Google Calendar, My One True Love

Creative Uses for Google Calendar
Creative Uses for Google Calendar

I use Google Calendar.  Let me clarify.  I use Google Calendar A LOT.  I use it in ways that other people may not realize it can be used in, and therefore I’m going to tell you the many ways I utilize Google Calendar.

Family Calendar – Now this is probably the most common use of the Google Calendar.  For my family I have a different calendar for each individual member of the family.  One thing I’ve done maybe slightly differently here though, is I have created Google accounts for each of my kids.  They don’t have the password to them yet, but I did this for a few reasons.  First, so eventually when they do get their own devices, their calendar will automatically go to it, and I won’t have to copy all of their appointments and things over.  Second, I was already creating a calendar for them anyway, it might as well just be their real calendar tied to their own account.  Third, I wanted to reserve them a good Google account username.  So, I create the Google account (I had to fudge the year they were born, but since I don’t actually give them access to this account until they are age appropriate I was ok with this and Google now allows kids accounts!), then I go into their calendar settings and share the main calendar with my own Google account, and my husband’s Google account.  I, of course, also shared my husband’s google calendar with my account, and my google calendar with my husband’s account.  This way, both of us have access to all of the scheduling calendars.  When I make a dr. appt for my daughter I put it on her calendar, for my husband, I place it on his.  Now when I look at my calendar I can see the entire family color coded by family member.

Meal Planning – I’ve mentioned this before, that I will sit down with all of the recipe websites I frequent, my cookbooks (of which I have a plethora), and my Google calendar, and I start planning the week or even month of meals for my family.  I create an all day appointment for the recipe name, and then in the notes of the appt I’ll write down where it came from, whether it’s a link to a website, or a cookbook and page number.  I love that my phone will tell me what I have planned to make that day, so if its a slow cooker meal I can make sure to pop it in there earlier in the day.

Personal Training – You’ve seen personal training plans in magazines, or even on websites.  Especially those “couch to 5k” plans or even a half marathon training plan.  You can create appointments on your “Training” calendar for exactly what you are supposed to accomplish that day.  For example… “4 Miles at race pace”  or something like that.

Budgeting – Who’da thunk you can use Google Calendar to keep track of your budget?  I create appointments for days when various bills are due.  If it’s one I have to pay manually, and it can be paid online, I include a link to the payment portal in the notes of the appointment.  Otherwise, they are mainly reminders to me that those bills will automatically be deducted from my account on those days, so I can make sure there is enough money in my various accounts!

Sports Teams – Create and share a Google calendar for a team you coach, or help administrate.  This way all the parents can subscribe to the calendar and know exactly when practices are and when games are.  We use this for Maddie’s swim team, and it’s soooo easy to keep track of it all!

Routines – I’ve always been a HUGE fan of daily routines, even cleaning routines (like every monday I clean the kitchen, etc).  At one point I had a different calendar for each of my children’s routines and my own daily routine.  This way I can know that at 5:30 every morning I work out, and at 11 I clean, etc.  Having a routine mapped out for your day really helps in limiting time sucks (like Pinterest).  You can also create cleaning routines like set appointments for yourself to repeat every 3 months to change your air filter, or to clean behind the fridge.  Having appointments for these seasonal tasks can really go a long way to keeping your home in tip top shape!

Now that your entire life resides within the walls of Google Calendars like mine, it’s important to be able to access them from all locations.  Since I’m the proud user of a Surface Tablet, I wanted the windows calendar to be in sync with my plethora of Google Calendars.  Unfortunately this isn’t something that works natively.  Lucky for me (and YOU) there is a solution to this situation.  I use it syncs up all my Google Calendars to my Windows calendar BEAUTIFULLY!  You can also subscribe to your Google Calendar within Outlook too… the only issue there is you can’t create new appointments through Outlook, but you can view everything!

I am a mom who can fix your blog, your computer, or your server. I have been in the IT industry supporting small businesses for over 15 years. As a diehard PC and Android user, I can usually be found sparring with Apple fanboys, or watching movies with my family.

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  • Sarah, I love the idea of having a calendar for each child. Right now I have about 8 different calendars (plus the paper ones that don’t get used a whole lot) with titles like ‘school related’ ‘church activities’ ‘Dr/dentist/ortho appts’ ‘Bills due’ etc. I love seeing at a glance what’s going on in every aspect of my life but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the separating it by person.

    As a child we each had a different color: tooth brushes, towels, pens for the calendar etc so my mom could keep track of us and our stuff. This is the modern day equivalent of that. Thanks for sharing a great idea!

    • Color coding is such a great idea, especially in large families! and yes, I love having the separate calendars, especially for when I JUST want to view a specific person’s calendar (like mine)

  • We are HUGE google calendar lovers in this house. Every sunday we have family planning where one of us reads off the calendar for the week and we all can see it and access it (everyone but my 6 y/o). My kids even help keep track of appts, field trips, etc because they see them. I also set up lots of alerts if I know I’m bound to forget certain things. Like snacks in kindergarten (I’ll have an alert a week out so that I can add it to my grocery list and then another a day before so I can remember to put it in my sons backpack and one that morning to make sure I really followed through putting it in the backpack, haha.).

    • I love this! We need to get better at the planning meeting part, but at least we can all be on the same page just by looking at the calendar at any point. and yes… I LOVE the reminders!

  • Love it! Im the same way! Google calendars are soooo helpful!!! I dont have children yet but i was already thinking about doing the email and calendars thing! 🙂

  • You should really check out Cozi: It’s built to be a family calendar and no need to set up separate accounts for each child. It has meal planning and shopping lists and works on Android/iphone. Can’t live without it! I love the weekly summary email I get on Sunday which shows the week ahead.

    • I actually have, and I didn’t like it nearly as much as I love Google Calendars. Also, it’s not that I NEEDED to set up separate accounts for my kids, it’s that I wanted to, to make it easier as they get older to be able to manage their own calendar better.