Years ago, while attending a time management seminar, I learned an efficient, organized manager of her time keeps everything in one place; using only one Calendar/time management system; otherwise chaos ensues. I am free at last from one voice of my past.
The technological age brought into play Calendars on computers, palm pilots, and now smart phones with the promise of keeping everything organized and in one place. Paper calendars seemed cumbersome, and outdated. Systems such as Day-Timer and Franklin Covey which promise better productivity, organization and all things in one place come close to fulfilling the ideal. Yet, their paper version is like carrying a suitcase and their electronic version costly. In my world neither fit. And… it’s okay! Whew, what a relief.
I currently use two calendars. On the technology side I use the web-based Google Calendar and I use an old-fashioned paper calendar which sits on my desk. I color code both my Google Calendar and my paper calendars. Here’s a few things I love about Google Calendar.
- Google is set up for ease and allows me to coordinate several Calendars in one place. I have my personal/household calendar, a birthday calendar (holds all those important birthday’s I desire to honor), and a writing/special project calendar. When I worked full-time I had a work Calendar which held only work items added to the mix. Google allows me to overlay all my calendars at once, or I may choose to look at each Calendar individually. Using the overlay feature I can see at a glance what is on the agenda for the day. Birthday cards I need to send off for the week, time I have slotted for writing or other projects, appointments, and hubby’s agenda as well. If I desire to only see the Master calendar or the writing/special project calendar I have that capability.
- I use color coding on our main calendar. Purple’s for all items which pertain to only me. Blue for items pertaining only to hubby, and green for items pertaining to us both. This allows me at a glance to get a clear picture of the day’s activities; who’s where doing what.
- Another nice item Google Calendar offers is a share feature. I can share my Calendar with anyone of my choosing through their email. Once they have permission to view the calendar they go to Google, sign in and “voila” my calendar appears. I shared our main household Calendar with hubby. Hubby, on his computer, can pull up the Google Calendar to view the agenda for the month, week, or day; he has the freedom to add, subtract or change an appointment.
- Google allows me to have my calendar with me, via my smart phone, at all times.
This same seminar taught keeping multiple calendars was taboo. To do so means lost appointments, etc. Keeping multiple calendars, for me, has had just the opposite effect. An electronic calendar is only visible when activated on a screen and is too easy to tuck away; out of sight – out of mind. A paper calendar does not get a virus or all of sudden scramble data. Perhaps, the most important reason – visual stimulation. While sitting at my desk, my paper calendar, placed in a prominent position, is a great visual reminder of how precious time can easily slip away. My calendar is visually appealing as I color code my paper calendar much the same way I do the computerized version.
Here is a pic of my actual Calendar. On the right is a section for notes. Here I use small post-it–notes to track my projects, those in process, those yet begun, etc. Using post-its allow for ease in readjusting my schedule. If I find July will not work for my first re-write I can move it to August with ease. I also use post-its for tentative dates. I simply place a tiny post-it with the info. over the date. If cancelled I simply remove the post-it, if confirmed I move the post-it and write the appointment in my calendar. Did you notice all the Sunday’s have been color-coded in gold? This is new. This reminds me Sunday’s belong to God. I have been doing some research and chewing on the Sabbath. More to come on this subject in later blogs.
Bottom line: A calendar is a system of organizing units of time for the purpose of reckoning time over extended periods. Using the calendar for its intended purpose brings about the best results. Find what works for you and stick with it. Need suggestions, the internet is a wealth of ideas, and I am more than happy to dialog with you until you find the right calendar for you.
Next week – what to do with those pesky to do lists, prayer lists, sticky notes, and scraps of papers.
Until next time – Be encouraged,