I have always been a pen and paper girl, always. I love finding the right planner, making to-do lists and find SO much joy in physically crossing things off that list — I know I am not alone here. Every Sunday I would put on a good show, break out my planner and colorful pens and plan out my week, by the hour usually. I would be lost without that thing.
Then, a shift started to happen. Once I got more into planning out my business and needed to start using different project management systems and schedule A LOT more tasks throughout the week, I gradually started to use Google calendar more. Digital planning using your favorite calendar app complements my lifestyle perfectly, since I can just check my phone really quickly to find out where I have to be next, rather than pulling out my planner. For me, maintaining 1 digital planning calendar system using Google calendar has been such an easy routine to establish.
I am obviously not the first person to organize their lives using Google calendar; but, I wanted to share how I manipulate task lists and customize calendars in a way that works for me. I came up with 3 really easy tips to get you started incorporating digital planning into your daily life!
First, add as many Google calendars as you need. Think: what categories can I batch events into?
Here is an example of my list of Calendars:
These calendars make up the different buckets of my life and it's so easy to add as many as you need! FYI: The "reminders" and "tasks" calendars came with the platform, I don't use them during my day-to-day and cannot seem to delete them! (if someone knows how please let me know 🙂 )
*Tip: make sure you sync these calendars to your phone! I recommend downloading the Google Calendar app, but syncing your calendars works just fine with other apps as well.
Second, start to build your task list library. Gmail has a really simple "task" feature on the toolbar on the right side that lets you create as many lists as you want.
This is what it looks like for me:
So, every task I had written in my planner week after week, I easily transferred into one of these buckets. I even added new lists like goals and daily mantras that I refer to every day.
*Tip: there is a task app! Google has developed a separate app called "Google Tasks" that sync up to these lists on your Google calendar. This makes it super easy to add tasks on-the-go.
Third, integrate these two tools together! Schedule tasks to your calendar by assigning due dates and make time to actually get them done.
Here is my really simple weekly routine when I plan out my week:
- Look at my "this month" list and see which tasks I can migrate over to "this week" *Google tasks makes it really easy to migrate tasks over to different lists
- Prioritize my weekly to-do list by moving items to the top which are most important
- Edit each task on that list with a due date and time - there is also space for subtasks which I add if needed
And that's it!
I really love this system, it takes me much less time to plan my week than it did when I had a paper planner. This is not to say that I have left paper planning completely, I don’t think that could ever actually happen. However, this digital system fits my busy lifestyle for the time being!
If you are thinking about incorporating some aspects of digital planning into your daily routine, this is a perfect way to get started. I'd love to hear how this transition works for other people and what systems you have come up with!