Setting Up Your Calendar System
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Your calendar is going to be THE most important organisational tool and an essential part of your life and home editing journey.
It will be the foundation and structure that holds everything in your life together, so you must have a clear and effective system in place.
Trust me, without it, you will struggle to make any lasting change and end up feeling overwhelmed.
So, this should be your first edit. If you haven't got a calendar or diary system set up, its time to get started.
If you do already have one - great tick it off, but make sure it's still working for you. Have a read through this post and the other related posts here to see if there are any improvements that you can make.
All you need is your choice of calendar system and a positive mindset!
digital or paper?
I have always been a bit of a stationery addict. I used to get excited every time I got a new diary or planner because it meant that I could neatly fill in the fresh new pages. I carried my diary around with me in my handbag everywhere I went.
But, after a while, it would always end up feeling messy. Life gets in the way - it's not always 'neat', and things move and change all the time. The constant crossing out and scribbling over things meant that it no longer felt calm and organised and I was forgetting to add or amend things. I didn't feel in control of my time, and it was heavy. As much as I loved shopping for diaries and planners that were going to be 'the one', none of them worked for me long term, so something had to change.
After a lot of resistance, a few years ago I decided to make the switch to digital and committed to iCal to manage my time (I still get to get my stationery fix with my planners and journals). I'm so glad I did, it's made such a difference in my life. I feel calmer and more in control, and it's so much easier!
As I'm an Apple user, iCal is great for me as it syncs across all my devices, which makes managing and planning very convenient.
Google and Microsoft Outlook also have free calendar tools that you can check out that are pretty similar, and will sync between devices as well. If you wanted something more, there are lots of different paid calendar apps available to download from the app stores such as BusyCal, Fantastical and Cloudcal for Android.
It's so easy to move things around in your digital calendar, set up recurring events and schedule things in advance.
You can share individual calendar categories with other people. I can share my 'work' and 'family' category calendars with my husband, so anything that I add to the calendar in these categories automatically notifies him on his devices and adds to his diary, so no excuses that he didn't know of any plans or appointments!
I can also set up alerts and reminders, if needed, to help me stay on track.
My favourite part is that you can easily switch between daily, weekly and monthly views with one click.
If you have scraps of paper and reminder notes everywhere, feel like you are being pulled in too many directions, you never have enough time to get it all done, or you feel erratic while you are trying to get things done, you should definitely try digital and the time blocking technique.
Paper Diary or Calendar
If you really can't bring yourself to go digital, then you'll need a paper diary or planner. A paper-based calendar or diary is much harder to choose. For it to work for you, you need to have the find one that is the right size, layout and enough space to add all the detail you need to keep you organised. Day per page, a week per page, with times, without, space for notes...
I advise getting one with times marked out each day, as this makes it easy to add in appointments and block out time in your day so that you can see at a glance how busy you are at any given time.
I could never find just the 'right one' that worked for me long term, but there are some beautiful planners out there (I've tried most of them!). Some of my favourites are from Kikki K, Ella Iconic, Appointed or you can download some free planner pages to get you started from the resources page.
Once, you've made a decision on the best calendar system to fit you and your lifestyle, you can get started on filling it out.
Make it a daily habit to check it at least once. It's good to have a look each evening at the following day to ensure that you are prepared for all you have to do, and also add in your To-do list for that day (take items from your Master To-Do List). You will have more chance of getting them done if you have allocated time to them.
Stick at it for the next month, to make sure the one you've chosen is working for you.
Some other posts you might like;
Do you prefer digital or paper?