Saturday, March 22, 2014

{Almost} Paperless Organizing: Calendars (Post 2)

Welcome back!

I hope that my last post was helpful to you in learning about what I use to help me go {almost} paperless.

Today, I will talk about my calendars.

The paperless version I use is Google Calendar which I access using the calendar program on my iMac and the calendar apps on my iPhone and iPad.

It is very easy to import these calendars for synching across all devices:  Just tell it in settings to link to your gmail account.

Click to view fullsize
Above is a screenshot of my week.  You will notice that I have several categories of calendars, each with its own color.  This is very helpful for being able to see just what kinds of things are planned for the day.

Another nice thing about using Google Calendar is that you can link to calendars that other people have developed.  For example, I am linked to my church's activity calendar which shows all of the services, activities, birthdays, and anniversaries in our church.  Also, East Memphis Moms blog has a calendar showing {tons of} activities going on in the Memphis area. I don't show it on my main calendar, but I can get to it via the Window menu in the menu bar.

In general, I try to only put scheduled activities on this calendar, but some of them serve as reminders for "This is going on today; see if you can make it" activities (Storytime at the library, for example).  At the very top of the calendar are items that are "all day" in nature such as birthdays; events that span several days; or "sometime today" such as "Water Day" which means that the water guy will come sometime that day.  Something new to my calendar is the ability to add in travel time.  This is great for visualizing how much time is left in my day.  I just wish they had the option of adding in travel time to get back home!

I don't really like the calendar app that is on my iPhone.  It's not very intuitive, in my opinion.  I don't really use this app very much, so it's not a huge worry for me.  Maybe someday I'll find a new app that I like better, but there's no hurry.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I also use a wall calendar.  My favorite is the 2014 Amy Knapp's Big Grid Family wall calendar: The essential organization and communication tool for the entire family.  This is the fourth year I have used this calendar.  It is awkward to store because it so large, but I really do love this calendar.  Everything goes on the wall calendar from appointments to recording little things that happened that day.  I have also started writing down what we had for supper, so that we can know old the leftovers are in the refrigerator!

Every year, sometime between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, I spend part of an evening transferring information from my old calendar to my new calendar.  It's fun to remember the events of the year and to think about special people whose birthdays I record.

One tip I have for when you receive a new card for an appointment (e.g. dentist and doctor) that doesn't occur until the next calendar year:  I staple the cards to the last page of the calendar.  When I transfer my info, I have it right there to record on the new calendar.

Do you have any tips to add for using either an online or wall calendar?  Can you recommend any calendar apps for me to try?

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Intro to the Series

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Calendars

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote, Part 2

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Evernote, Part 3

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Wunderlist

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  AnyList

{Almost} Paperless Organizing:  Final Thoughts

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