Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to Organize a Busy Life

There are a lot of things that I have to keep track of. My husband travels for work, my oldest works and participates in conventions, my youngest has school and may start working this summer, I have photo shoots and a business to run, craft projects to finish, classes and my "day job." For some people this may sound overwhelming. And it easily could be. The trick is staying organized.

Each person has their own Google account as soon as they are old enough to get one. One of the features of a Google account is a calendar. Each person shares their calendar with me and I assign them a color so that I can easily see what applies to whom. The colors are a personal preference and have no bearing on the other calendars. My youngest son's entries are yellow on my calendar, but they are red on his. Red on mine is my older child.  

A week of my life.
I like to have my calendar show a week at a time, but there are settings for day, month, an option you can customize in the settings and agenda. There is a monthly calendar in the upper left corner which makes it easier to quickly jump around. Use the arrows to get to the month then click on the day. The main calendar will bring up the day/week you clicked on. There is also a widget, which Google calls "Labs" that will allow you to type in the date you want so you don't have to scroll.

Also on the left side is a listing of the other calendars that you have set up. Here you can set the colors, hide the calendars from the main view and change the settings. Below the shared calendars is a place for "other calendars." You can browse popular ones, like religious holidays or sports schedules. You can also request that friends share their calendar with you. 

On the other side I have my tasks and a world clock Lab. You can choose other Labs as well. 

One of the best features about Google Calendar is the "Find a Time" feature. When you set up a new event you can either set a day and time (good for planned things like doctor's appointments), or you can use the "Find a Time" feature (good for things you want to do but aren't on a schedule like daily workout or weekly hobby). The feature will shift the time on your calendar to a time that's free within the time frame set. For example want to work out for an hour in the morning twice a week? use the Find a Time to tell you when you have time. If you have a meeting scheduled then it will move the work out automatically to before or after the meeting depending on where your schedule permits. 

Life gets busy, but it doesn't have to be confusing.