There are two really good techniques to help you remember what you need to carry with you as you walk out the door every morning. One of them is to give yourself a mantra, like “phone, wallet, keys,” and the other is to put the stuff you need to take with you in front of your door.
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After a long few months of slogging it out at work, a holiday break can help you to recover and reset. But while we all get at least 20 days of annual leave a year, there a few sneaky hacks to combine it with public holidays so you can squeeze out some more well-earned days off. Here's how you do it.
As much as I’d love to have a single Google Calendar that tracks all my stuff, I don’t. Neither do you, I bet; from work, to rehearsals, to shared roommate house calendars, to calendars for that nonprofit you volunteer at, we all have to manage many events within our complicated lives. And Google’s making that slightly easier on Android by allowing you to (finally) move events between your different Google Calendars.
Rewarding yourself can backfire. If you tell yourself “I’ll only listen to my favourite podcast while I’m at the gym,” it takes just one moment of weakness to realise you can cheat and listen to it any time you want. Instead, try this: Reward yourself with something that has no enjoyment value whatsoever. Like a checkmark on your calendar.
My boyfriend and I have a shared Google calendar so we can keep track of each other’s various events and commitments, as well as things like concerts and parties we plan to attend together. It’s a great system for us, but this week we ended up with something a little odd on that calendar: “You Have Won iPhone X s from AppleStore.”
That’s what I get for not touching my Mac in a day or so. Thanks to a tip from Lifehacker reader David (no relation), we can now confirm that Mac users are probably having one heck of a time trying to manage their schedules today. If you synchronise your Google Calendar to your Mac calendar, all of your events might have just disappeared.
Thankfully, there is a temporary fix to restore your events, but it’s cumbersome.
If you want to do something, block off time for it. This includes everything from the task you have to finish at work to the walk you want to take with your family. The novel you want to write. The weekly game night or date night. The sleep you want to prioritise.
Why? Because if you don’t block off this time — and yes, that includes “time to think” and “time to plan” and “time to do nothing” — you might get distracted by something else and end up spending your day in a vastly different way than you intended.
I spent four years working as an executive assistant, and one of my responsibilities was to make sure my boss’s calendar was 100 per cent accurate. This meant ensuring that new meetings, deadlines and tasks were added to the calendar as they were scheduled. It also meant ensuring that any meetings or action items that didn’t happen were either rescheduled or removed from the calendar.
I'm usually a Google Calendar user, but since moving more and more to my MacBook Air, I've started incorporating Apple Calendar into my routine, as well. I like the layout, and I like the new dark mode that came with macOS Mojave.
I’m not big into the crazier Apple Watch faces — the ones that try to fill your watch’s face with the time, data points, and other icons you tap to access this or that.
But even though I’m a purist, I’ve installed the third-party complication Better Day ($2.99) and switched to a slightly more data-heavy face, because this third-party complication gives you a much better calendar experience for your Apple Watch than Apple’s.
Google’s updated version of Calendar — which you can no longer opt out of — is lovely to look at and easier to work with than its previous version. However, the omission of one major feature from Calendar’s new “material design” version seems to be annoying a number of users (including yours truly): The ability to block off hours when you’re sleeping.
The New York Times just released a calendar even more useful than its astronomical event calendar. The NYT 2018 book events calendar, available for Google or Apple, includes highly anticipated book releases from authors like Zadie Smith and Dave Eggers, plus events, literary anniversaries, and releases of movies based on popular books like Ready Player One and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?.
I know a lot of people who only use an electronic diary begrudgingly. They prefer the feel of pen and paper but the need to share diaries in the office or at home (my partner and I keep shared calendars for our social event and all the kids' activities) has forced them to an electronic solution. Moleskine, famous for their very expensive notebooks, teamed up earlier this year with Livescribe to deliver their Smart Writing Set, that combined a Livescribe Pen with a Paper Tablet and app. Later this month, they'll be adding a Smart Planner to the range.
Do you always install your air conditioner on a sweltering summer day, or rush to do your taxes days before the deadline? For absolutely necessary tasks like these, a to-do list isn't always enough. You need to block out time on your calendar, and treat these tasks like actual appointments. We've listed all the best to-do items to turn into calendar items.