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Untangling Your Messy Calendar

How many calendars do you have?

Nowadays, most people have their calendar on their computer, their phone and their tablet (I couldn't function if I didn't LOL). Usually you have a personal calendar, a work calendar, and sometimes another one for all your kids activities.

Here are some tips for managing your electronic calendar(s) so that you feel more in control of your schedule.

Keeping appointments and deadlines in a calendar is essential. Without one, unless you’ve got a fabulous memory (I don’t), things go bad quickly! Unfortunately, many people still struggle with electronic calendar set up, something I see with clients every day. This is how it usually happens:

  • They have a job before they start their business, and they use a calendar associated with their personal email for their personal life. That makes perfect sense.  

  • They start a business and decide to keep business and personal lives separate (just like when they had a job). So they get a new email account for work, something like, account. Now there are two calendars.

  • Then (sometimes), they get a “paid domain” email account (e.g., ). Then they get a calendar with that and there are now three places to log into and three places to track.

I was one of these people until I decided it was time to consolidate everything in one place. If there is resistance to this idea, it’s usually from people who want to keep their “work life” and “personal life” separate. I understand, but, since there is only one you and only one place you can be at any one time, it makes more sense to keep everything in one place. You can even have other people’s calendars show up (with their permission, of course). For example, I can toggle on and off some clients' calendars. This way, we can schedule meetings easier, reducing the confusion. Sorting this out can take a little time, but I guarantee it’s worth the effort. Here’s how to start:

  • Decide which calendar you’re going to use. Open the other calendars and transfer your appointments manually or hire someone to migrate them for you. Be sure to look a year ahead so you don’t miss any recurring events, like anniversaries and birthdays that might be months in the future.


  • Make sure all calendar invites sent and received are done so using the email address tied to this calendar.


  • Ask other calendar owners, like your children, significant others and select clients, to “share” their calendar with you. If you use Google calendar click here for step by step instructions, click here if you use Outlook.

When you’re finished with the consolidation, you’ll be able to access your calendar across all your devices knowing that everything you need is in one place.


Six Ways to Increase Productivity with Online Calendars

  • Set check-in reminders for critical deadlines

  • Schedule time blocks with no meetings

  • Set deliberate "out of office" time

  • Schedule breaks to stay refreshed

  • Use color coding for different calendars

  • Be sure to connect to your mobile device to take your schedule "on the go"

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