HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CALENDAR
This is one of the first features I started maximizing when I made the switch to an iPhone. With four children in school, sports and two parents working full time, scheduling gets very confusing for our family. Learning to let your calendar app help you stay organized and on time will give you more time to do the things you want.
Birthdays: Add family and friend birthdays to your calendar but don’t forget to set the repeat setting for every year. I have a large family and we have had several weddings and new babies in the past few years. Remembering the correct month for a birthday, I can usually do. Getting the date correct is much trickier, I’m usually wrong. As soon as a new baby is born or a new spouse marries into the family, add their birthday to your calendar. Set the repeat feature to yearly and if desired set a reminder for a week before so you are not late with a card, email or text. I like to send silly animal birthday pics in a birthday text, the kids love them. There are many free ones available online.
Doctor & Dentist Appointments: I always found it difficult to schedule an appointment until I checked both my home and work calendars. Now that my calendar is with me at all times, scheduling is easier and conflicts are easily avoided. Again, remember to set a reminder for that day or a day ahead.
Sports practices and events: Since these often occur each week, the repeat feature is very handy. You can put the event in once and set it to repeat for several months. Games and tournaments usually vary a bit more so the weekly repeat wont always be most convenient. If the games are always the same day of the week, you can repeat the event but edit the start time each week. When adding multiple dates that vary as far as days and times, use the copy function for the title of the event so you can paste it each time you add the next date.
Periodic Appointments: Recurring appointments such as oil changes, hair color or orthodontist appointments can be made along with reminders to call to set up the next appointment. This has been most helpful for not missing a hair color update. When you are able to call a week or two ahead of time to choose the time that is best for you, you are more likely to get the day and time you prefer. This helps you avoid being overdue on an appointment and getting the only time they have available.
Addresses: When adding a special event to your calendar, you can add the address under location. If your calendar is synced to google maps you will get a reminder about the event along with the approximate driving time. On the day of the event, you can get an alert telling you what time to leave the house in order to be on time. This feature is quite helpful.
Sync with your spouse: Our calendars are synced through Gmail. This is invaluable for knowing which one of us has an early or late meeting at work or various sporting events and carpools. When you are trying to make new plans, you can see weeks and months ahead of time if there is already a conflict. By the time I leave work on a hectic day (most days), I check my calendar to see who needs a ride at which time so that I know if I should bother going straight home or not. If I have lag time before a sports pickup, I use this for quick errands, like the gas station or grocery store.
School & Vacation schedules: Add school schedules to your calendar at the start of the school year. This is helpful when you are scheduling appointments that are during the vacations or purposely avoiding those dates. Add parent conferences, report card dates and special school events.
Annual appointments: Put in reminders for yourself to schedule annual maintenance calls like oil burner, air conditioning or pool maintenance. Add a reminder to change batteries in your smoke detectors.
These are my more common calendar uses. How do you maximize your calendar to keep yourself organized? Please share your ideas.
Read the rest of the series:
Notes App – How to organize everything with your phone
Reminders App – Remember everything and don’t be late
Google Maps App – Getting places on Time