Free Starter Guide

how i organize my life

When I posted last week that I schedule every minute of my day, a few folks commented and sent me emails asking for more details about how I go about organizing all of my various to-dos and juggling all my tasks. Honestly, I have no idea if this is the “ideal” way of going about it, but it works perfectly for my busy schedule. I manage to rarely forget things or miss deadlines.

The “hub” of my organization is my Google Calendar. If Google suddenly decided to discontinue their calendar service, I would be beyond screwed. My entire life is in these little colorful boxes.

I have eight calendars that I use on a regular basis:

  • My Calendar—This is where my personal appointments, freelance deadlines, school due dates and other events. This is also the calendar I schedule my days on.
  • Our Calendar—This is a shared calendar between Babyface and I that includes our events. Family birthday parties, etc. Things we both need to know about.
  • Birthdays, Holidays & Events—This is the master list of our family birthdays, anniversaries and big events.
  • Blog Posts—I schedule posts for Wholefully two weeks at a time (although they are often written only one or two days before they go live).
  • Business Calendar—Babyface and I are blossoming a photography and design business on the side, and this calendar helps us keep track of scheduled photo shoots, client meetings, etc. Although, right now, they are few and far between. :P
  • Menu—Our dinner menu for the next two weeks.
  • Fitness Minutes—One of my goals in 2012 was to complete 3,500 fitness minutes. This calendar is how I keep track.
  • Workouts—I have a loose schedule of workouts I like to follow. This calendar is used a lot more heavily when I’m training for something. Training schedules get put in here and I can always see what training session is up next.

I also have a totally separate calendar for work that I have to hold all of my office-y meetings and appointments. I like to keep them separate, but on my phone, they both feed into the calendar, so I can always see if I have a work appointment on my schedule.

MY LATEST VIDEOS

As I mentioned in that previous post, the main component of my life organization is my daily scheduling. Before bed, every night, I open up my Google Calendar and schedule pretty much every minute of the next day. I don’t always do this, but more often than not, I try to schedule my time. It’s really the only way I’ve figured out to starve off my procrastination bug and keep on task.

Now how I go about figuring out what I want to schedule for the day requires a second tool—TeuxDeux. TeuxDeux is one of my favorite websites/apps on the planet. Mostly because it is so simple, easy to use and pretty much perfect. Google Calendar has a similar task list functionality, but I’ve just never gotten into it the way I’ve gotten into TD. Maybe one day I’ll make the switch to where it’s all the same place, but for now, TD is my true list-making lover.

I use TeuxDeux as a planning tool for tasks. Instead of just making a running to-do list, I use the various lists under the days of the week to preliminarily schedule a task when I think of something. For example, I decided earlier in the week that I really wanted to reshoot my headshots. But I knew that the next time Babyface would be available to shoot them wouldn’t be until Saturday, so I slotted that item under my Saturday Teux Deux list.

So now, when I go to schedule my day, I just look at what tasks are written under tomorrow’s date and try to slot them into the times I have available. If I have more time available than tasks? Sweet! I’ll just slot in a “relax” or “chill” appointment. If I have more tasks than time available? I sort through, prioritize and move the ones that aren’t top priority to other days on my Teux Deux list (this happens pretty much daily).

MY LATEST VIDEOS

Notice that my Sunday TeuxDeux list is pretty…light. I try to keep Sundays pretty open. I always end up doing some tasks that day (mostly overflow from the other days) but I try to keep Sunday’s as “our” days—time to go hiking, see a movie or head to the bookstore. Normally, the harder I work on Saturdays, the more I have free on Sundays.

So that’s how I keep all my stuff together. I’m sure there are better ways out there, but this seems to work for me.

How do you keep all your to-dos and appointments organized?

looking for more?Try these...

31 comments

Leave a Comment

  • Shauna SAYS

    I’ve tried SO MANY TIMES to use technology to help me stay organized. The problem is that when I do this I either forget that I made the list, or I get distracted by the internet when I’m checking my lists.

    I’m much more suited to the traditional paper organization and to-do lists. All my calendars and menu plans and cleaning charts and to-do lists are in my family binder. I lost my old one, so I was just using random pieces of paper. Yesterday I finally finished my new binder, and I LOVE it.

  • Ashley SAYS

    I purchase an actual planner every year. By the end of the year, they are literally falling apart (my current one is missing half of its cover), but I have found it is the best way for me to stay organized. I don’t do as well with computer calendars, just because I feel like it is more of a pain to add stuff to it. I would have to get to a computer before I could schedule something. I can bring my planner with me anywhere :)

  • Lydia SAYS

    I love Google Calendar, too. I’ll have to check out TeuxDeux because I’ve never gotten seen results using Google Tasks (and it mucks up my calendar space!).

    Can I ask an in-depth question? How are you getting the check marks next to your blog post calendar entries? Are you manually going in an adding that after the post has updated or been written or whatever the check signifies to you?

    • Cassie SAYS

      The checkmarks mean a post has been written. And I got them by turning on flair! Click the little gear in the upper right corner, click on “Labs” in the menu and then enable Event Flair. There are a bunch of fun things hidden in there. :) And yes, I manually add each one after it’s completed. It’s my digital version of crossing something off.

      • Lydia SAYS

        That’s exactly what I was needing! A check-off option for things (like workouts, blog posts, etc!). Thanks for the additional details!

  • Aubrey SAYS

    I use TeuxDeux for things I need to get done, and Google Calendar for other events. I only have three calendars; my main one, my one for bills and whatnot, and one that’s built in for contacts’ birthdays and anniversaries. I’ve been debating putting my workout stuff in its own calendar, too, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  • WOW! This is really awesome. I may have to check out TeuxDeux. I like the clean design your image shows.

