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Busy? You Should Probably Start Using Google Calendar.

Every September, sometime during back-to-school season, I find myself perusing the office supplies aisle at my local Target. Every time, I’m captured by the diverse selection of colorful, aesthetic planners, taunting me with visions of unachievable organization and productivity. Every time, I give in and buy myself a planner, telling myself that it would help me declutter my hectic life.

But, you know how this story goes.

Every year, around this time, I would have given up and lost my planner to the deepest corner of my backpack, rendering it doomed to collect dust for the rest of the year.

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably tried to use a planner and failed. Over and over again. But, what if I told you that there was a better alternative that just might work for you?

I present to you: Google Calendar.

Before you toss this article aside, just hear me out. Google Calendar changed my life and it can change yours, too. Here’s why.

It’s quick and accessible.

“When are you available?”

“Does this time work for you?”

Google Calendar makes it easier to make plans efficiently and on-the-go. I used to maintain a physical planner consistently (I lied at the beginning of this article). Whenever I was asked about my availability, I never had my planner on hand or it was too much of a hassle to pull it out of my bag and flip through its pages. But, with Google Calendar, all I have to do is open my laptop or whip out my phone. My entire schedule is available at my fingertips.

Checking your schedule and creating events is quick and easy with Google Calendar. No pen or paper required!

You can sort your priorities and responsibilities.

You know what’s better than one calendar? Multiple calendars. I’m the type of person to sort everything into categories and subcategories. No joke, one of my favorite past times is putting all my documents into folders and then creating subfolders within those folders. I’m also the type to color code everything. If you’re like me, then you’ll like this feature.

On Google Calendar, you can make multiple calendars for different things and assign them different colors for visual organization. Maybe you want one calendar for your personal life and one for your work life. Maybe you’re on the board of multiple clubs and you have a lot of events and meetings to attend. You can make a calendar for each club. The possibilities are endless!

With multiple calendars, you can see all your events all at once, or you can unselect and see only the events you want to see, allowing you to zero in on certain priorities. This is something you can’t do with a physical planner, where everything is always laid out in front of you.

You realize how much time you actually have in each day.

Oftentimes we know how many things we have to do, but what we don’t realize is how much or how little time we have in a day. I like to view my Google Calendar by the week. This way, I can visually identify when I’m free and what part of the day I’m busy.  

Seeing my whole week laid out in front of my eyes made me realize how little time I actually had to work with. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, which sounds like enough time to accomplish everything you want or need to. However, what we forget to account for is how much of our day each task or event takes up. We don’t account for the time we sleep, eat, get ready, and travel from one destination to the next. Visually planning out my week enabled me to be more responsible with my time. This brings me to my next point.

Google Calendar makes it easier to manage time.

Time management. It’s something everyone struggles with, and we probably will keep struggling with it for most of our lifetimes. However, what helps with managing time is planning when to get something done at a certain point in the day.

Everyone has a checklist of tasks they need to get done during the day or week. Making a list can help you get organized. However, it can be hard to cross everything off that list if you don’t know account for how long it takes to get something done or don’t know when you have time to do a task. Google Calendar has a task feature that allows you to plan out what tasks to tackle and when.

Believe it or not, it’s totally possible to get everything on that mile-long checklist done before midnight if you plan when you should do something and hold yourself to it.

Makes planning with friends easier.

“Let’s go out for dinner!”

“Sure! I’m free Tuesday at 7pm.”

“Shoot, I can’t do that. I have work until 9pm.”

“Okay, let’s do Friday?”

“Ugh, no, I have a meeting at that time.”

“Oh yeah, I can’t either. I have plans with family.”

Does this narrative sound familiar to you? I think we’ve all faced the challenge of making plans within a group of busy friends or classmates. Google Calendar can solve this problem because you can share calendars with your friends, family, colleagues, etc. This way, when you make plans with everyone, whether for a club meeting or dinner plans, you can line up all your calendars and find a time that works for everyone.

Trust me. Sharing Google Calendars with one another saves time and energy and makes planning a lot less frustrating.

These are just some of the ways Google Calendar has improved my life. Take it from a person who is constantly bouncing between lectures and meetings. Google Calendar enabled me to manage my time wisely, do all my homework in a timely manner, tend to my responsibilities, and maintain my relationships even with a busy schedule. If you’re busy and in need of some organization in your life, I encourage it to at least give it a shot.

Emily Tang

Washington '23

Emily is a first-year English major at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a writer on the Her Campus Writing Team at UW and a self-proclaimed caffeine enthusiast.
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