Scheduling and planning has become all the rage these days. If you take were to Google the words bullet journal, notebook, or planner, the results are some awesome articles and news surrounding the offline side of things. It’s hard to imagine not having a calendar to help schedule everything out for someone like me. I enjoy it so much I actually schedule things twice!
Let me explain. I love planning on paper. I currently use a spiral bound Recollections Planner, which you’ve probably noticed me mentioning a few times. I use this to schedule out my days, keep track of appointments I need to set up, and track habits. Then I take all of the days that I have meetings, appointments, and so on, and add them to my second calendar: Google Calendar.
I use this calendar to receive reminders on my phone. I know a logical response to that would be, why don’t you just use the Google Calendar? Why do you have two? I’ll tell you why. It’s because if I don’t actually write anything down, I won’t remember it. Plus, I love the way it feels to have a beautiful planner to reference! I truly relax and have fun when I’m working in my planner.
Anyway, I use my Google Calendar to get reminders on my phone and get directions easily. If you’re interested in setting up your own calendar, check out what’s below. If you have a Gmail account, you have a Google Calendar. I suggest you use it to your advantage. It’s a great tool to use and I really believe that it will help you improve, not only your organization, but also your follow ups.
How To Use Your Calendar
I use my calendar to schedule time to learn. There are times I have available I make sure to schedule time to watch webinars, read articles, and check up on any news that’s going on in my industry. I also use it to schedule time for certain tasks. Say I want to take some time to work on my #InboxZero challenge, which I still have not achieved by the way. I make sure to block out specific times to work on it. This way, I have no excuse as to why it’s not done.
I still have no excuse. >.<
My final use of using this calendar system is to schedule out time with my friends and family. I am horrible at keeping up with relationships properly. It really bugs me and I always want to do better. Scheduling out calls and chats helps me keep up with my relationships and makes me into a better daughter, friend, and sibling.
Set Up Your Calendar
If you know you need a doctor’s appointment in the next few months, schedule a time to give them a call and get it set up. If you know you want to publish a blog post on Monday, schedule time the week before to write, edit, and format it. Also, schedule time to work on writing the newsletter. When you have everything you have dates for scheduled, crack open your planner and start adding dates in.
I like to make sure my planner and Google Calendar are linked together. There’s no actual way to do this automatically, but I take the time to set up a system. Anything I know I need to do in the future, I schedule it out. I schedule cleaning days in my planner that are then fit into my schedule online. I like to think of my physical planner as only for my day-to-day tasks, while my Google Calendar helps me actually plan and schedule out the tasks per hour and throughout the month. It helps me manage my time more efficiently.
My favorite part of using both of these systems is being able to really fine tune my goals and make a plan to tackle them. If you haven’t noticed, I like to plan things out as much as I can. In my planner, I make my list of goals. I like to have goals for weekly, monthly, yearly, and in five years. I would do more, but I find my interests change so often it wouldn’t be prudent to do so.
I start with my five year goals and then break them into yearly goals. After I figure out what goals I want to tackle for the year, I brain dump all of the tasks that will get me to that goal. I also set deadlines for where I want to be within each month. These action items now have a deadline and are added into my Google Calendar. This way I don’t forget them and can always keep track of and check my progress.
Any blog posts I want to post are added to Google Calendar as my editorial calendar. Again, like I mentioned before, I also schedule all of the time I need to work on them to make sure they are ready to publish.
All of this has helped me not only be more organized, but it’s also helped me be able to work on more projects on the side. When I first attempted to blog, I was spending all of my time blogging. I couldn’t figure out how to actually get ahead and make time for the things that would actually make this into a full time thing for me. Now, I’m finally figuring it out and I want to help all of you!