If you read my other post about using your planner AND your Google Calendar, then you should read this post. If you haven’t read that one yet, check it out after this one. There is no particular order to either one of these posts - they both have some awesome information that benefits each other. Using a Google Calendar can make your life so much simpler.
I have devised personal codes to help me read my calendar faster and easier. I have no shame in saying that I used many of the codes I use in my daily job at Pay it Forward Processing. I manage my boss’s calendar and while I will spare you from having to see what it looks like, I am going to show you how we schedule events on the calendar. It’s going to be a ton of fun!
If there is an event, an appointment, or a meeting, I use the code DR to signify that I’m going to have to drive somewhere. I also add an asterisk (*) to signify that this event or meeting is only once. It isn’t recurring. For the recurring events, appointments, or meetings, I add three asterisks (***). If I were to schedule a meeting with a client, it would look like this: *DR Nora Conrad, Location, Number. If I were taking part in a mastermind that I needed to attend every week, it would look like this: ***DR Mastermind Meeting, location, number.
Here are all of my codes and what they mean:
DR means drive
DT means drive time
HM means home
BL means blog
CL means client
PH means phone call
Each one of the events I add into my calendar has a code. Again, they also have either one or three asterisks. I also take it one step further and make the event a different color. My color code key is this: personally is green, blog/client work is blue, anything with my fiance is orange, and everything else is red.
This whole system isn’t set in stone. I am still working on building up my calendar and I may change these, add more, or just get rid of some altogether. It’s a start to the system and it is allowing to really find out how to use my time properly. I have a clear picture of what I need to cut out and really focus on.
Tips & Tricks
There are a few more tips and tricks that I suggest you implement into your calendar system. They will help make your life less stressful. They can also keep you on track. My first tip is if you have an event or meeting that you are driving to, add the address in the location bar AND the event title.
If you didn’t notice, the examples I used to explain the asterisk were formated liked this: *DR Event/Name, LOCATION, phone. This is so that it is easy for you to see that it’s a one time event, it’s with this person or this event name, it is located at this place - be sure to add in specific details like the name of the building and then the address (i.e. UTC Mall, 140 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota, FL 34243) - and then the phone number of either the person you’re meeting or the contact information for someone at the building.
My next tip is to add any pertinent information into the details area of the event. If you were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, add those details into the detail slot. If you had an email introduction to them, copy the email in. If you’ve met with them before, add notes and details about what you’ve talked about and why you are meeting again. This is to help you keep track of all of the people you’re going to be meeting and who they are.
One of my final tips is to use your calendar to become a follow up master. As sales people, the worst thing you can do is to stop following up. Even after you’re told that they are not interested in your product or service, you still need to follow up. Send birthday cards and holiday greetings. Have a follow up phone call to ask them how their kids are doing or how business is going. Never stop following up. If you make the sale, you still follow up. You still make sure that you’re keeping a relationship with them. Your calendar can help you with this.
After you find out their birthday, add it to your calendar. After you have an appointment with them and say you’ll give them a call in two weeks to see how things are going, add that call to your calendar. After you’ve figured out their favorite candy, send them some to say you’re thinking of them and then schedule a follow up to see how they liked it in your calendar. Using your calendar, you can keep scheduling follow ups and therefore become a follow up master AND increase your profit at the same time.
Scheduling Your Life
I have come into contact with my fair share of people who can’t seem to get it together. I’ve also dealt with people who don’t want to get it together. They want to go through life, living it, not scheduling it. I totally understand. I will say this - they are not going to be going anywhere in life anytime soon. They say they have dreams and want to accomplish certain things, but if they don’t have a plan on how to achieve it, it’s never going to happen. We’ve all heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Using your Google Calendar can help you reach those dreams and live out your goals. It doesn’t have to be a soul-crushing practice. Scheduling time to get some work done doesn’t mean that your creativity needs to be squashed. It means you are making time to work on your craft and skill. It means you value your time and your dreams. Don’t make the mistake of believing that your dreams are going to come true with no effort. It takes real effort and intention to make things happen. It’s hard work but I know you can do it!