Getting Organized with a Google Calendar

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Google Calendar for ADHD organizationAre you organized for the school year yet? Do you have your calendars, your color coded notebooks, your staging areas near the back door?

We’ve talked quite a bit about getting organized by having a shared calendar. Lots of our problems with ADHD kids stem from them – and us – being disorganized, forgetting things, and so forth. Most of us have a big paper calendar in the kitchen, but we’ve discussed that there isn’t a great way to sync things electronically from dad to mom to kid to kid – especially for those of us who don’t have web enabled phones.

Google has solved that for us. For the very big pricetag of $0 – at least if you live in the United States and have a Gmail account.

Here’s what we found – and are doing!

  • If you use Outlook, you can sync it to a Google calendar. If you have Outlook on two computers, you can sync all three. There are other email programs that sync with Google calendars, too. Google it for more details. 🙂
  • If each person in your family has a Google calendar, you can share them with each other, so that everyone in a family sees a color coded calendar which shows the entire family’s events.
  • Google will email you your schedule for the next day. (It emails you at 5 am your time. No choice on the time. I wish it would email me 9:00 pm the night before.)
  • Google will text you event reminders.
  • AND you can add events to your calendar via TEXT.

So, today I texted myself an appointment. It went to my Google calendar, which is visible on everyone else’s calendars in the house. It also appears on the Outlook calendars on BOTH of my computers.

I cannot tell you how helpful this is – it’s the solution we’ve been looking for and were willing to pay to get. Scary as it is, I love Google.

Here’s how it all works together
First of all, as I mentioned, you have to have a Gmail account, which has a calendar attached. And you have to be using the calendar. If you’re not (and I wasn’t) the good news is that you can sync most of your email calendars to your Google Calendar. Here’s how to sync your Google calendar to Outlook.

How to sync the Google calendars for a family.

  1. Click settings>calendar settings
  2. Click the “Calendars” tab
  3. Click on the calendar you wish to share. A new window will open.
  4. Click the “Share this calendar” tab
  5. in the “Share with specific people section”, enter the gmail addresses of the people with whom you want to share.

You and your husband and kids are now synced!

How to connect your Google Calendar to your cell phone. (Only one Gmail account per phone number.)

  1. Go back to “Calendar Settings”.
  2. Click on the “Mobile Setup” tab.
  3. Fill in the fields for your cell phone. Watch those preferences – Google will text, popup or email you before each event.
  4. Google will text you a confirmation code.
  5. OPEN the text message. If you don’t you won’t see the code, and you may confuse Google’s text number for it. (At least I did…)
  6. Enter the verification code and click “Save”.

How to add events to your calendar with your NON web enabled phone.

Now, here’s the fun – and slightly scary – part. If you’re away from your desk and you want to add an appointment to your calendar, you can! Just text GVENT (48368), and write the appointment like you would on your calendar. “Ash Ortho appt at 1 pm on September 10.” Or “Meet Joe at the Louvre tomorrow at 12:30.” (Don’t I wish…) And Google will figure out what you mean, add it to your calendar, then text you that they’ve done it.

You can get also:

Get your daily schedule emailed to you.
Get text reminders from your Gmail calendar.
Check your Google calendar from your phone.
And lots more.

So what do you think? Will this help your family as much as it has helped ours? Over the summer, ave you found something else that has worked? Share your experiences below!

About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

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