Using iCal or Google Calendar is a great way to keep your personal and work life organized. Whether you have Windows based products or Apple, both offer great calendar features. Some people love a physical planner, but I’m all about minimizing.
Organizing with an Online Calendar
I put everything into my iCalendar, the calendar that comes with Apple products. I have several Apple products including an iPhone, Apple Watch, iMac, and a Macbook and love that they all sync together. Many people love their Google calendar, either one works great. What I like about iCal is that I can access it and update it on any of my devices as they are all synced.
Ways I Use My Online Calendar
I’ve attached some screenshots showing iCal on both my phone and my laptop. If I didn’t add my appointments to my calendar, I would honestly forget to go! While I don’t use iCal for my daily work tasks (I use Asana for that – you can find more in the membership area under Blog Organization), I do use it for all of my appointments.
This includes personal appointments like going to the doctor, visiting with friends, and birthdays. On the business side of things, I schedule appointments such as attending events at conferences, flights, lunch dates, phone meetings, and live presentations like the ones we do in our Facebook group.
On Your Smart Phone
I like the phone calendar because I can easily add an appointment on the go. For example, when I’m at the doctor finishing up with an appointment, I can check my iCal and schedule my next appointment without having to pull out a physical planner or having to call the doctor’s office back when I get home. I can make the appointment right there and have it in my phone.
I can even tell Siri “create an event” and she’ll add something to my calendar for me. Perfect for when you are on the go and can’t physically type it in. On your Apple Watch, simply raise your wrist up to your mouth and say “create an event”.
Using my online calendar to keep track of my appointments ensures I don’t accidentally double book anything.
On the Computer
When I’m on my laptop or desktop, I can view my calendar events by day, week, and month. This allows me to see blocked out dates. While you can see this information on your phone too, it’s not as limited as mobile. The larger view is much like the large paper desk calendars from my corporate office days.
On the left hand side of the full month view, you will see some color coded tags. These are separate calendars. You can create as many calendars as you want to keep you organized. You can also select from these calendars when you are creating an event/appointment.
For example, my Work calendar is purple and my Birthday calendar is red. In the screenshot below all of my calendars are turned on. They are all checked. I can uncheck any calendars I don’t want displayed. Each item on the calendar has a colored dot to the left that indicates which calendar it is on. So if you just want to see your “work” items, uncheck everything else. Simple as that.
I usually set an alert for 15 minutes before an event, unless it’s something that I need more time for. For example, if I am flying somewhere and the weather is unpredictable, I will probably want more time. In bad weather, a trip to the airport can take twice as long. So if I need to, I can change the alert to remind me two hours before the actual appointment. I can even add in travel time.
Another thing you can do is search your calendar. I have attached a screenshot showing a search for “meeting”. You can see if I search for “meeting” I can see all my upcoming events with “meeting” in the title.
Anything I want to block out I put on iCal. It IS essentially my day planner.
How do you keep your appointments organized?
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