How Google Calendar Saved My Life

I have never been known as the most organized person, and granted, I always get my work done no matter what, and by the time it is due, I never really prefered to write events and assignments down in a planner. I didn’t understand the point if I was never planning to refer to the list later. Lately as winter quarter comes to an end, I have been trying to pinpoint the beginning of this habit. I discovered that, honestly, it never really formed as a consequence of any specific event, but rather: I’ve always been this way.

For whatever reason, I always much rather preferred to remember everything I had to do or jot down a word or two to trigger my memory on my left hand — yep, my hand. I thought it was the most logical position because it was next to impossible to misplace, and I would be reminded about the list all day long to the point that by the time I was home from school, I didn't have to look at it because I had already memorized it. Fast forward to the end of my high school career, when the bullet journal was the hype, I tried. I made one. I did my best to follow through with it too, but something about writing in a planner and crossing tasks off a list isn’t particularly satisfying to my mind so I found it difficult to take part in this trend.

Now, as a college student, I initially found the best system for myself was a simple one, using post-its or pieces of paper to write down daily tasks and then either recycle the paper if I completed all the tasks that day or keep it until the follow day to ensure every task was completed. This system lasted for a while, but again, I never found myself keeping track everyday the way I was supposed to.

Image source: Estee Janssens

Someone recommended I use Google Calendar, and I was reluctant at first because knowing that most adults already have the predisposed idea that students my age are heavily dependent on their phones dissuaded me from using the app completely (not to mention the spike in anxiety I used to get over looking at a fully color-coded schedule). However, when my on-campus job called for the mandatory use of Google Calendar, I had no choice, but to switch over my semi-existent system to my phone and laptop. And, quite honestly, as my second year involvement accumulated to being the publicity director for Her Campus at UCD, joining the Davis chapter Alpha Chi Omega sorority, having a job, AND taking 17+ units of classes a quarter, I knew that if there was any time to do this it was now.  

As the weeks of fall quarter trudged on, I was experiencing  mental and academic obstacles that I had never had to deal with before; I knew something had to change... so I went all in. And, I have to admit. It is such a user friendly program that I have even begun to play with its features more and more, and guess what: I enjoy it. Who would have thought? Me? The one who refused to write things down would fall in ~love~ with Google Calendar. Now, I schedule every aspect of every day-- even my free time (pro-tip: use soft colors when color-coding. I chose red once, and I was anxious 2 minutes after saving the changes to my schedule). Although I sometimes still regret my constant checking of my online calendar, I know that I have a clearer headspace than I used to (AND it’s paperless, too!).

Image source: Emma Matthews

Every passing day I am escaping — actually, erasing the notariety I developed over the years as my friends and family always pushed me to become “organized”. I previously thought using a planner made me weaker somehow, like I couldn’t remember all of my responsibilities on my own,  but now I know that this has only made me become stronger, and a more independent, responsible collegiate woman. So, if you’re like me, a powerful, busy bee struggling to find a way to stay organized, try this out. I can’t speak for everyone, but it saved my life, so maybe it can save yours too!