At the end of a recent doctor’s appointment, I was told to talk to the receptionist on my way out and schedule a follow-up appointment. After we agreed upon a date and time for my return, the receptionist asked if I wanted a reminder card. I said, “No, I’ll just put it in my calendar”, and I quickly entered it in my phone. She said, “That’s so smart of you to use a digital calendar! I still use one of those old-fashioned day planners.” I have to admit, I wasn’t even sure those still existed!
Back in college, I was a huge fan of those “old-fashioned day planners.” I carried mine with me everywhere I went, and I had it all color-coded. Every due date was clearly penciled in, and I proudly added a check mark every time I completed an essay or finished a reading assignment. While that system worked well for me back then, now it has been replaced with Google calendar, and I’ll never go back . . . it’s so much easier! As a small business owner, I’m sure you can see great benefits from it, too. Here are five ways that Google calendar can help a small business owner:
1. Access Anywhere– Google calendar automatically syncs to any device you have connected to your Gmail account, so you can access it anywhere on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. As a small business owner who’s always on the go, it’s very simple to check or edit your calendar anytime, anywhere.
2. Color Coordinate– Just like I used to do with highlighters in my day planner, you can color coordinate different calendars for different types of events. For example, you may choose to use red for personal events, green for work, orange for holidays, etc. This makes it easy to keep your work and personal life separate, but still highly organized and all in one place.
3. Email or Phone Notifications- One of my favorite features of Google calendar is that you can set reminders in the form of email or phone notifications for things you are likely to forget. You can choose whether that’s everything on your calendar, or only certain items. Your day planner can’t email you or send a notification to your phone, but Google can! These reminders can be set for any time, whether it’s a week, a day, or 10 minutes before a certain event.
4. Recurring Reminders- You can also set recurring reminders. For example, instead of writing “Mom’s birthday” in my day planner once a year like I used to do, I just enter it once in Google calendar and tell it to repeat on the same day every year. (And even small business owners need to remember their mom’s birthday!) This feature is handy for recurring meetings, bills that need to be paid at the same time each month, birthdays and anniversaries (don’t forget to add the birthdays of your employees and loyal clients!), and other events that happen weekly, monthly, or yearly.
5. Scheduling with Others- This might be the best feature for small business owners. Google calendar works very well for scheduling meetings or events with other people. When you create an event, you can easily send that event to other people’s Google calendars via email. You can also share entire calendars with others, instead of individual events, if you prefer. This makes it simple to connect with your co-workers, clients, friends and family.
I’ve only scratched the surface here for ways that Google calendar can make your life much easier, both professionally and personally. For even more ideas, check out this HubSpot article.