carolyn Bennett says

    I LOVE all Google Products because they are free AND useful! I have been using Google Calendar for several years and can’t find one that compares. I have tried cozi but I had some syncing probs with my google calendar and the google calendar has more features than the cozi calendar. It’s easy to use and easy to color code. I have a color coded calendar for each family member as well as a separate colors for birthdays and my business calendar. Having a separate calendar just for birthdays makes it easy to quickly spot what cards I need to make to send out to friends and family!

  17. 19
    Amy @ MomsToolbox says

    Wow! I didn’t know you could have your agenda emailed to you each day! Just checked THAT box! Thanks!

  18. 20
    Jo Joggler says

    Thanks for the article. Calendars and to-do-lists can be tedious and unintuitive for most people to use. Over 2B people use email but a tiny fraction use calendars and to-do-lists. Lot of things we need to get done come through email and get buried under other email – e.g. a meeting request, spouse’s reminder. Or they may pop in our heads at a random times. It is not convenient to pull out a calendar or to-do-list to put it on there. Just the # of clicks it takes to enter an appointment is arduous.

    It is much more natural to “tell” it to someone to get reminded about it – e.g. text it, send an email. Probably, why busy (and rich) people hire personal assistants.

    We have created a service: https://www.joggleme.com to do exactly that. It makes calendars, to-do-lists and time management as simple as sending an email or a text message to your free personal assistant.

    Please check it out and give us feedback.

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