spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

I just discovered Google Calendar. Mind = blown.

on June 8, 2015
Yikes.  Don't send me to the lions with you historically inaccurate thumb-decision-making.

Yikes. Don’t send me to the lions with your historically inaccurate thumb-decision-making.

Actually, to be fair, I already knew about its existence. My sister and her husband use it, and it sounded pretty cool. But you know me- tech dinosaur. I use my paper planner and it works perfectly. I know exactly when everything is, I can forecast events for months at a time, I keep track of my exercise and work hours in it, and jot down daily to-do items (today’s entries include watch Star Wars V, and paint toenails).  This system has always worked well for me.

The issue lies in those last 2 words: for me.  My dear husband doesn’t have access to my planner, so he had to rely on me to tell him about upcoming events, or the details of those events.  We have a weekly menu/calendar hanging in our home, but I haven’t updated it since we moved! Fail 😦  Anyway, he was finding out about things my daughter needed to attend, appointments I had, or programs at my son’s preschool just a few days before each event, and since he would be driving the kids or picking them up, etc, he would have to quickly rearrange his day/readjust his schedule sort of at the last minute.  So I set out the see whether that cool thing my sister told me about AGES ago would work for us.

Look at all the pretty colors.

Look at all the pretty colors.  In this stock photo, you can see that past events are “dimmed,” so you can focus your attention on what is coming up next.

Point in its favor: the Google Calendar is a Google application, but that doesn’t mean you need a Gmail account to use it or set it up.  You can use any email account as the basis for the calendar- but you do need to create a Google account to access it.  Once you’ve created a calendar, you can share it via email.  You set the permission on what “guests” to your calendar can do: just view it, modify it, invite others, etc.

Then you can begin to create events.  I decided to follow my now-ingrained family color assignment to categorize each event.  You can set those view/modify permission for each individual event as well.  Events can be one-time or recurring, and you can choose if the recurrence is daily, weekly, monthly, on certain days of the week, and so forth.  Here a screenshot of next week, which I chose because I enabled a setting to include US holidays, and also used an option to display other time zones- see the red arrows:

Yellow bubbles to protect the innocent.

Yellow bubbles to protect the innocent.

It’s pretty cool, I think.  I’m still playing around with it.  I will still consider my planner the ultimate calendar though, because A) it’s pretty much become an extension of my arm, and B) I still don’t have a smartphone and therefore have no way to update the Google calendar easily.  You can see your stuff offline, but I never use Chrome, and I don’t wanna start (yes, I’m very stubborn about rejecting technology).

Anyway, I like that you can change from the Week view to a Month view, exclude weekends, etc.  I made some ground rules for adding things, like preschool.  My son is there from the time we drop him until the time we pick him up, there is no solid beginning or end to his day.  So I didn’t make a recurring event for it.  Come the fall, I will have to put both kids’ school schedules in, because they end at different times on different days of the week.  None if this 8-3 nonsense that we grew up with, no sir!  This past year, DD got out at 2:55pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 1:55pm on Tuesday, and at 2:05pm on Thursday.  Why the 10-minute difference on Tuesdays and Thursdays?  Your guess is as good as mine.

My husband now looks at this calendar daily, so he has the full information on each event well before it happens.  And looking at my screenshot, I just now see why this hugely appeals to me…it’s a spreadsheet.

Problem solved.  Life made a little easier.  Wheels turning….sneaks off to create a Disney Parks mock-up itinerary calendar to play around with FastPass+ options….

2 responses to “I just discovered Google Calendar. Mind = blown.

  1. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    I always view my calendar in “4 Week” mode – so the current week is always at the top.


  2. Ooh, I like it! Thanks for the tip 🙂


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