If you are helping to manage and organize the lives of other people, whether you are a parent, support worker, or employer, there is a lot on your plate to keep track of; Making sure all the appointments and tasks are getting done for even one person's schedule can be a lot to remember.
Organizing all those moving pieces allows your mind to set these thoughts aside for later reference and can give you space to focus your energy on more important thoughts. You might already have a calendar or a notebook on hand, but a digital calendar is a great way to make the most of your schedule. Digital calendars take the heavy lifting out of staying organized and help you avoid being overwhelmed. Here are our top tips to make the best use of your digital calendars.
Use one central calendar.
Using multiple calendar apps (for example, one for work and one for your personal life) might lead to overbooking yourself or missing appointments. Integrating all your calendars into one app with automatic updates can help you make sure nothing gets missed.
Add a home screen widget.
Adding widgets or icons to your phone's home screen will help by being an easily accessible and constant reminder of your daily schedule. If you have a hard time juggling multiple tasks or are going through a transitional period, having a daily schedule on your screen can help you stay on top of each task and accomplish everything you need each day. There are many different widgets to choose from; try different widgets from the Google Play Store and App Store to see which is right for you!
Use a color code for each calendar you manage.
In most calendar apps, you can create multiple calendars and assign a particular color to represent everyone whose schedule you manage. By color coding, you can quickly see what each person has planned for the day. You can even represent everyone's calendar in their favorite color! For example, you might have a blue calendar; your son a yellow one; your father a purple one, and so on.
This color coding can be extra helpful when booking appointments. For example, if you are trying to book your father a haircut, you can look for purple in the calendar to quickly determine what day works best and avoid double booking.
Share your calendar with support networks
Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do. The calendar feature in LifeCourseOnline makes asking for help easy by allowing you to reach out to your support network with the raise your hand feature when you need help to complete tasks. If you don't have an LCO account, you can share access to specific calendars so your support network can volunteer to help. This will help you keep routines consistent and manageable if you are coordinating with multiple caregivers or support providers.
Make use of all event detail features.
You'll find all kinds of detail sections when creating a new event in your calendar. Try to use as many as possible to make the most of your calendar app. Adding details like accurate times, locations, guests, categories, etc., will keep track of the information, so you no longer have to.
Don't forget about the notes section; it can be found when creating or editing events in your calendar and is located at the bottom—but it is one of the handiest features. It is a great place to add reminders of anything you need to prepare for the event you are scheduling; it might include a reminder to bring any medications, documents, or even water bottles and snacks to that event. This section is also a good space for the contact information of the person you are meeting if it's not someone you know —or even step-by-step instructions on parking, bus routes, or how to make your way through a building.
Set alerts and reminders.
Adding alerts or reminders for events and tasks takes the pressure off you to keep everything in your head! Setting reminders ensures that you'll be prepared for what the day has in store - this can be especially helpful during a busy period or a change in routine. Knowing a change is upcoming in your daily schedule will make it easier to process and go more smoothly for everyone in your schedule.
For more tips on preparing for changes in routine, check out our blog post: Changes in Routine: How To Prepare for the Unexpected.
Managing different calendars can be overwhelming, but if you use the tools on hand, you can help relieve some of the weight on your mind and allow yourself to think about more important things. This clarity is much easier with the help of digital calendars because you can set it, forget it, and then be reminded of it when necessary. So many different tools are available to us, but they are most helpful if we use them to their full capabilities.