I’ve recently made the switch from Teux Deux to Google Calendar. And because several of you have asked me what I’m doing differently, I thought I’d talk a little bit about project management : specifically on how I utilize Google Cal, my new BFFL. Please keep in mind that this is what works for me. Perhaps you’ll find some handy tips & tricks within here, but feel free to make it your own, too!
THE LOGISTICS When it comes to scheduling my day, I’m a VERY visual person who needs total organization. I literally take things one day at a time and faithfully stick to my list for the 24 hours I’m currently in. I try my best not to focus on the coming days ( when I don’t need to ), simply because that kind of thinking tends to overwhelm anyone quite quickly. Here enters Google Calendar ( GC ) — What I have decided to do is divide my days into three color coded sections, which you can do in each individual calendar’s settings. Blue means blog. Yellow means personal. And finally, grey encompasses all things client related. These three colors have literally saved me on the daily and allows me to easily glance at my list and know what’s up.
THE PROS One of the biggest reasons I chose to use GC was for it’s “sharing” factor. I create a new calendar for each client I have and color it in my “grey” scheme, as pictured above, so I know it’s a part of my work load. Because each client has their own calendar, I can easily turn their project “on” or “off” as well as email them the schedule if needed. It’s very simple to do all of this in GC’s settings! To further my organization, I like to put each client’s project name FIRST in each space so that I know exactly who the “to do” is for. You see, I tried having a new colored background for EACH client, but it was scary to look at in my opinion. So although all of my clients utilize a grey background, their name up front tells me who is who straight away. Another pro is syncing. Not only can I see my calendar on my computer ( and I have it up all day ), but I can literally see it wherever I am. On my phone, on somebody else’s computer, etc. You get the picture!
THE CONS Of course, nothing is 100% perfect — at least not yet. The one thing I absolutely loved about Teux Deux was that I could
cross things off when I finished them. You can’t do that with Google Calendar, really. But because I’m so in love with all of the other features ( + rely on them ), I created a work around. Whenever I finish an item on my list, I click on it and add a simple “x” before the description. See the above image for an example of how I do this! Because the “x” is left aligned, it’s very simple to see what you have left to do. Now, my favorite part of the day is seeing a bunch of x’s run down the screen. Feels so so good.
So there you have it! The app that guides my days, in and out. I’m sure someday I’ll find a new app that does all of this and more, but I tend to prefer simplicity and ease of use, so this is what’s working smoothly for me now. As always, I love how this Be Free, Lance column opens up discussion. Feel free to describe what you use, personally, in the comments section below. I know others would love to read about it!