I pride myself on being a fairly organized person, and when I find something that helps me remember things (I think I’m losing my short term memory… wait.. what was I saying?) and keep things in on handy place, I use it.. a lot. Google Calendar is one of these things.
If you don’t have a google account – go get one.. right now. You don’t have to use Gmail (but why not??) but you do have to have a google account to sign in and create and subscribe to calendars. Before I go any further, let me tell you about what I use Google Calendars for:
I have a calendar called “Money” which I use to put in all my bills and income sources, when they come out, when they’re due, how much, etc. For example.. every 2nd Friday I have a ‘Payday’ event.. Every 1st of the month I have a ‘Student Loan Payments’ event.. “Mortgage Payments” on a monthly basis. This is absolutely great for budgeting as I have everything in my calendar – so I can see what bills have to be paid between paydays so then I know how much I have leftover for loan payments, golfing, etc..etc. This is by far my favorite use.
I’m a pretty busy guy, always seem to be coming and going and doing all sorts of different things. I use the “Len Currie” calendar to mark things like “change contacts”, and “attend PEI TweetUp”, “Vacation Days”, “Wine Show”.. etc.. it’s my most changed calendar and the one I look at most often. Just to know if I’ve got anything on the go this weekend or not.
I have a “Photography” calendar which is crucial obviously to making sure I don’t double-book photography sessions and to see what’s coming up. I also use it to mark down any payments I’ve received and from whom which is great for deposits, etc.
I actually have 2 sets of calendars for birthdays. One is for ‘Family’ which I have all important birthdays to remember in my family. I also have a ‘Facebook Birthdays’ calendar which is pretty cluttered up so I don’t show it often (you can hide or show any calendars in GCal) but it’s great for knowing who’s having a birthday each day from your Facebook Friends. I got this from FBCal (google it if you’d like to use it).
I don’t know why I keep this one, but I guess it doesn’t hurt anything as I used to use this public calendar as it show you the weather forecast for the coming 3 days. I now use the weather application on my blackberry but since I’m in Google Calendar so much, it’s useful to see it right there with everything else.
Ok I really only call this one “Grocery” but I have a separate calendar which I use to record all the groceries we buy on a monthly basis. This I just started to do, but it’s great since I can share the calendar with Liz and my roommate and we can find out where we did the shopping, and how much we have left. $30.00 – Sobeys for example would be an event from last Saturday.
I have another few calendars as well, one is for Auto Maintenance. I want to keep my car as up to date with maintenance as it should be – so I mark down yearly maintenance, monthly, etc. I subscribe also to the Tampa Bay Lightning calendar so I know when they’re playing and who they’re playing.
As you can see, there are a LOT of uses for Google Calendar I’m still finding uses for it all the time. It sync up to mobile devices (my blackberry) which is excellent as well as you can set up reminders and alarms so that I don’t miss out on anything. It’s really nice to be able to go to one spot to find out if you’re able to attend that meeting, show, book a client, etc.. Obviously GCal isn’t the only way to keep organized as I know a lot of people that use things like the and are very good at using that while driving, etc so that they can take hands free notes, but personally I wouldn’t go out and buy something like that no matter how good the sale was, I’ll just stick to my Google Calendar.. hell, it’s free!
And just as I was posting this today – I realized I added yet another calendar.. a ‘cleaning chores’ calendar. Things that I usually don’t do as often as I should – things like ‘clean out the refrigerator’, ‘clean the windows’, ‘change the air exchange filter’, etc.. Auto maintenance is yet another one that I have in there.. its’ all about reminders people!!