It’s a question that gets asked every week at our house, what are we doing this weekend? It usually happens on Wednesday as we are half way through the week and searching for something to look forward to that might carry us through Thursday and Friday. Inevitably it seems that there is always something going on, sometimes fun and sometimes necessary, but either way something is on the calendar.
I have always understood the importance of a calendar, I just haven’t always used one well. For someone who spent the majority of his younger years going to school or work and then coming home to play video games and watch television, there wasn’t always a need for to keep an updated calendar. My dad on the other hand owned his own business and had to schedule jobs and estimates. He carried around a large planner and was constantly checking it to see what the next day was going to bring. As I got older, I found my life starting to fill up as well and could no longer remember everything that I had scheduled so the calendar began to become more important to me.
Now that I am married and have a family, we live by the calendar and that is not going to slow down anytime soon. Between family events, work meetings, commitments at church, and sporting events I attend; Jillian and I are constantly reviewing the calendar to see where we can squeeze in some additional family time for trips to the Zoo or Sea World. As Brooks gets older and has school events, social events, and sports events of his own, the calendar will become even more of a crucial tool for our day to day lives.
I personally have all 24 hours of each day on the calendar filled out. This includes sleep, commuting, work, family and everything in between. I am sure most people are not using a calendar like that, but it works for me. In order to stay on top of my calendar I have created a system of process for it.
I use Google Calendar to create sub calendars for the different areas of my life, as well as having one shared calendar with my wife on which I schedule anything that we may be doing individually or as family that will impact the flow of our week. I chose Google Calendar for this aspect of my system because I can share that calendar with her as well as have access to it anywhere. I always have it up at work so I can glance at it quickly as work events come up or Jillian let’s me know of things throughout the day.
I don’t actually schedule any events in Google Calendar though. My user interface, where everything gets scheduled is an application called Informant 5. I am not sure how I stumbled upon this app, but it quickly became a favorite of mine because of its aesthetic and the ability to create triggers or templates for recurring events. As I mentioned, I schedule repetitive events such as sleep in the calendar so having a trigger where I can add that to each day without having to create a new event is a must have feature for me.
For my calendar system, I schedule planned events out as far as I know about them on the shared family calendar. Then I fill in the next days events the day prior. So this morning I filled in tomorrows schedule of sleep, workout, commute, work, etc.; but if you looked at next week you would only see a few events and some days with nothing scheduled. I feel like this allows me to keep my days open for new opportunities in the future while simultaneously ensuring I stick to tomorrow’s schedule. Everyone has to find a calendar system that works for them and their schedule, my suggestion is to just make sure you are using a calendar so you can answer the question, “What are we doing this weekend?”
If you want to check out Google Calendar or Informant 5 you can visit: