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How I Am Using Google Calendar to Organize My Life


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Picture of google calendar

Recently, I have been using Google Calendar as one of the main tools to get my life ogranized. I have been tempted and tried many different apps for my calendar, to do list, menus, etc., and I keep coming back to the simplicity of Google Calendar.

Google Calendar can be used across multiple devices, meaning that I can add, change, or delete something one place and it is changed on all my devices.

I love that.

Now there are a few things I want to discuss before we get into the nitty gritty of how I use Google Calendar.

A few things to know about Google Calendar…

You can create multiple calendars and color code them – As you will see below, I created quite a few different calendars for different things, but that allows me to color code them and easily see on my weekly or daily plan the different types of commitments I have.

For example, the To Do calendar is green (you can see those “all day events” at the very top of each day). I made my Homeschool calendar gold, I made a calendar for my responsibilities (blog work, etc.) purple, I made my Menu calendar light blue, my Outside Appointments red (so they pop out at me). I hope you get the idea!

Related: Google Calendar not for you? Give the free Cozi a try!

You can create events set to a specific day and time OR an all day event – When you create an event, it allows you to select the day and time for the event OR you can choose all day event. I make all my To Do calendar items all day events so they show up at the top of my calendar (as seen above). I just like having all those To Do items in one place.

You can set events up to repeat – I use this feature all the time! Anything that you know will repeat again (whether daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly) can be set up to repeat. That means that you won’t have to go in each time and enter the event again and again.

I do this for our homeschool schedule, my laundry schedule, cleaning items, birthdays and anniversaries, seasonal cleaning, blog work, and much more! So be thinking about this when you enter an event onto your Google Calendar. Ask yourself if this repeats at all, and if it does, then go ahead and set it to repeat and you are done!

Here is how I am using Google Calendar….

School Schedule – I created a calendar for our homeschool stuff and labeled it “Homeschool”. Using this calendar, I set up our intervals by scheduling an event that lasts a whole week and titling it something like “Spring Term: Week 29”. I make it an all day event that lasts the whole week, so at the top of my week in Google Calendar, it will show a long line showing me what week we are in in our homeschool.

I also set in the Homeschool Calendar the blocks of time during the day that are set aside for homeschool. This is usually a block of time before lunch, and another block of time in the afternoon. That way those blocks are on my calendar and I will see them when I make any appointments. On our weeks that we take a break, those blocks will not be there, allowing more time to be spent doing other things.

Events & Appointments – Anything that has a set time is added to the calendar (doctor or dentist appointments, etc.). I created a separate calendar called “Events & Appointments” and set them up in that calendar.

Birthdays & Anniversaries – I created a Birthdays & Anniversaries calendar, and added all our family’s birthdays and anniversaries. I also set them up as recurring so they will pop up for me each year. I set it to email me a week before so I can be sure to get a gift or a card in the mail. Works great!

Menus – I created a calendar called “Menus” and in that calendar I entered our breakfast and dinner meals. I set them up on a recurring basis, so that it will repeat the meals every month or so. This works ok, but I get in a rut and really need to go in and add some new meals to our menu!

To Do List – This is the last item – I created a calendar called “To Do” and on this calendar I create All Day Events of things that need to be done on certain days. The reason I make it an All Day event is so that it will show at the top of each day — all my To Do items together.

Some of the tasks I put on here are: Mondays-put trash dumpster out to street, Tuesday-do all laundry, Wednesday-Wash my husband’s work clothes, Thursday-wash sheets, Friday-get groceries, do 1 load of laundry, prep for children’s church.

I also add seasonal things on my To Do calendar — things like changing the furnace filters every 2-3 months, backing up our computers, cleaning the dishwasher and washing machines (inside deep cleaning), etc.

One of my goals for this year was to do my Christmas shopping throughout the year. So I added a To Do item on the 3rd Friday of every month and set it to repeat each month to remind myself to buy a Christmas gift when I get groceries that day.

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I am kind of using Google Calendar as a brain dump — I get all these things out of my head that I need to remember to do and add them as To Do items in my calendar. Then I don’t have to remember it all!

I should mention that each day once I have completed a To Do item, I simply delete it from the calendar so I can easily see what needs to be done yet that day. If something didn’t get done, then I can move it to another day if I want.

Now please remember that if you have items set up to repeat, when you delete that repeating item from your calendar, be sure to only delete that item and not the whole series! When you go to delete it, it will give you two options to choose from so be sure to select the right one!

While there are a ton of neat apps out there that can handle to do lists, I have found that keeping it all in Google Calendar is a much simpler and more streamlined approach for me. I sit down with my phone or other device and pull up my Google Calendar.

