Organising our lives to make things easier can be made far simpler utilising the tools available. One tool I use is Google Calendar. It is the reminder service that does what I want the way I want. Google Calendar does that and it is FREE. There is an app for your phone, as well as being able to set this up via the website.
I need a calendar service that gives me reminders when I set them for. This is because the default options in other apps are not always suitable. Google Calendar lets me personalise when I get the reminders and how many I receive them.
If I have a meeting I may prefer a reminder a couple of hours before.
Where as if I am getting a birthday reminder I may want it one week before to give me time to buy a card and a present.
Google Calendar allows reminders minutes, hours, days or weeks beforehand. There is also an option for how the reminder comes – email or reminder on the phone application. Ideal for my needs. This means I can set all appointments, events, etc in one place. I can also set multiple reminders for the same item as well.
Birthdays and Anniversaries
If you wish to ensure you remember a birthday or anniversary here are my suggestions:
Set the date of the event in Google Calendar
You can choose the date and a time for the reminder
Suggest you do NOT mark it all day in case it conflicts with another event on the same day
Choose the reminder period that will permit you to achieve what you need to (e.g. buy a present, buy and post a card, book a restaurant)
You can add a location, if you wish
You can add an attachment, if you wish
Set the reminder/s the way you wish. You can set multiple reminders. Consider the day and the time you will see the reminder. Midday whilst at work will not necessarily be the best. Sunday night also will not allow the time to get the shops if needed.
Choose the option of how you wish the reminder to let you know
You can select a colour (you may wish to have ALL birthdays as green and other events in different colours)
Click repeat and choose annual
Do this for every birthday and anniversary you wish to be reminded of.
I have a large number of friends’ birthdays in my Google Calendar. I post them a card, sometimes with a lottery ticket in, as they get a nice surprise.
One tip – I text a number of people birthday messages, as one never knows what those celebrating have planned and therefore whether I will be able to speak to them on their special day. I set up the texts when I see the reminder. Texts can be set to be sent on a certain day and time. The recipients get a card off me and a text as a minimum.
If you wish to set this up without the lucky person being alerted (When I first did this I got so many thank you’s from people not expecting it) then run down the birthdays list on Facebook, if they are on there. If not, then asking a mutual acquaintance may help. These little gestures can make someone’s day.
You can also send the people messages via social media that you both participate on. If you use Hootsuite (or similar app) then you can schedule messages on social media accounts.
Friends and family may have events that are significant to them, e.g. an operation, driving test, interview, etc. If you note these in your calendar as well you can send them a card, message, text and give them a boost. These little acts of kindness will give you a good feeling. The other person will appreciate it as well.
You can block out a one hour, two hour or more time slot for meetings. That should prevent double booking people. You may wish to consider blocking out travel time if you are travelling to meet the person concerned. So perhaps book out 3 hours instead of 1.5 hours.
The simplicity of this option for me is it is cloud based. So if I upgrade my phone, laptop or tablet I still get the emails to the new device.
It means you will never forget again.