HEEEELP. Badly need a techno boffin to tell me how to organise my calendar, contacts and life(14 Posts)
I'm back to work with a vengeance as a freelance. I have two widely differing main jobs, and then hope to supplement the income from these with occasional other jobs. I'm a media person so both jobs involve keeping lots of contact details.
I am drowning. I live in perpetual fear that I have forgotten an appointment - either work or DC-related. I am battling to reconcile a never-quite-gotten-through To Do list that combines priorities from the different jobs. I have a diary that lives on my desk; an iphone and gmail (on an Acer laptop) and I never know which appointments have been written where. Plus, if I put an appointment in my iphone I can never FIND it until the reminder comes up - eg when is DS next at the orthodontist. School holidays are in my desk diary but I need to know when they are when I am in meetings equipped only with my iphone calender.
How do I centralise things so that I can check one calendar each day, week, month and know what the feck I am doing ? And so that I can get electronic reminders for important meetings? Do I need The Cloud in my life, and if so - what IS it and how do I use it/get it? Do I have to get an Apple Mac to use the cloud? And should I bite the bullet and start saving for an ipad ? Would it work very well for someone with my sprawling and diverse work schedule ?
How do you all do it - especially the freelance people like me who have to go out of the house a lot to meetings and different venues. Do you use technology or old fashioned diaries ? How do you keep track of papers and notes? And dentist appointments??
And- a final difficulty: I need a contacts 'book' or directory that moves with me, but I dont want my personal contacts on my iphone to be swamped by work contacts that I use once a month. Is there an app I can use?
I would be very grateful for any advice or steers.
I used Google for EVERYTHING.
I set up google mail, calendar and contacts on my pc and it syncs to my iPad and iPhone. So, you can add anything from any device and it syncs automatically.
Also, ref calendar, when you add an appt you can get it to send a text message or email to remind you - anytime before (5mins to days). I've also linked this to my DPs google calendar so I see all her appts (so helpful for holiday planning)
So, I would start there! You just need to ensure you've synced all the devices you use and I would have a look on YouTube/google search for how to do this as a bit fiddly first time.
You can also use google drive for your to do lists.
Thanks fantashtic - that sounds like just what I need. But what do you mean by Google contacts please ? And er, what's Google drive?
Google contacts is in Gmail. If you click on one of the left hand buttons you have option to go to contacts.
Google tasks is also in Gmail or in Google calendars.
Google drive is like an entirely online version of Microsoft office.
Yep, Google all the way! Ditch the paper diary/address book. I can't quite believe people still have them in this day and age!
Gmail for email.
Google calendar for appointments.
Google contacts for addresses, telephone numbers, inside leg measurements, etc.
Set up a Google account and you'll get access to all of these. Like fantashtic says, you can sync them with your iPhone so all the info is at your fingertips.
The key to getting organised is to be consistent so every time you arrange a meeting, organise a dentist appointment, etc. It goes straight in your calendar along with the address, who you are meeting along with any other bits of info. You can view the calendar in day, week, two week or month view. It's also searchable and you can set up recurring events like Birthdays so no re-writing stuff every year. Also, get into the habit of checking your calendar frequently (at least at the beginning and end of the day) and look forward so you can see what is coming up in the next days/week.
In terms of contacts, again, consistency is key so when a new contact pops up take five minutes to add their details to your contacts. It might feel like a bit of a pain to start with but it is far easier than searching and searching for the contact details you thought you had written on the back of the envelope. Add EVERYONE to Google Contacts. You can then add your personal numbers to favourites on your iPhone so they are easier to access.
I also use Remember the Milk, an online to do list and smart phone app which is bloody marvellous. I only actually use it for personal stuff but it really is the only thing which keeps my personal life on track.
Can you tell I'm a PA? Ha ha!
I have Android and my contacts have a Group entry. I have personal, work and other set up. I set the filter to see only personal contacts outside of working hours.
I imagine iPhone is similar.
... also most apps allow you to synch your calender entries to your email calendar. My work entries are synced to hotmail and personal to gmail. I can toggle my calendar app to show one or the other or both.
I just love MN - I knew the answer would be somewhere in your organised lives and clever brains. But I need to digest all the above info slowly, very very slowly. And to ask some embarrassingly simple questions, namely:
- how do i access google contacts on my iphone? do I open gmail and take it from there? do you all keep gmail permanently open on your phones then?
- is a google account different from a gmail account?
- does anyone know: CAN I give work contacts a group label in my iphone so that I don't see them every time I open my contacts list?
Thank you for giving me the benefit of all your technical wisdom - it is sorely needed and much appreciate.
Accessing Google contacts
DH set mine up as he is an IT boffin. There is advice here though...
It overrides the iPhone contacts so appears as an app button on your iPhone. Same with Gmail and calendar. They both appear as app buttons.
Google account vs Gmail
Google account is the 'umbrella' and Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs, etc. are the applications under that umbrella. If you set up a Google account, you'll have access to all those applications.
Err... not sure. If I go into the phone app (as if I'm going to make a call) you can select favourites from the entire list. I've got this set up for the people I phone frequently but you could do it for your personal contacts. Someone else may know a better workaround for this than me though...
Wow, breadyegg this is a whole new universe, thank you. I had no idea that there are google and gmail apps for the phone. Off to investigate
Sorry, one more question: would it possible then to put work contacts into Google Contacts, but enter personal contacts into my iphone addresss book? Or is the whole point that the two merge into one single address book?
Err... not sure.
If I go into the contacts app on my iPhone I see the information from my Google contacts. DH set it up that way.
Where are you, slouching? If you're down the road I'll come and give you some training.
BREADY !!!! Hellllooooooo. I have been wrestling with the mysteries of Google for 24 hours, trying to follow your advice. I am, sadly, on a different continent, never mind different road. But Google knows no boundaries and we citizens of the world unite around technology.
So far, am proud to report, when I put an appointment into my Google calendar (oh yess I have one now, thanks to Bready) it magically appears in my iphone calendar. But I cant seem to get it to work the other way. Trying. Will report back !
I must admit I use a paper diary for all appointments. But Google and drop box for most of everything else.
Do join the freelancers board, BTW.
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