When I was young, the first week of every January I would go with my father to the auto parts store to get his copy of the annual Parts Pup Calendar. I remember this well because Napa’s calendar provided more than just the days of the week. Nowadays we live in a world that is far too politically correct for calendars like “that” but luckily we have Google Calendar to take its place.
Google Calendar is a cloud based time management tool. This article will focus on features that are not obvious at first look, visit the Youtube link provided for a good beginners tutorial.
Gcal allows you to create multiple calendars and view each one on demand. My account contains many different calendars including employee days off, vacations, dairy event schedule, farm field events, and my son’s schedule. Most of the time I only view my personal appointments, but sometimes I want to access these other calendars. For example, every quarter I print and post the days off schedules for each group of employees. You can view as few or as many calendars as you like from your desktop and phone.
Program recurring events
My dairy calendar consists mostly of repeating events like Equipment and barn maintenance, vet checks, nutritionist visits, vaccines, pen moves, and company meetings. I will also pre-schedule farming events but these usually change, then become part of my farm record keeping system. The dairy runs like a finely tuned machine, each day of the week has specific repeating tasks like most dairies, but programming seasonal reminders like “cover haystacks”, and “change teat dip”, allow us to execute these tasks on a semi-irregular but consistent basis.
Probably the most valuable feature of Gcal is its ability to share calendars. I share my farm schedules with my farm manager, and the dairy schedules with my herdsman. I share a calendar with my fellow officers and staff at the county Farm Bureau, but the most important share is with my wife. She inputs her schedule on her iPhone, I input mine on the Galaxy and PC, and through Gcal we are always in sync.
Subscribe to Calendars
Google offers many interesting calendars you can subscribe to like national holidays, sunrise sunset times, pro sports schedules, your contact’s birthdays, and the day of the year.
I use “day of the year” to do quick date calculations. Let’s say you check a heifer on May 1 (Day 121) and she is 45 days pregnant. You want to move her to the close up pen at 261 DCC. Subtracting 45 from 261, and then adding 121 will quickly tell you her Close Up date will be day 337, which is December 3rd. You could then add an event to your “Heifer Move” calendar on that date.
Even though Google Calendar doesn’t come with pictures of “parts puppies”, it does fit in your pocket and offers some really powerful tools to manage your life.
If you are planning a meeting, family event, or other activity, Gcal gives you the ability to invite people to those events. Guests can decline or if they accept, Google Calendar adds your event to their calendar as well.
If you have an android phone you already have Google Calendar. If you have an iPhone, you can sync your Google Calendar to Apple’s iCal but if you want to access the full power of Google Calendar it is best to install a 3rd party app such as Calengoo.