Working on getting better at calendars

Calendars are among my weaknesses. I’ve had scheduling conflicts. I’ve missed appointments. I’ve plumb forgotten about stuff. Fortunately, people tend to be forgiving, like the way I don’t stress out over other people’s calendar mishaps. Things like this happen.

I’m working on ways to get better, because calendar problems can get in the way of awesomeness. I’m learning to slow down when it comes to anything that involves calendars, although I sometimes still forget. Because I sometimes miss reminders from Google Calendar on my phone, I’ve installed Calendar Snooze, an app that repeats the reminders at configurable intervals. Important events get put on both my business calendar and my personal calendar.

Maybe I should develop the habit of checking my calendar every hour to keep track of where I am in the day, especially when I’m using other people’s computers. I’ve added a Tasker hourly chime that also opens my calendar. We’ll see how well that works.

One of the reasons why I sometimes miss reminders is that I forget to take my cellphone out of silent or low-volume mode. I’ve now configured Tasker to set my phone on silent when I place it face down on a surface, and to restore it back to full volume when I pick it up again. I’m still looking for a good app that can make it easier to come back from silent mode during time-based events, like watching a movie. In any case, I have another Tasker task that resets the volume in the morning.

Slow and steady improvement!

  • My strategy is to build a mental model of my next day’s calendar before I go to sleep, set a wake-up alarm at least 2 hours prior to the first event of the day, and then upon waking I review and mentally reinforce my mental model of the day.

    Then I use my iPhone’s calendar as the authoritative data for calendaring, and get everything else synchronized when I periodically am at home base during the day. Any new events added will always be checked against and entered into the iPhone first, so there are never any scheduling conflicts.

    Although I’ve got 1 & 2 hour pre-event alarms set for each calendar event in my iPhone, I’m always cognizant of what’s coming up next because of the mental model of the day I’ve got in my head.

  • height8: Yeah, I definitely need to build a habit of checking tomorrow’s plans. I’ve added it as a recurring todo in my Emacs planner.

    Also, not getting carried away by current activities! =) Timers might help there.

    Thanks for the tip!