How I use Google Calendar | Time blocking and time tracking
I've been using google calendar for quite some time now but i started reaping its real benefits since May. Around April end, when I was working on revamping the Save Ourselves website for its one year anniversary, I started blocking out time on Google calendars. And since then I've improved that process a lot and what I have today works well for me.
I use Google calendar for the following things:
Reminders and logging future appointments/ events
In this post, I'll be telling you how I use it for all these 3 things so that you can customise the process to your own schedule and tailor it to your own routine.
Now before I start off, let me first tell you that is totally not my idea. I've learned about it through youtube, more specifically from Youtubers like Amy Landino, The Bliss Bean, Rowena Tsai, Mariana's study corner and many more. I've picked up their tips and tailored this to my own life. And that's what you can do as well!
Step 1 - create different calendars for different aspects of your life
This is not exactly necessary, but I find that it gives me more clarity and I can get a visual overview of how much time I am actually spending on that aspect of life. You can create as many or as little calendars as you want, as long as they make the process easy and convenient for you. The calendars that come by default are events and reminders. And tasks, if you use google Tasks. Apart from those, the calendars I have are personal, academics, save ourselves, social life, entertainment, reading, exercise, sleep and learning. Most of my tasks fit in these categories for me and I like to visually divide my day using these calendars.
Step 2 - start logging future tasks/ events/ reminders in that specific calendar
You can start off by logging important appointments/ events or deadlines that you know about, in those specific calendars. For example, I'll log all my tests, submission deadlines and any other college or work related event under my academics calendar.
Similarly I'll log my posting schedule, filming and editing sessions, meetings/calls and any other Save Ourselves work under the Save Ourselves calendar.
As I said, different calendars give me visual clarity and break- up of my days.
Step 3 - Time tracking
This is my favourite reason for using Google Calendar to be honest. What I do is at the end of each day, I fill in what I did during the entire day. I'll fill in the tasks according to various calendars and basically keep a log of all the 24 hours of my day. This serves the following purposes
It lets me see how I'm spending my day
It lets me manage my time better
It lets me know if I'm actually making time for the things I want to do
It helps me remember my days better
It gives me an overview of how my life is changing over a period of weeks and months.
Some extra tips:
Use the daily view to keep log of your entire day.
If you're keeping track of all 24 hours, the weekly view works great for comparing your days and see how you spent them.
The monthly view is great for monthly planning and getting a general view of how your month looks like and how you can plan it.
If you've any important days or any specific theme to the day, you can add it as an 'all day' event so that it shows at the top of your calendar and you won't miss it!
You can customise when you get the notification for future events so use that according to your own schedule!
The colours assigned for the calendars are changeable. You can use this to your advantage by using similar colours for your subjects in your notes and your Google calendar to keep things organised. Colour coding makes everything easier.
I've been consistently tracking my time for over 3 months now and it has improved the quality of my life. I am able to visualise my day better. I can plan the day better. Also, the different calendars serve as a guideline of all the aspects I have in my life. It serves as a great accountability tool. Also, now I can look back on any day in these past 3 months and look at how I spent it. That's always fun. It helps me while filling up my trackers, fixing appointments, filling up my journal and just keeping better mental notes of things.
Google calendar is very versatile and you can get creative with it. It is a part of my night routine now and it is one of the habits that was very easy to form. I love how much it helps me productivity wise. And its completely free to use which is great.
So this was how I've integrated google calendar in my life. I hope this was useful. Let me know how you plan to use Google calendar for yourself in the comments down below.
Watch my video on this topic: