This is a question I ask myself daily. How many calendars do I actually need? I would really like to just get by with a digital calendar – I prefer Google. But over the summer I learned I needed to actually write things down. I know, I know. So while gearing up for the school year—a few weeks late, I’ve decided that I really need more than one calendar. In fact, I think I need 5, maybe 6.
Yes, I Really Need 5 Calendars
The jump from one to five is pretty significant. And if I think about it, five calendars probably isn’t that excessive. There are five of us in this family, one calendar a piece makes sense. Kind of.
Digital calendars are wonderful, but it just isn’t enough. I need more in my life to keep all the things straight. And admitting that is the first step towards a more organized life. I hope.
I may have converted my work life over to a Mac almost two years ago, but I’m still an Android and Google kind of girl. My Google calendar allows me to take my calendar with me. It gives me easy access to what’s coming up and allows me to add things to it easily. While the notes can be tedious to add, I do like that I can invite people (mostly my husband) to events he needs to know about and I can add locations to use my GPS later.
Sometimes I find myself adding events to my digital calendar to remind myself to do something. If you took a peak, you’d see events like “cancel subscription” and “clean toilets” on there. My phone reminds me of these tasks and allows me to stay on track.
Another great feature is that I can add events from my email easily to this calendar. So when I get an invitation or reminder to my email, I can drop it in. All in all, this is a great option for keeping organized on the run, which is frequent.
Monthly Desk Calendar
The next calendar I started using was a monthly desk calendar. Similar to a desk blotter, but smaller. It gives me the month at a glance, while easily allowing me to see the rest of the year on one side. With a flip of a page, I can add things to the next month or go back and see what I did last month.
I use this one for a combination of family and work things. I also write random notes in the small notes section and stick paper bills—why do people still send them—in the correct month so I pay them on time.
This calendar never leaves my desk, it’s always open, and it’s a constant go-to when scheduling appointments, agreeing to deadlines, and making plans for kids.
This is my newest addition. I got a beautiful personal planner in a subscription box. It’s small enough to fit in my rather large purse and yet big enough to read what I write in it. And it has stickers. I use this for personal things, no work allowed!
It has a section for goals, a list of holidays, and a spot for each month for some journaling or notes. There is a small monthly layout and then more space to write in each day while viewing the week as a whole. This planner starts in August 2019 and goes through the end of 2020.
I use this planner to document me. My thoughts, my feelings. How I viewed a particular workout, a book I finished, a scripture verse that really resonated with me. This one is all about me. Something I’ve been reminded recently isn’t selfish, it’s crucial.
Monthly Family Calendar & Checklists
I love having a calendar in the kitchen. It gives us easy access to the events coming up and allows me to keep things straight when I’m not at my desk or on my phone. It also gives the kids something to look forward to, like when we are expecting a visitor.
On this calendar, I only put things that affect the whole family. Work trips for me or my husband, out of the norm sporting events, birthdays—opting to make this one less overwhelming. It’s nice for everyone to see what’s going on, so when I say no to a sleepover or birthday party, they can understand why.
A week into school, we were still struggling with the new routines. We were forgetting things and then rushing around. There was too much yelling. So we huddled up with the bigs and together we worked on three lists—one for before school, one for after school, and one for before bed. Almost immediately they helped. The kids knew what they had to do and they had a visual reminder to do it.
Of course, then Gregory wanted one too, and the sometimes creative in me decided these should be broken down, printed, and indestructible. So I created them on Canva, laminated them, and posted on the fridge. You can take the one I made for Greg and customize it to your needs.
Weekly Work Calendar
When I was in my “no paper” stage, I used another app to keep track of work assignments. That quickly became three more apps as different clients use different programs to keep track of their assignments. It was getting to be too much!
So, I started creating a weekly work calendar, writing a brief assignment down under each category. I have weekly tasks, monthly tasks, and each client has a section. I leave the middle section open for other random tasks that come up.
Here’s where life changed. I also stopped checking my email and these apps constantly. Yup. I check email three times a day—morning, lunch, and about 30 minutes before I’m done for the day. Ok, sometimes I do check-in between, but I’m a work in progress. If something new comes in, I add it to the list. Then I work one project at a time. I do the same things with the apps. The one I need for that client is open, the rest are closed. My productivity has increased tenfold.
Extra: Shared Google Calendar
Five calendars to keep this girl settled and focused on the things that are important. But with that comes another very important part of my life—and he has is own calendar. My husband also has a google calendar and while his looks a lot calmer than mine, he shares it with me.
This way I can see when he has extra work events, trips, or appointments coming up. It helps me to know when he’s available to take on some extra things and when I need to take on things for him. Sharing is important, even when it comes to a calendar.
Do I really need all of these calendars? Probably not. I’m sure I would still remember the important things without all of these tools, but if they make me better at what I do, then they’re worth it. How many calendars do you have? What do you use them for? Let me know!