It’s hard to have a daily routine when your schedule is constantly changing. It’s also hard to plan ahead or make plans with people. Night shift, day shift, work from home, travel, in service training, off duty work, babysitter vs. JD’s grandma vs. family friend for child care… it’s a LOT to keep track of. And L is only 1- she doesn’t have her own schedule of activities and get togethers yet. It’s going to get worse, people.
To help maintain sanity, I created a Gmail calendar that JD and I can use jointly and syncs to our phones. It’s been life changing, to say the least. If someone asks if we’re available, I can quickly check the calendar. If JD signs up for off duty, he can add it to the calendar in case he forgets to tell me (which happens quite often). I set alerts for things I’m afraid I’ll forget, add an address that I can easily GPS when it’s time to leave, and create popup reminders for things I need to bring to certain events.
For me, I have 3 calendars- personal, family, and Loralai’s daycare schedule; the family and daycare calendars are shared with JD. Call it hyper-organized or OCD, but it’s saved us a lot of hassle and confusion.
I thought I’d share the basic instructions on how to do this. I’m assuming 2 things here- you and your significant other each have a Gmail account (or a joint Gmail account) and that you have smart phones.
First, you have to create the calendar.
Log in to your Gmail account, and in the top right corner of the page, you’ll see a grid with 9 boxes. Click on that grid to open menu options, then select Calendar.
You will be taken to your default calendar. On the left side, there is a red button that will allow to create a new event, a month view below that, and below that a drop down called “My Calendars.” Select the arrow on the right “My Calendars,” and it will allow you to Create a New Calendar.
On the next screen, you’ll need to name your calendar, select your time zone, and enter the email address(es) that you want to share with. Be sure to select the correct permissions for each person you share the calendar with. If you want them to be able to add and change events, you will need to select one of those options from the Permission Settings to the right of their email address.
Now, click Create Calendar at the top of the screen!
Anyone invited to the calendar will receive an email notifying them of the new calendar and the calendar will be automatically added to their Gmail account. Everyone invited to the calendar will be able to access it under My Calendars on the left side of the screen.
To create an event, select the red “Create” button and fill out all of the information.
A few features to highlight…
**Be sure to select the right calendar from the Calendar dropdown to make sure the event populates to your joint calendar
**Use the reminder settings to either send an email reminder and/or a pop-up that will appear on your phone, if you’d like (I am a reminder fiend). Note: Reminder settings will NOT populate to the other user(s) of your joint calendar. So if I set up a reminder, my husband will not get that same reminder. He could manually set his own, if he wanted (he doesn’t, but he could).
Once you’re finished, be sure to hit the “Save” button!
Once saved, the event will automatically populate on desktop and mobile devices (assuming the calendar is synced to the mobile device) for all calendar users.
And speaking of syncing…
The instructions are different for each type of mobile device. I’m not going to detail out sync instructions for the different device types, but I’ve linked to some instructions below, for reference.