We all remember that old daily task planner we had in school or the Norman Rockwell calendar that hung on the pantry door when we were kids. When I think of schedules and daily planners I think of an eight inch thick, black, leather, planner stuffed with reminders and business cards, just tearing apart at the seams. For some reason I’ve always had a bad image of calendars and daily planners.
Maybe it’s just my stubborn pride. Maybe it’s my conscience telling me I don’t need to write things down because my wonderful brain is so smart it can remember everything – wrong. Whatever the reason, I’ve been afraid of actually using a calendar or day planner for years, thinking it wouldn’t make me more productive.
Recently, however, I’ve become a convert. My calendar has actually become a very useful tool to getting things done. The digital age is upon us, and working with our calendars and day planners is easier than ever. It wasn’t until I began learning the benefits of digital calendars that I began reaping the benefits of a calendar as a leader.
iCal – The digital age is upon us. Gone are the days of “penciling” something in. With a digital calendar, appointments are easy to change. It is literally drag and drop when using an online calendar!
Sync – It is easier now than ever to sync your calendars. Some companies, like Microsoft, still want you to pay for their services such as buying space on an exchange server, but there are ways around it. Google for instance, can help you share any calendar from any platform. I sync iCal, Google Calendar, and Outlook all together.
Voice Recognition – Google offers a way to speak to your web calendar and add appointments with very good accuracy. I’ve heard Siri can do this as well. I don’t have the iPhone 4s but my wife does. I here her saying “Lunch with Jayson at noon tomorrow” and Siri adds it to her calendar. It couldn’t be easier.
Invites – We used to ask a person if they were available at a certain time and then we would both “pencil it in.” Now-a-days, you can send an invite and your friend can change it or agree to it. It is added automatically to your calendar. This is often true with well planned events. There is often a link their website that you can click and automatically add it to your calendar.
Sharing – It is easier than ever for you to give access to your calendar to others. For instance, my secretary can add appointments to my calendar all on her own. She has a copy of my calendar on her computer. If a meeting is called, she can add it directly to my day. Or for instance, when I travel, I just add the event, usually by clicking the type of link I mentioned above. She then knows to book my travel. As soon as she is finished she adds all the information to my calendar so I know what airline, what time the flight leaves, what hotel, ect.
Using a calendar today is easier than it has ever been. Once you’ve learned how to work with the new tools out there, you will be able to utilize calendars for your daily planning in a way you never knew possible.
Question: How important is your calendar to you? Do you use a calendar at all?