Create a digital calendar organization system that works for you

You swear by your manual planner, but you’ve been swearing AT it more often than not lately.

The number of times you have missed meetings, forgotten you kiddo’s doc appointment, neglected to share with your husband that he had to take Jimmy to rugby on Saturday. 

For all intents and purposes, your manual planner is exactly what you need, but it’s only on 1 place all the time. If you don’t have it with you while making or changing plans, what then?


Being a mom, business owner, or just a person in these busy and informational times is chaotic enough. 

Keeping everything organized so you aren’t always playing catchup, feeling overwhelmed is pretty much REQUIRED nowadays.


This problem is even worse if you are already tired, worn out, not taking care of yourself or have ADHD. I get it, I am all of these things and more. I’ve learned the beauty of the digital calendar system and all it can do. I went from missing multiple meetings a week to missing almost none.


I was constantly frustrated at my husband for never knowing what kid was signed up for which activities until I started sharing all of them with his digital calendar that is hooked up to his email.


My dad used to call me “flakey”…. it’s been part of my identity most of my life, but it never sat well with me because I hated that I couldn’t remember it all.

Now I have much more control using my digital calendar system and I know I’m not failing my clients or my family. If this is you, I encourage you to read on.



What is a digital Calendar?

If you were born in the 70’s or 80’s, you are probably familiar with the Chandlers notebooks or family planner systems that sat on the counter next to your rotary dial telephone. (No? Just me?)
I remember having one for school as well, where I wrote down all the assignments that I would put off to the last minute or completely forget about because my notebook was in my bookbag still sitting at the door where I left it when I got home on Friday.
Enter the 2000’s.
Digital Calendars have been a part of the computer landscape almost since it’s inception, but the usability of them hasn’t really come into it’s own until recently.
I learned that it was as early as 1983 that Apple computers released something called “LisaList” that allowed users to create appointments and reminders as well as print out their schedules. Close behind, Lotus Notes created Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program with built-in-calendar.
Since then, it seems as if every other ad I see on Facebook is for a new kind of digital organization or scheduling system. They are everywhere. For those of us use to or needing more physical or tactile ways to wrap our brains around our ever-increasingly-busy schedule the sheer amount of them is overwhelming.

Benefits of using a digital calendar

While there are many reasons that you may want to use a physical calendar or planner when hashing out ideas, or looking at content calendars, converting those to a digital calendar can be one of the best things you do.

Check out some of the benefits below:

  • You can set reminders for all of your events, meetings and due dates. The most popular digital calendars automatically give you the option to set reminders, some give you auditory reminders and some just send you an email. There is the option of also setting multiple reminders if you need an hour to prepare for a meeting or presentation.
  • Available on Multiple Devices One of the best features of a digital calendar planner is the ability to have it on multiple devices. Your computer? Check! Your phone? Check! Your auditory personal assistant? Check Check!
  • Easily move or reschedule appointments. Have you ever had to move an appointment because something came up? (Don’t say no, I know you have). In a physical planner or calendar you have to scratch it out (or white it out if you are old-school) and put it on another day. It also can take several phone calls to find a time that works.
  • In a digital calendar you can reschedule on the spot. Move it to a different time or cancel it all together and put in a new one. MAGIC
  • Share your Schedule with others. If you are part of a family, or a member of an organization LISTEN UP. Being able to share where you are, what you are doing, what is scheduled for your family with someone else is GAME CHANGING.
    I can’t tell you how many times I use to tell my husband about a kids appointment, or soccer schedule, just to have him (or myself) forget about it later. Now I just book it and share the entire calendar with him. (You can also just share specific appointments by inviting someone). If you have an assistant working in your business, you can share your calendar with them so they are able to find out your availability and work with vendors and clients without your input.

At this point, you probably are ALL IN.


You GET it, but now you need to figure out, out of all of the choices out there, which is the best for you?!


How to choose the best digital calendar for you

There are many types of digital calendars out there, the three main ones being Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Calendar. There are a couple things to consider when trying to choose one that will work for you.
These three I just mentioned have VERY much the same functionality, so some of it may just come down to personal preference, however there are some things you should consider when choosing one that will work best for you and your needs.
Want to find out about the best calendars to use?
Check out this article (

Figure out what your goals are for the calendar.
Are you using it just for yourself? Is it used for your business? What functionalities will be mosts-used? Which is the most user-friendly for you? What type of software do you already use?

The answers to these questions will basically tell you which one you need.
If you need to share with many other types of clients and/or people on different systems, using a cloud-based calendar may be the best option.
If you need multiple calendars, and want to color-code them with bright colors, looking at Google Calendar and Apple Calendar may be the best options.
If you hate Apple Computers, then maybe apple calendar is NOT the right choice (and I wonder where your head is at… but that’s a completely different blog post).
Do you need to embed the calendars into different software? Share your work appointments with your project management tool to understand how you are spending your time?
While this blog isn’t going to dive into the specifics of the three calendars I listed above, and how they may benefit your specific goals, I’ve linked to some other helpful articles that dive into that below.

