Before kids, I was one of the most Type-A, organized people you would ever meet. Now, I sometimes struggle to remember to pay the bills on time.
Here’s one way I’ve learned to adapt: I no longer have a paper calendar on my desk. There was no point – half the time, I wouldn’t be able to find it, one quarter of the time, I’d forget to write something down, and the other quarter of the time, I’d forget to look something up. I realized I needed another way.
My new way turned out to be Google Calendar. It has a reminder function that I use constantly. I list appointments and send myself multiple reminders – usually one week ahead, and then the day before, and sometimes additional reminders if I need to act before the actual event. I’ve even created a recurring weekly event, with a corresponding weekly reminder, to remind myself to pocket my office key card every Monday morning. That became a necessity after I forgot the card three Mondays in a row upon returning from my maternity leave after Tyler’s birth.
The reminders are particularly useful for events scheduled way ahead of time that I’m likely to forget because my brain simply has no room left to store extraneous information. Things like calling in to the jury duty phone line to see if I am supposed to report the next day, and dental appointments that were scheduled at our last cleaning six months ago.
I simply can’t keep track of paper anymore, but with Google Calendar, I don’t have to. I must admit, I don’t keep notes on it the way I would on paper – partly because an online appointment book doesn’t feel anything like a journal, and partly because I just don’t feel comfortable putting personal details and information online, even though logic tells me it’s perfectly secure. But that’s okay – Google Calendar keeps me from dropping the ball on so many things, and that’s all I ask.