How to Use a Calendar

calendar productivity Feb 22, 2019

How well do you use your calendar?

Have you ever stopped to think about that?

Tell your time where to go instead of wondering where it went.

~ Mark Struczewski

But just using your calendar is not enough. You have to become a master of using it.

Here are 5 ideas on how to use your calendar better.

USE ONLY ONE CALENDAR

I get it. You have a business, personal, and a family calendar.

Or maybe a business, personal, family, and kids' activities calendar.

Perhaps even more!

And that's fine...as long as you have them all on one calendar.

Google Calendar and iCloud calendar allows you to have multiple calendars on the same calendar. This is very important.

Why?

You only want to go to one place to check your availability.

IF IT'S IMPORTANT, PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR

Stop planning in your head. It's not real when you do.

Take those things, those events, you want to do out of your head, and put them someplace on your calendar.

"But what if I don't know where I should put an event?"

Don't put them on your calendar.

But don't keep them in your head either.

Instead, add them to an app (like a to-do/reminders app) or a notebook so you don't have to remember what it is.

When you know a definite date and time, put it on your calendar.

THE POWER OF COLOR CODING

If you have more than one type of calendar, I encourage you to color code them so you can tell at-a-glance what the event is.

For example, here's a look at mine:

  • Green - business
  • Blue - personal development 
  • Red - podcast-related (interview or a pre-interview call)
  • Purple - personal
  • Orange - social media

MULTIPLE NOTIFICATIONS

For events that are of the "can't miss" variety, such as a coaching call or a podcast where I am being interviewed on, I set up more than a single alert (like 9 or 29 minutes prior*).

Events that are not as critical, such as time for personal development or social media, I have just the "time of event" notification enabled.

ALLOW FOR BUFFER TIME

Rare will be the situation when you go from one event to the next. Or, at least, it should be (in my opinion).

What I do is a tweak of the Pomodoro Technique: 50/10. I work for 50 minutes and then at :50 after the hour, my Apple Watch alarm goes off reminding me to stand up and take a break. As much as possible, when I schedule my days, I start at the top of the hour and enter this:

9:00 am - 9:50 am: Copywriting

9:50 am - 10:00 am: Break

10:00 am - 10:50 am: Social media

10:50 am - 11:00 am: Break

Your turn

In the comments below, please share your favorite calendar tips and strategies.

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