Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to School Means Back to Schedules: Using Google Calendars to Get Organized!

I love a great bargain, but whenever I see notebooks and crayons for 10 cents...I realize that the start of school is drawing near! Back to School typically means back to schedules. Keeping track of piano lessons, early dismissals from school, soccer practice, birthday parties and play dates can be a bit overwhelming. Yet alone, keeping track of parents' work schedules, volunteer commitments, and hopefully vacation schedules! Before you know it, the refrigerator is plastered with schedules! One solution to the daunting task of "scheduler” is a user-friendly online tool, Google Calendar.

Google Calendar is a free online calendar service. At a glance, you can view your calendar by day, week, or month. To add an event to your calendar, you simply need to click on the date and fill in the event details. One fabulous feature is the ability to repeat an event. Perhaps your child attends SoccerTots every Friday for 3 months. Google calendar allows you to repeat this event automatically. The calendar also has a printable option so you can still hang your schedule on the fridge.

Let's reflect on the "old-fashioned" method of scheduling. Most families have one general calendar in which they include multiple schedules. The child brings a schedule home and we add the events to our main calendar. Some parents even color code these schedules. Sports schedules in red, birthdays in blue, and school events in black. The ability to create multiple schedules in Google Calendar is a powerful option. Perhaps you become the basketball coach of your daughter's team. You can set up a Google Calendar for your team and share this calendar with the players. You can also add other public calendars to your own calendar such as U.S. Holidays. When you view your calendar, you will see your own family events in green, holidays in blue, and the basketball team schedule in orange. Google Calendar can also notify you of an upcoming event via email, pop-up window or text messages sent directly to your mobile phone.

Hopefully this online tool can save your time and keep you organized! To learn more about Google Calendars and to how to set up an account, simply go to