Y’all know I love me a paper planner, but guess what? I also use Google Calendar. It’s actually a seamless process for me at this point, but back when I tried to use just one or the other it was a bit of a mess. I was of the mindset that I had to choose, that using both would just be too much and overwhelm me. Turns out, trying to use one or the other is what actually overwhelmed me. 🤷🏻♀️So, I created a system that ensures I never miss an important appointment, while also allowing my brain to breathe on the pages of my Just Today Planner. That sounds super dramatic, but hey – that’s what it feels like! Don’t judge me. 😂
How I Use Google Calendar With My Paper Planner
1. I always start in my paper planner, for me, that’s obviously The Just Today Planner By, Playful Paper. Each morning I have my coffee and jot down everything on my mind, then I go through the questions on each daily page. Throughout my day I make notes of any upcoming appointments or reminders I need to set.
2. At the end of each day I add any appointments that I wrote down in my paper planner to my Google Calendar, and assign it accordingly.
How to Organize Google Calendar
That’s my super simple system, but here’s how I keep it all organized. If you’ve never used Google Calendar before, you’ll want to create various “calendars” within your account. For instance, each family member has their own calendar, I have a work calendar, a family calendar, a personal calendar, a Birthday calendar, a calendar for our fur babies, and a calendar for just my Husband’s work schedule.
They are all color coded to keep things clear. You can also toggle any and all calendars off or on to view just that one at a time, or you can view them all at once. Here are the steps I recommend taking to get your family all setup and organized with Google Calendar.
1. Create a calendar for each person in your family, and send them an email invite so they can also view the calendar. I use my girls’ favorite colors for their calendars, it helps me instantly recognize who has something scheduled that day.
2. Create a perpetual calendar for Birthdays, and Anniversaries. Be sure and set these events to repeat yearly.
3. Add the Holidays in the United States Calendar option.
4. Go through the general settings as well as each individual calendar you create and make sure you set the notifications as you’d like them. You’ll even have the option to show or hide weekends.
5. Refine. Just get your calendars made, and start your new system. If after a week it’s not working well, tweak it. Reorganize, rename, adjust your settings and notifications etc. – Make it work for you!
If you click on the gear at the top of your calendar you’ll have the option to “get add-ons” – this is super neat if you’re wanting to integrate any of the apps you’re maybe using for work with your calendar.
It’s funny, we’ve actually used our Just Today Planners and Google Calendar MORE in quarantine. My girls have time to journal each morning and answer the questions on their daily pages, then they have their Google Calendar synced with their iPads. They get reminders when it’s time for a Google Meet, or when it’s time to get some homework or their chores done. We have nowhere we need to be, but the semblance of structure they both provide together has been so incredibly helpful.
To sum up:
Google Calendar: Events and appointments I need reminders for.
Paper Planner: Everything else.