How To

Google Calendar

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How I…Google Calendar

I get asked regularly “How do you keep up with everything” or “How do you keep it all together” and my response is always the same; “I am a Google calendar master”.

No…Seriously, it is a huge part of our success as parents and I’ll tell you a huge part of my personal sanity. 

But trust me when I say, it is a process! Partly because I have three divorce decrees/parenting plans I have to make sure I have all the holidays and weekends entered first. Then on top of it all six of our kids are very involved in sports.  I honestly have the following t-shirts:

  • Dance Mom
  • Softball Mom x3
  • Soccer Mom
  • Baseball Mom

So I decided to dedicate a blog post to just this.  I know that everyone out there has their own version of crazy schedules.  But here is a glimpse into ours.

Why Google?

So if you know anything about Google calendar you know that it can be fantastic for many reasons. 

  1. It’s free!
  2. It is user friendly both desktop version and app versions so you can have it integrated for your busy lives. 
  3. I can have unlimited individual calendars.
  4. You can share any or all calendars with anyone.
  5. Did I mention, it’s free!

Yes, I love it!  I am going to share with you my process but also a few of my favorite tips about Google calendar.

The Process

Begin by using your desktop.  It’s so much easier to set up all of your calendars and all the settings for each one on the desktop.  Once everything is loaded you can very easily use any device to update, change or add events.   

Step 1:

Get a glass of wine!

Step 2:

Gather all of your schedules and have them accessible.  For us, I get out all of my “parenting plans” that I have to manage…we have 3.  Plus I get together all of the sports schedules and school schedules.   

-For our personal calendars, I usually do this step 2-3 times a year; January for the beginning of the year parenting plan holidays, May for summer schedules and vacations, and again in August for the school year schedule. I also do this whenever I get sports season schedules.

For the purpose of this guide, you will see that I am showing you part of my business calendar by setting up my Pinterest schedule.

Step 3:

Once you are in your Google account, select the grid of squares just to the left of your screen name/picture.  Then select calendar; and you will see a blank calendar.

Step 4:

The left column of your screen you will see a small box saying “add calendar” with three dots to the right; select the dots and then choose “New Calendar”.

The first thing your going to do is name your calendar.  You can choose whatever you would like to name it, we choose the kids names and then I have the additional “groupings” I need as well. 

-I’ve seen students use it for class/homework schedules.  You can use it for budgeting, meal planning, to-do lists, if you’re a blogger like me you can use it as your blog planner, really whatever your personal life needs. 

-You can also enter a description here; make sure the correct time zone is selected here as well.  You will also see the “owner” of the calendar.  Once all of this is complete, select “create calendar”.

Step 5:

After you “create calendar” click the arrow next to “settings”.

You will see your new calendar listed on the left side.  The first thing I do here is actually click the three dots and pick my color then click “Settings and sharing”.  Now, go through all the settings and select your preferences.  Here is where you can share your calendar with specific people, set your notification defaults. The rest of the settings I generally keep as Google’s defaults. 

That’s it. Just repeat the steps for how many calendars you need. 

Don’t forget to load all the calendars you need on all the devices you use, phone, tablet, etc. 

My top tips!

  1. Different calendars for every different thing you need
  2. Color code
  3. Load on every device you use
  4. Color code
  5. Use your phone to add events and reminders

My Phone

This is the way I set everything up and it works best for me.  Each person in our family has their own calendar.  Then I also have calendars for each of the three school districts that I have to keep track of and I have each kid grouping as a calendar too.  So all together we have 15 different calendars…wait what…yep I just looked 15 whoa!

But trust me, you can turn calendars off/on so if you only want to see the school calendars of if you only want to see one of the kids activities AND since each one is separate I can color code them too so just by looking at the screen I can tell who has what going on; like I said it is a process for us but it’s the only way I keep my sanity. 

If you have any tips for organizing your family’s crazy schedule please share.  I am always up for other tips and tricks to keep our family organized! 

Just My Opinion:

The above statements are just my opinion based off my personal experience.  I am not trained as a counselor or advisor in any way.   

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