Google Calendar: Why you should be using it

Hi friend! It’s Kat here again to let you in on an amazing tool that can help you with time management and setting up a good schedule. This tool is something you may have heard of before. It's a little thing called Google Calendar. I know it seems too simple, but don’t click away just yet. I have some tips and tricks for using Google Calendar that will help you to get started using all it has to offer without getting too overwhelmed.

When I was in high school, I was against using Google Calendar. It felt like inputting all of my activities was too overwhelming. Plus, I knew my own schedule well enough, and I did not feel like I needed any reminders. When I came to college, however, my schedule became less cyclical and more full. Every day I had a variety of activities to attend to and homework to complete. To stay organized, I eventually bit the bullet and started using Google Calendar. It turns out that keeping up with Google Calendar is not too hard once you get the hang of it, and it can be really helpful for keeping you up to date with your busy schedule.

5 reasons why I love Google Calendar

  1. It’s with me at all times. I never have to worry about leaving my planner or wall calendar behind. I have all of the information I need about my schedule for the day at all times of the day. 

  2. It is easy to update. Whenever I set up an appointment or an activity, I can easily put it on the calendar and not have to worry about forgetting about it later. If the activity involves other people, I can invite them to the event on the spot. 

  3. It sends me reminders. This is something you can set up when you make the initial appointment. The default times for reminders are 30 minutes or 10 minutes before your appointment. However, you can change these to fit your specific needs. Before any event happens in my life, I get a reminder sent straight to my watch. This reminder helps me not to miss appointments and activities during the day even if I lose track of time. 

  4. It is compatible with most devices. No matter if I am on my computer or on my phone or on my watch I can check my schedule and plan new events for the future. All you need is a google account and you are good to go. If you do not have a personal Gmail account you can use your Wildcat email for this purpose.

  5. It is a great tool to use to coordinate schedules. Almost everyone has a google account. This makes it easy to share your events with others and coordinate schedules. There is even a feature where you can send your schedule to others, and then they can plan a time to meet with you that works for both of your schedules.

Tips for ways to use Google Calendar 

There are so many ways that you can use Google Calendar to your advantage. Here are a few of my favorites.

Using the Share Feature 

I am currently living at home with my family in sunny St. George, Utah, and working this job for Weber State remotely. In my family, I have three little brothers and two parents. In our family of 6, we like to keep busy. For example, this was my schedule this week. 

  • Monday: 5 PM Family Birthday Dinner, 8 PM Graduation 
  • Tuesday: 5 PM Space Camp, 7:30 PM End of year performance 
  • Wednesday: 5 PM Cancer Fundraiser
  • Thursday: 4:45 PM Singing tryouts, 7 PM Work informational session
  • Friday: 6:45 AM Duathlon, 6 PM Technology Awards 

As you can see, we had a busy week. In order to keep ourselves organized, we used the all-powerful share feature on Google Calendar. Whenever events come up in our family, they are added to the Google Calendar. For example, say my little brother has a birthday party that he needs a ride to. He will make an event and put it on the Google Calendar inviting my parents so they will know what time he needs to be dropped off and picked up. Having all of our activities on the shared Google Calendar helps us to stay coordinated and know where everyone will be at any given time.  

Inserting Preset Activities in Advance

Before the first day of the semester, I go into my calendar and insert all the times that I will be in class for the entire semester. I make this process simple by inputting my classes at their specific times and then setting them to repeat until the last day of the semester. This way I only have to do this process once rather than many times throughout the semester. In these activity reminders, I add information such as the building and room number for the class or the zoom link to get me in online. Having my class schedule preset in my calendar at the beginning of the semester helps me to make it to class at the right time and avoid double-booking myself.  

What to add vs What not to add

I put only things that are happening at a particular time of day into my calendar, meaning that I keep my to-do list off of my calendar. I like to keep my homework and daily tasks separate from my calendar. I do this because if all of my events and to-dos are in the same place I get scared by all I have to do each day. There is an option on Google Calendar to add tasks as well as events to your calendar. However, this is a feature that I personally avoid. I suggest trying the features for yourself to find what works and what does not work for you.

Don’t do it all at once. 

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying all of the features the Google Calendar has to offer at once. It can be overwhelming to try and learn a new program. If you push yourself too hard in the beginning, you will never make it to the end where you will receive all of the amazing benefits. Try inserting one thing on your calendar every day, and see how Google Calendar works for you. From there you can add additional things to your calendar until you find the perfect balance that works for you. 

That’s Google Calendar. I challenge you to open up your calendar and try something new. Google Calendar is a tool that really works for me, and I hope it can be of some benefit to you too! 

If you would like a more personalized approach to creating your own schedule, set up a time to meet with us! We would be more than happy to help you create a customized plan. You can set up an appointment.

Don’t forget to join us next time for more confessions and contemplations from us, your peer coaches. 


About The Author

Kat A.
Certified Peer Educator


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