Your life is busy, and your mind is a whirlwind of information. You are doing your best to keep it all straight, but things fall through the cracks. You are looking for some working mom organization tips to organize your busy life.
I hear you! That’s why I’m sharing some of my (not very complicated) busy mom organization tips.
I have learned that trying to remember all things and simply relying on your memory is not enough, and the use of friendly tools is required to organize my working mom life. The tool of my choice? Google Calendar. This is why I am sharing how to use Google Calendar to organize your life.
Why I use Google Calendar
I am not into carrying around a bulky planner. My Mom purse is heavy enough. What I prefer? A digital, cloud-based system where I can access my calendar across devices.
I love using Google Calendar because it looks great on a big browser screen, allows me to color-code as I wish. It then syncs with my cell phone and gives me notifications wherever I am.
Google calendar is a great tool for parent time management!
How to use a shared Google calendar
My favorite option is that you can sync your family calendars together. My husband and I have shared our Google Calendars with each other, and now I can view his events on my main Google Calendar view.
As long as each family member has their own Google account, you have a family Google calendar as your shared calendar app!
You can create a separate family calendar, or you can use your own default calendar.
To share your Google calendar with a family member, go to your selected calendar in the “my calendars” list and click the … dots next to the calendar. Then navigate to settings and sharing. On that page, scroll down to share with specific people. There you can add someone by email address.
When you share the calendar with someone, you can specify permissions:
- See only free/busy (hide details) – not recommended for a shared family calendar
- See all event details – recommended for minor kids
- Make changes to events – for your spouse or older trusted kids with a busy schedule of their own
- Make changes and manage sharing – recommended for your spouse
Use Google Calendar to organize your life
You can use Google Calendar like you would a paper planner. Plan out every hour of the day if you wish and if that suits your lifestyle.
You can create events to block out time for your work schedule, date nights, and projects you want to finish.
Set reminders for yourself. Include everything important that needs to happen, and even things that you might do only if you feel like it.
You can even color-code your events if you have a system (such as blue = personal, green = work-related, red = medical, etc.)
Schedule important events in Google Calendar
We tend to remember to include the important events and family schedules in our calendars. These events include:
- Doctor’s appointments
- Birthday parties
- Recurring events you attend
- Theater tickets
- Book clubs
Tip: you can set an event to be recurring on a schedule of your choosing (like weekly)
Schedule reminders in Google Calendar
You can also use the calendar for reminders and alerts. Such as:
- Errands that need to be taken care of (grocery shopping? drop off/pick up at cleaners? scheduling a house cleaning?)
- Items you need to bring routinely (example: Mondays bring diapers to daycare)
- A phone call to make or email to send
- A payment you need to submit
- Other to-do list items
Tip: set an additional notification reminder for a pop-up notification on your phone (the default is email notification if you are setting the event up via a desktop view).
Sync other systems with Google Calendar
Did you know you can sync your other event systems with your Google Calendar?
You can download a meeting from Outlook and import it into Google Calendar. In fact, any calendar meeting system that has an export feature can be imported as a calendar.
Navigate to the “other calendars” list beneath “my calendars” and expand the section. You have the following options:
- Subscribe to calendar
- Create new calendar
- Browse calendars of interest
- From URL
- Import – this is where you can upload a calendar file (ex: ical)
Facebook events, for example, can be exported to your calendar. Say you’re “interested in” an event, and don’t want to forget about it in case you decide to go. The three dots allow you to export event and you can email it to your Gmail, to then “add to calendar.” An example is below.
Hint: this has to be done on desktop view. The mobile app doesn’t have an export feature.
If you are on meetup.com, you can sync your calendar, so your events show up when you view them on Google Calendar. You can go to your events page, and there is an export option on the right.
When you get new meetup announcements, you can also “add to calendar” directly from that email.
Other Google features
I love that you can add an event to your calendar straight from your Gmail inbox. If something has a date on it, it will show up with an underline, and you can hover and click “add to calendar” and edit to add any details you want to include.
Did you know that Gmail also comes with a task list? You can use both together to organize your life.
I also love that in Gmail you can set a label to everything and create filters to automatically tie certain emails to a label. Then you search by that label when you’re in need of a specific email or string of emails, and archive otherwise to get them out of your inbox.
You can also create canned responses in Gmail so you can send a quick reply to similar emails (and edit as needed) without having to re-type or copy the same thing over and over.
Do you use Google Calendar? How do you organize your busy working mom life?
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This post is part of the 31 Tips for Working Moms series. See the rest of the posts here: