December is going to be the hardest month of 2015 for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s my favorite time of the year, but you’d start feeling overwhelmed once you realized that you’re going to stay away from home 10 hours a day for University classes, you’ll have to study, run a blog and purchase/ship Christmas presents at the same time!
Since I knew it was going to be crazy, I tested the waters during the second part of November, when I started my classes. I ended up finding a good balance with Google Calendar, so I thought it might be useful for you to see what actually worked for me to manage my time.
Create different calendars.
The best part of using Google Calendar is being able to create multiple calendars and color code everything. I started creating the base of my whole week with a calendar called University, which contains my classes schedule and has the color green. Then I added others according to my needs. I might sound scary having so many different calendars, but you can think about them as categories and assign them different colors, it worked very well for me.
I use my main calendar, the one associated with my gmail account, to write all my appointments, birthdays, dates, vacations and so on. I am a paper girl and I own a gorgeous planner by A Beautiful Mess, but writing my schedule twice really helps me to see the big picture of my week, plus having a digital version of that is very useful when I’m away, because I can chek it out on my phone through the G Calendar app without having to carry around my planner every single day in my bag.
Syncronize other apps.
For my boring personal to dos, like iron my T-shirts, purchase bread, wash my hair (yes, I need reminders also for this kind of stuff, ha!), I use Wunderlist, which perfectly integrates with Google Calendar. For my blog projects and online projects, I actually prefer Asana (which can be syncronized with G Calendar too). The most useful thing is, again, that everything has a different color and I can easily recognize the different areas of my life.
Study the big picture.
Planning my entire week this way lets me see my days divided in color coordinated blocks of hours, this way I can easily spot my free time and transform it in time for studying or doing other stuff (like going to the post office).
This way, I have a bunch of different calendars that cooperate to the organization of my day: Personal, University, Wunderlist, Asana, Study Time, and also a Home calendar shared with my dad for family things. You’d probably find it a crazy at first, I was one of those people thinking that using several calendars for everything was stupid and required so much useless work, but after trying this method I won’t definitely come back! It doesn’t mean I am always able to do everything, but planning in advance my weeks helps me to avoid anxiety.