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Organize Your Digital Life 3 – Calendar management

This is the third in a series of posts in the Organize Your Digital Life series.

Calendars are one of the areas that most people seem to have pretty well under control.  Your inbox might be a mess, your task list consists of 27 post-it notes, and you have no idea where the photos from last year’s vacation ended up, but your calendar is up to date.  Even with that in mind, there are almost certainly ways to streamline your process.

As with most things, I’ll be recommending a free solution that Google provides — Google Calendar.  Living completely online, it has many of the same benefits as Gmail, such as not tying you to a particular computer and saving you from the worry of “what if my computer crashes?”.  It offers a few other advantages as well:

  • Shared Calendars: Our family has four calendars, one for each of us.  They’re all merged into a single Google Calendar, and color-coded to tell them apart.
  • Public Calendars: You can access useful public calendars to merge with your own.  Some of mine include “US Holidays” and the schedule for the Atlanta Falcons football team
  • Mobile Access: You can have it sync with your iPhone, it works natively with Android phones (like the hot new Droid), and their mobile version works with almost any phone.

Here’s a quick look at how I use Google Calendar:

Google Calendar certainly isn’t the only game in town.  30 Boxes and Zoho Calendar are fine choices, and there are many others out there.  If you use something else (and love it), leave a comment and tell us about it.

As you can see, my calendar tends to stay pretty light.  My days are jam-packed, but it’s mostly doing work — building sites, writing blog posts, etc.  All of that stuff stays in my task list, which I covered in my “Organize your Tasks” post.  Finding the right balance between “what is a task” and “what goes on my calendar” can be tricky, so I’ll be sure to cover that next week.

For those of you with busier calendars, what other tips do you have?

This is the third in a series of posts in the Organize Your Digital Life series.

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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