A common topic of discussion on the #PrincipalPLN podcast is on productivity, because principals have a LOT of work to do while wearing many different hats and never enough time to get it all done (seriously, time could stop and we still couldn’t catch up). One of my favorite apps for keeping my to-do list in is Remember the Milk, however, this past year I got away from using it and just started scheduling my to-do work in a google tasks calendar.
I have several calendars in Google:
- My main calendar that the secretaries can see and add appointments to. This includes any meeting or duty that they will need to know where I’m at (as will I!)
- Staff events calendar-all staff can see this and it’s for any meeting or school-wide event that they need to be aware of.
- Tasks calendar-I use this to schedule work that I need to do. Anything I used to write on a post-it note (or put in Remember the Milk app) I now put in my tasks calendar. No one else can see this.
- Student Discipline-only I can see this. I enter in any students I meet with for discipline. This is often used for scheduling when I’m going to meet with someone (usually at the end of the day when I get a parent phone call or call from the bus company about bus referrals from the pm route).
- Personal Calendar-this is just for me and is shared with my husband. We use this to schedule our own family events, medical appointments, etc.
So, why the tasks calendar? When I have a long list of things to-do it can be overwhelming to look at and decide what to do. I never really want to do any of them! But, when I schedule them when I think would be the best time to work on it, then I’ve already made a commitment to work on it at that day/time. When I look at my calendar, I know what I need to do. What’s even better is the reminder feature that pops up and tells you what you need to do; it’s like having my own little personal secretary to remind me what to do. Now, my day is just as hectic as any other principal and my days NEVER go as planned so at the end of each day I review my calendar and often have to move several tasks to another day/time, because I didn’t get to them on that day due to x, y or z happening.
When I shared this on one of the #principalpln podcasts, Spike asked how I can “cross off” that it’s done? I know that crossing things off gives a great deal of satisfaction, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do that in google calendar.
I recently came up with a solution…well, almost. I created a new calendar and called it “completed tasks” and made the calendar a different color. So now as I complete a task, I simply edit the event and change what calendar it is so I can visually see that it is completed (a different color on my calendar).