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  • Writer's pictureAngela Stratman

How I use Google Calendar for Time Management

After trying many different ways to manage my time, from paper planners to wall calendars and whiteboards I finally found one that works for me. Sometimes that is the hardest part, finding something that works for you. My Google Calendar site has 4 calendars. That’s right I have 4 calendars!

The first is “Bills.” I list every bill as an all-day appointment the day before the bill is due. I also record my paydays and any “required” shopping days. Here is one day in February. You can see that Google also allows you to color code entries. I use Blue for shopping, Green for paydays, Red for things that auto-pull from my account, and brown for things I need to pay. Just by glancing, I can see that my check is about $#### (I am paid a flat salary, so my check is always the same). If your paychecks vary, look at the last 4 and put down the average. I need to go out and pay my Trailblazer’s loan. $54 is coming out of my account this day for AAA Insurance, and I need to buy B a birthday gift. (I recommend if you have a budget number, list it.) As I mentioned, the Trailblazer is due the next day, but the paycheck (direct deposit) and auto-pull payment will happen on this day.

When payday comes I schedule about an hour to sit down with this calendar and pay whatever is due between now and the next payday. My calendar appointment lists the amount and title in the subject, but in the notes area I list the log in, well a more “secured” login. I never write the whole password just an abbreviated version. I know what it means and I have a cheat sheet printed in case something happens to me, my family can still pay the bills.

The second is my “Work” calendar. This is housed in my work’s Outlook account, so I can’t move it to Google, but I list any crucial meetings or travel, so I know not to book doctors/dentists/other appointments on those days. Here, you can see I have a 10 am meeting and a 2 pm meeting; since this meet at a specific time, I use the actual times, so if they were both in the morning, I might be able to schedule an afternoon appointment.

Calendar number three is my “Goals” calendar. Here, I include any check-ins, milestones, or planning sessions. On the 8th of February, I should be finishing book 1 and selecting book 2 toward my goal of reading a book a month. If you were to see a month-ending day, you would see check-ins for all goals and reflection time.

My last calendar is not mine; it is my spouse’s calendar. This calendar has the first and last days of the kids’ semesters and breaks, so we know someone needs to pick them up; their sporting events would also have been here. My spouse does a lot of work at various times of the day, which helps me know when he will be out and where he is headed. This helps with planning dinners; I don’t intend to grill when he is 30 minutes away at 6 pm. You can see he has an 8 pm KofC, which is a must for the DGK (his position in the group). So, I know to make dinner early that night because he will leave around 7 pm.

Now, let’s look at it all together. Every calendar you own is grouped on the left side, and shared calendars are on the right. You can look at your whole day in one spot and determine what you must include in your list of tasks to prioritize for the next day.

I believe in deleting completed items off the calendars and moving things that end up past their date. I do not make any changes to my spouse’s calendar, that is for him to manage. On the Bills calendar I add “PD” to the beginning of the subject line for the items I go out and pay (not for the auto-pull items). I only delete them from the calendar when they have cleared my account. This reminds me they are still out there so I don’t overdraw the account.

It doesn’t really matter the resources you use to manage your day, what matters is that you take the time to actually populate them with the information. If you need some ideas on ones I have tried that didn’t work, reach out and I will share my flops, because just because it flopped for me doesn’t mean it won’t be your solution.


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