Calendar Planning Tips

Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook have a lot of similar features, and the preference of one over the other ultimately comes down to your own needs. The following 7 steps are aimed at current users of Google Calendar, and those thinking of switching soon. They examine ways in which you can use Google Calendar to improve your scheduling and give you a clearer view of what events and deadlines are coming up.

Get rid of Daily View – there is no single reason to justify using daily view. It limits your view, and adds unnecessary steps to the scheduling of new tasks.

Start using Monthly View or Weekly View – Me .. I use weekly view. This gives you a broad overview of your schedule, allowing you to easily decide when to add new items, and even when to schedule family time. Family commitments should actually be added to your schedule first, along with a recurring event for exercise; then you can begin scheduling your other obligations around these.

Always schedule at least a week in advance – Use the weekly view option, but have it set to the week after the current week. As new appointments and commitments arise, always schedule them in that week, or later, giving everybody ample time to prepare and arrange their own schedule.

Finalize events in Weekly View – Switch to using the view for the current week to finalize all appointments and to make adjustments if necessary. If you cannot make a specific appointment or scheduled event, try to reschedule rather than simply deleting it. This is especially true of family commitments and your exercise routine – if you miss a day, reschedule it.

Compare Event Types

Staying healthy, physically and emotionally, depends on a balanced lifestyle, so get into the habit of comparing how much time you have committed to work related events versus family related. If there is a big difference is quantity it suggests that either your focus is off, or you haven’t recorded everything on your calendar. Re-evaluate and correct.

Use the Reminder Options

A common mistake when setting reminders is to get the timing wrong; you want the reminder to alert you early enough that you can take all necessary action, but not so early that you end up forgetting again. You can set reminders on Google Calendar to alert you via your regular email, your Gmail and cellphone; using all the reminder options might seem like an annoyance, but it is especially beneficial if you aren’t always in front of your computer.

Share your Calendar

If you have certain people and organisations that you deal with very frequently, consider sharing your calendar with them. This gives them a clear idea of what your schedule looks like, and makes it easier for them to then schedule time with you that is convenient to both parties. If you have a virtual assistant then you should definitely share your calendar with them, they can then assist with your scheduling, and even take on some of the simpler tasks on your calendar, freeing you up to focus on more important matters.

How are you using your calendar?

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