How often have you wished for more time? Time to watch the waves crash on the beach with your family, time to finish the project before the deadline, or time to work on your passions.
There was a calendar proposed in the early 1900s that gave us 13 months. No joke! The Kodak Company used it until the late 80s.
I can’t wave the magic wand and create time, but I can share the wonder of moving to a digital calendar. Right now you’re about to click away because you’re already using that calendar on your phone. But are you getting the most out of it?
Color-coded categories allow you to assign different calendars to the unique roles you play in life. Purple for mom, green for self, and yellow for business. Plus, it adds some pops of color.
Every other Thursday at 4 pm, my son has to get allergy shots. I only had to put this into my calendar one time and tick the little repeat button.
What appointments do you have that repeat? Get those dialed into repeat, but beware of “calendar blindness.”
Time blocking is an effective productivity tool (I've got a whole post on this). Digital calendars allow you to put this to use visually. It’s a game changer if you work better with pictures.
When your calendar is digital, it’s easy to share with the fam. Your husband, your kids (if they have smartphones), grandma, and even a sitter can get in on the action.
Use with caution. I’ve talked about those pesky bings before. Now I’ll tell you we can harness them for good. I use the notifications in my calendar for client meetings. I would hate to get lost in thought and show up late.
I don’t set up notifications for much else. I don’t need my phone interrupting my work to remind me to leave for soccer practice. Soccer falls into hubby’s responsibilities. It’s nice to know they are kicking the ball around, but I don’t need it interrupting my flow.
Buffer time is the time between tasks. Maybe you are closing down your emails and getting ready to leave for an appointment, or you’re finishing up dinner and starting to snuggle in to watch a movie with the kids.
Leaving time in between (even a few minutes) will help you enter the next task less rushed and more focused. When your calendar is digital it’s easy to see the space between appointments. Plus, most calendars will build in travel time if you input a location.
Put traditions on cruise control. On a long road trip, it’s nice to shift into cruise control and let the car do some work during stretches of the open road. I bet you have some traditions you can hand over to your digital calendar without too much thought. One that I recently created was Friendsgiving. I know the date it will happen each year; I know the menu and party setup. The date is marked in my digital family calendar, task reminders set, and now I just cruise.
I’ve hinted on this earlier, but the location feature in your digital calendar is a hidden gem. It will alert you when it’s time to leave for an appointment, but it also eliminates all the back-and-forth texts about logistics. “Babe, the address is in the family calendar.”
Your phone goes everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE! Enough said.
Time Zones are tricky. I just picked up this trick for booking clients in another time zone, set the appointment in your calendar as their time zone. When you email them the appointment, it will be correct and your smartphone will convert the time zone back to the correct time zone for you.
This digital calendar feature is a gift. The next time you can’t remember if you booked the dog's grooming appointment. Type it into the search feature and within seconds you’ll know.
This is my favorite. When the entire family is on a digital calendar, the excuse that they didn’t know about an event just doesn’t fly. They know because it’s right there on their phone. Also, they can voice any disputes when they see the calendar request come through.
Digital calendars allow you to add notes, documents, and even photos into appointments. For example, I use this feature with doctor’s appointments. Writing the questions and concerns I have so I don’t forget to ask.
Are you getting the most out of that productivity powerhouse on your phone? You might think, thanks Jen, but I’m not techy enough to set this up.
I feel you, girl. Tech is not my thing either! I’ve got a super simple guide to walk you through the process.
You don't have to chose between your personal and professional life. Here's my secret weapon for getting the family chaos to calm.