Using Google Calendar to Manage Tasks

February 25, 2012
Jillian

Google Calendar

As a Project Manager, people often ask me how I keep up with all of my various tasks. I’m traditionally a Post-It and To-Do List girl, but over the past few years I’ve migrated most of those paper lists into my Google Calendar.

Here are a few of the benefits of using Google Calendar:

Access: Since your calendars are in the cloud, you can access them anytime, anywhere. I always have them pulled up on my smartphone or in an app.

Price: Google is free… And an excellent value for the money.

Alerts: You can set up email or pop-up reminders for events, and you can customize when to receive them.

Sharing: You can share access to your calendar with others, so they can easily check your schedule.

Multiple Calendars: Google lets you create multiple calendars that can all be viewed simultaneously, and you can color-code them to help differentiate. Here are some examples of my different calendars:

  1. Personal: This is my default view for all my personal life events, from doctor’s appointments to girls’ nights out.
  2. Work: This keeps track of my professional meetings.
  3. Family: My husband and I share this calendar as a way to record all our joint plans, including the all-important Date Night.
  4. Personal To-Do List: Need to return that phone call, write an email, or pay a bill? Need to remind yourself to run an errand next Tuesday? I add these to my calendar, along with an email reminder, so I can forget about them until the moment they pop up in my email inbox (which usually ends up serving as my more immediate to-do list).
  5. Work To-Do List: I keep a separate calendar to remind me of deadlines and tasks. I often have to share my main Work calendar with coworkers, so they can see my availability during business hours and more easily schedule meetings. Having this second, private calendar separates out the non-time-sensitive items without clogging my Work calendar.
  6. Exercise, food, special events, etc.: I don’t always use these, but in the past I’ve had unique calendars to help keep track of my exercise routine, track my eating habits, and even outline the event calendar for my wedding.

Using Google Calendar may not be the ultimate solution to everyone’s planning and tracking needs, but it’s worked well for me! What tools do you use?

Tags: Planning,

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