I check what needs to be done the next day, any appointments we have, etc., and make out my list for the next day onto an index card. That card goes on the frig and I can simply mark things off as they are done.

I know this might not work for everyone, but it is working for me. Maybe there is someone here who needs a more streamlined approach and this would be the answer. The most important thing is finding something that works for you and sticking with it!

Check out Google Calendar today!

If you want to read more about using a calendar, check out this post and this post on my site!


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21 Comments

  1. I noticed that you have a calendar titled events and appointments and outside appointments. what do you use each for?
    1. the Events and Appointments was the default and I think at the time I set up my calendar I created a new one called Outside appointments because I wanted a way to indicate appointments that were outside the home. After I did that I realized that most appts. are outside the home! Anyway, I was already well into setting up the calendar so just left it :)
  2. I love using Google Calendar. I have also been using Google Tasks for my to do list. You can even add the Google Tasks things to be viewed on your calendar. I like it better, because I can check things off. I can also set them to repeat on a regular basis. One reason I use Tasks is because I use an app called Silence Premium that silences my phone when I have meetings, appointments, etc. That way my phone automatically silences my phone then turns it back on. I was having issues about forgetting to turn the volume back on for a while there. I just have to remember to mark things as available when I don't want my phone silenced. I use the app Tasks to view/remind me of things to do. They show up as a notification on my phone, so I can check them off as I do them.
    1. I do not really use the tasks option. Instead I make daily to do items as an all day event so they show up at the top of each day.
  3. I love that I can add my moms email and anything I put on her calendar will show up for her on her phone. GAME CHANGER!!! I don't have to call everyone every time something in their schedule changes. I can add it on their particular calendar and it pops up for them and for me. LOVE IT!
  4. Thank you sooo much. This is really helpful. Some of the things I already implement but I love the To Do list calendar. Thank you so much for sharing. May God bless you and your family.
  5. My mind was blown the first time I found out you could create more than 1 calendar in Google and color code it. It's amazing! I have been using it for awhile. I found out if you go on a computer to your contacts and click options or more options you can add the contacts birthday and then just show contacts on your calendar. You wouldn't get a notification but I like it cause I don't need the notifications for those yet. You could also use the reminder as like a to do list. I do this for reminders I don't want as events and if I don't mark it as done it moves to the next day on the top until you mark it as done. I think you have to put in a time but not sure so might help too and you can see what you got done without marking or deleting cause it crosses out for you!
  6. Thank you for this awesome post. I already use google calendar in a similar way and love that I can also share calendars with the important people in my life that help with running little people around. As my kidos get older they also have their own calendars that we can all share to keep us all on the right page. As a busy business owner, mom, wife and woman keeping it simple but clear is key. Thank you again. I have been looking for a to do list for so long but nothing seems to work as simply or across all of our devices as well as google calendar. Not sure why I didn't figure it our before but this is the best idea ever. THANK YOU!
  7. I do the sane thing but instead of deleting a task when it’s done, i keep it there and add “done”. This way i can see which days were “productive” for me and what i did on certain days... :)
    1. Hi Sylvie, IN Google Calendar, you create different calendars for each type of event so you can color code it. Each calendar is assigned a color. Plus you can remove calendars from view if you want. It just makes it easier to organize!
  8. I've been looking for something like this. But I thought you would have to switch between the calendars..NOT what I wanted! This is perfect! Thank you.
  9. I’ve been trying so many different calendars and task apps but nothing works as great as google calendar! You’re suggestion to create multiple calendars solves this problem! Thanks! Do you have a list of your Rotating to do list, like changing the air filter?
    1. Hi Katie! I am so glad that my post solved a problem for you :)! As far as my extra cleaning tasks, I have my cleaning calendar embedded on this post. You can use it and import it onto a new calendar, and then edit and delete what you don't want. Here is that link: https://sherigraham.com/homemaking/cleaning-calendar/
  10. I LIVE off of google calendar. I LOVE it! I don't know what I'd do without it! A couple times I tried a different method, and nothing comes close to google calendar. Seriously! :-) I also use it to make notes when I call customer service of a company (like the cable company, for example). I make notes of who I talk to and what they said. That way if I need to call them again, I can tell them who I spoke with, when it was, and what exactly they said. I also mark the end of promotions and when certain things are due. :-) I LOVE IT!!
    1. Hi Chantel! Exactly! I feel the same way ;). There are so many different ways and uses for Google Calendar. It just makes my life so much easier having everything in one place and synced on all my devices. Love it! Have a great day!

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