And I personally use Google Calendar because A) it integrates with everything B) I already use and pay for Google Suite for my business and C) I can easily share multiple calendars with clients and my family.


Setting up your Calendar

While you can do this 500 different ways, in order to use your calendar most beneficially and to use it in a way that is helpful to others you are communicating with, I highly recommend the following.
  1. Look at all your appointments, imagined or otherwise and categorize them into buckets of types of appointments. For instance, you could have a team meeting, a client meeting and a coaching meeting, and those may all be considered “Business” meetings. Conversely, you have a hair appointment on Saturday, Your husband is going out of town for work on Sunday and your kiddo has Tae Kwon Do on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you may consider these “Family” appointments. A good categorization to start with may be work, family, personal, school and any others that are specific to your needs.
  2. Set up your Calendar Now it’s the fun part and start getting our hands digitally dirty. (is that even a thing?)Now that you have loosely categorized the types of calendars you have, I’m going to request that you create 1 more…. the IDEAL calendar.

    Okay, when I say ideal, I don’t mean that you will spend 3 hours a day getting a massage every day or schedule 12 hours for sleeping… I mean what is a realistic weekly schedule for you. If you need help figuring out what your ideal schedule should be, you can use this time tracker to help map it out. [ link to time-tracker ]

    Create an “ideal” schedule calendar, making sure all the appointments are set to “free” and use that as your guide when you are working or deciding when an event or appointment should be.

  • Then add your other calendars, making sure to choose the colors for them and setting them up specific to your needs. Also, make sure you set aside time in one of the calendars to review your schedule every day and adjust as needed. This fulfills two purposes: a) it allows you to keep all of your appointments up to date and fresh in your mind b) It helps to create the habit of actually using the digital calendar. Creating new habits always take some practice.

Other Strategies for your Digital Calendar planning to help keep you on track

This part is for those of you that may “understand” how to use digital calendars, but haven’t ever been able to make it work for you because… well… life.
As someone who gets it, I have found some little cool tips and tricks that have helped me and some of my clients tremendously when it comes to making sure the calendar is working for you.

If this is you, I’d love for you to send me an email of the tips and tricks that have worked for you!



Tip 1: Hook up your work and important event calendars to Alexa or Google Voice


Of course, this is only applicable if you have an Alexa or Google voice (and whether you should or not is a WHOLE other blog or post or really long Redit)
We are an Alexa-loving family. Not only does she play music all over the house and entertain my kids with stories that are age-appropriate, but she REMINDS me of my meetings in my office every time one is coming up.
The directions below are for Alexa, I’m sure there are easy-to find ones for Google Assistant as well:
  1. Open the Alexa app .
  2. Open More  and select Settings.
  3. Select Calendar.
  4. Select your account provider, and then select Connect Account.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions. Repeat these steps for each calendar you want to link.
Alexa will then give you a verbal warning for every “reminder” you have set up.

I have learned that she doesn’t pronounce everything correctly, which is pretty humorous.

Also, if there is a swear word in the name of the event, it will bleep it out.
Even Alexa has standards!

Tip 2: Buffer Time

Always always always create plenty of buffer time between your events and meetings.
I cannot emphasize this enough.
We know that stuff comes up, emergencies need to be dealt with, an extra cup of coffee is desperately needed and…. well bathroom.
If you are jamming every meeting in the world right next to each other, you don’t leave room for the curve balls that life throws at you.
And you know that sometimes life is nothing BUT curveballs.
So do yourself a favor, and make sure there is some breathing room in your schedule. You’ll thank me when you don’t have a nervous breakdown. (Remind me to tell you sometime about MY nervous breakdowns)

Tip 3: Set aside time to review your calendar 1x a day

I’ve said this before in this blog, but it bears repeating.
Set aside 15 minutes a day to review your schedule for the day, or even a few days in advance.
Make sure you don’t have any overlapping meetings, no emergencies came up or see if any events need to be moved because your mini-me is now home sick with the stomach flu.
Creating this habit, either at the beginning or the end of the day, depending when your brain best works, will solidify your schedule in your head, and keep you updated on anything else going on that you need to be aware of.

In the end you will feel much more organized and much less “chaotic” having done this.

Want to see how this all works together? You can check out my YouTube channel where I talk about everything Operations, Productivity, Digital Organization ClickUp and Airtable. 



I’ll even show you how to integrate your digital calendar with ClickUp and make even more use of it there!

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