    Like some of the other commenters, I’ve tried to use digital means for organizing… but, I’ve had technology failure one too many times to feel comfortable with it. So, I’m a planner gal. I’ve gotten away from marking workouts in my planner (which means workouts haven’t been getting done), but we have a paper calendar on the fridge with the training schedule.

  • Alli SAYS

    Oh man, Google Calendar and I have got a thing going on. And my office recently switched to using Google instead of Office so now my calendar is overflowing between all of my work and personal calendars! Noooooo!

  • I tried TeauxDeaux when you first started using it, but I soon reverted back to pen and paper. I think it’s a tactile thing for me. <3

    I hope that yours and Craig's photography business gets off the ground so that you can maintain the Broken Plow! Good luck with everything.

  • Allison SAYS

    I love how intense all of this is. Staying organized is so fulfilling! Some people just don’t understand us.

    I also love Gcal, but have a little less love for Gtasks. The only use I’ve found for tasks is to track my bills. I add the company & amount and then check them off when I’ve paid, even if I schedule autopay. It feels good to see them checked off & crossed out!

  • Natalie Ingraham SAYS

    Event flair just blew my mind. Weeeeeeee, emoticons.

  • Michelle SAYS

    Ok, so if I didn’t have Google Calendar my life would be one big triple-booked mess. But ever since I got my iPhone I can’t get everything to sync. Under My Calendar I have sub-sections. If I create an event under anything other than my original calendar it won’t show up on my phone. I’ve double booked more in the last 4 months than I have in the last 4 years. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! :)

  • Michelle SAYS

    p.s. if you know of any good tutorials for using google calendar with your iPhone let me know. I’m usually pretty good at figuring these things out, but I’m lost on this one!

  • I’m never, ever going to be that organized. I’m a terrible procrastinator… I’m so bad that I keep saying I want to make use of things like Google Calendar to nip my procrastination in the bud, and… I never do. I keep meaning to do it. Tomorrow. Eventually. Sometime, right?

  • Lindsey SAYS

    I never thought of using my Google calendar for meal planning. That’s a great idea!

    I love the new font and head shot!

  • Laurel SAYS

    New photo and heading is adorable!

  • I have a pinbaord in my room and I have a calendar pinned to it. I always write down important things and pin them onto my pinboard so I dont forget about them.

    Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  • Nanci SAYS

    I SO need to do this. I keep complaining about not enough time to go things so maybe this will help me. I just need it to be easy to do and easy to keep up with otherwise it will be one more thing to distract me. Thanks for the ideas!! :)

  • Sarah SAYS

    This is sort of overwhelming, and yet there is a part of me that feels some sort of zen serenity looking at organization like this! I wish there was some way to combine the tactile aspect of a paper calendar with the ease of changing things around and scheduling recurring appointments of an online calendar.

    And using a calendar for menu planning is utter genius!

  • Janny SAYS

    I wish I could be as organized, but I never have anything much going on in my day. I could start scheduling my workouts, maybe then I’d be more motivated! lol.

    I work for this company, but I use and recommend Cozi (http://www.cozi.com/Features-Overview.htm). Though it’s a family-centric application (I’m single), I use it just fine for all of my calendaring, to dos and shopping.

  • Kylie SAYS

    I recently started using the templates and to-do lists from http:www.getorganizedwizard.com

    Finding tools that can help you make significant changes in your life is so motivating. And what’s even better is when other people notice the change and make comment. I love that :)

    Thanks for your post, Cassie!

  • Love this! I have been struggling with ditching the paper planner, and TeuxDeux is another piece of the aresnal! It’s fab!

  • Mandy SAYS

    I’m completely jealous of your calendar.

    Like some of the others, I typically do better with paper calendars. Mostly because I forget to add to my Google calendar. :)

    Of course, I KNOW I need to use it. As a single, almost divorced, mom who is co-parenting, when my ex and I used Google, it was brilliant. We shared a calendar to keep track of things like the kids’ doctor’s appointments, custody days, school events, work schedules…But then we forgot to update. Oops. :D

    This inspired me to get back at it!

  • Lisa SAYS

    How do you get your phone to display all the different calendars? Mine (iPhone 3GS) only seems to want to show the primary one. Thanks.

    • Cassie SAYS

      I have an iPhone 4S and in the Calendar app, if I click the “Calendar” button in the top right, I get a list of all of my calendars and I can check and uncheck the ones I want. Good luck!

      • Lisa SAYS

        Mine doesn’t seem to do that. I think I’d use it a lot more if I had the option to split it up. Maybe I will have to combine everything.

  • Jamie SAYS

    Holy COW I love this! I am researching ways to better use Google Calendar. Thanks! Pinned this, too.

  • Autumn SAYS

    Do you still use TeuxDeux since they’ve started charging? Just curious if you’ve kept with it or if you’ve find something else.

    • Cassie SAYS

      I am still using it. Because I was an early adopter, they haven’t started charging me yet, but I’m expecting it any day. And I’ll probably pay for it, because I can’t live without it!

  • D SAYS

    I love this! I live by Google Calendar. I currently have 14 Calendars that I use daily & just added 1 more for Blogging, since I’ve decided to start blogging seriously instead of just having my blog sitting around doing nothing lol.. Thanks again :)

    • M SAYS

      Is there a way you re-organize your list of calendars? It’s not a huge deal, it’s just slightly bugging me that my calendar orders are all messy instead of being organized by color.

Join the Conversation (31 Comments)

Skip to toolbar