October 21, 2014 ~ Deb Lee
When you think about it, a calendar is basically a list of all your appointments that shows open/closed blocks of time. If you like using a paper calendar, definitely use it. It really would make no sense to start using something else when you already have a solid system that helps you be productive.
That said, one of the drawbacks with using a paper calendar is that you’ll have to carry it with you so that you can see your meetings and open/closed time slots at a glance. With a digital calendar, on the other hand, you can access it from your smart phone or tablet, no matter where you happen to be.
There are lots of other benefits of using a digital calendar. Check out the following 5 reasons why you might want to consider using an online calendar.
1. No Cost. It’s nice when you can find a useful tool that’s on sale. It’s even nicer when that item is free and it helps you be more productive or makes your life a little easier. While there are some online calendars that will come with a fee, there are many that are free, including the one I use all the time: Google Calendar.
2. Portability. As I mentioned before, one of the benefits of a digital calendar is the ability to know exactly how your time is scheduled without having to carry a planner around with you. You can access your schedule and appointments from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and your user name and password (and your laptop or smart device, too).
Of course, if you can leave your laptop at home and use your tablet or smart phone instead, you’ll probably have a lighter purse or briefcase (your shoulder and back will thank you).
Another convenient feature of a digital calendar: you can set recurring appointments. That means less writing and more automation (your hand will thank you).
3. Reminders. When you use a paper calendar, you have to be on top of your game and be self-motivated. You will need to get in a regular routine of checking your calendar to see where you need to be on a given day. With a digital calendar, you can create text, e-mail, or pop-up reminders for your meetings and appointments. If your inbox is overflowing, you might want to choose text reminders that you can delete immediately.
You can also add comments to the notes section of your digital calendar. Use that section to include details that will help you find your way to your destination or just about anything that you want to remember about your appointment.
4. Multiple Calendars. Many digital calendars allow you to create more than one calendar for various types of events, and you can color code them to help you better remember specific appointments (or people). Another nice feature is that you can turn on and off calendars (i.e., hide or show) depending on the view you want to see.
5. Sharing. One of the best things about a digital calendar is that you can share your calendar with others and let them view or even make changes to it. This can be a helpful step in your workflow if you work with a virtual assistant (e.g, your assistant can update your calendar for you).
Are you using an online calendar? What features do you find helpful?