Google Calendar – Making the Switch

Ever since I wanted to become a teacher, in my teen years, I have been using a paper calendar to keep organized.  As a student, I used a small calendar/organizer that I kept in my school bag.  As a teacher, I traded that one in for a large desk calendar at school and a large wall calendar at home on which I dutifully copied all my important dates, or tried to remember to do so.  The problem with having two calendars is that some important dates never get copied or get transcribed incorrectly.  As I got busier and busier, I found that, some days, I neglected to consult my calendar at all, resulting in my missing important meetings.

Finally I found a solution to my calendar problem.  Google Calendar is stored online and can be accessed from home or work.  Getting a Gmail account is free and you can have your old email account forward to your new email address.  Google Calendar is very easy to use.  Yet I hesitated.  Would I still use my wall calendar?  I knew I didn’t want to enter information in both places!  Should I simply throw out my paper calendar?   How would I cope not seeing it hanging there every day?  Would I regret making the switch?

For me, it was necessary to switch over gradually.  First I set up my account.  Several weeks later I familiarized myself with the workings of Google Calendar.  Several weeks after that, I entered my regular daily and weekly happenings.  Then, finally, one day, I went ahead and entered all the data from my paper calendar for one month.  Simply entering that information wasn’t nearly as daunting a procedure as I thought it might be.  It took less than ten minutes.  A week after that, I took the plunge and entered the rest of the data from my calendar, still unsure if I would dispense with the old one when I finished.    It didn’t happen right away.  I kept using both calendars for a while. Although this approach was not desirable and prone to error, I didn’t really know what else to do.  I was still somewhat afraid of making the switch.

After a time, I tired of using two calendars.  I began entering information only on my Google Calendar.  It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.  It was also very convenient to be able to access my calendar all the time.  I could check it through my cell phone if I were away from my computer.  When I finally made the switch to the Google Calendar, I hardly felt a loss at all, only a tinge of nostalgia as I realized that time and technology presses forward and old comfortable things are replaced by those that are sleeker and more time-efficient.

It is great to be able to access the calendar anywhere, to always have it along.  I also like the ‘sharing’ feature that allows you and another person to see each other’s information on the same calendar, but in different colours.    I would recommend the Google Calendar to all teachers who are trying to get organized.

© Celesta Thiessen

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