Hello 2016: Setting up your Comprehensive Calendar

Jan 5, 2016

In a small fit of Holiday Break forward planning, I took the most valuable Togetherness step of them all: I got my Comprehensive Calendar up and running. Go me!

Being a schools-type, I really think of my New Year’s as happening more in August, but there are still some events that make sense to plan the old-fashioned way. I already entered school holidays and such for the rest of the 2016, but there were some dates for which I needed to look ahead, consult with the family, and make To-Do’s. There was also a host of events I WANTED to make happen – and they, too, would take some advanced planning.

Here are some 2016 items I added to my Comprehensive Calendar (housed in Outlook, with a family Google version as an overlay):

For Work

  • Made sure all work trips were entered into the family Google calendar. A few trips had shifted so I needed to update things. Nothing worse than my husband not realizing I’ll be gone until the last minute.
  • Blocked off two hours of rest time in the afternoon for the day after any flights that arrive after midnight. Having the foresight to do this in 2015 saved me many times!
  • Found a few times when I would be in random cities where I could visit schools or see friends. This created a To-Do to reach out to several people to schedule lunches or school visits.

For Family

  • Tentatively scheduled each of my kids’ birthday parties, let the grandparents know which weekends they were happening, and talked to the five year old about her vision for the big event.
  • Mapped out each week of the summer to decide when my kids would go to which camps and when they’d be at home. This spawned to a To-Do for camp registration.
  • Confirmed a long weekend with our best Brooklyn friends for August, hopefully to meet on the Jersey Shore. Next To-Do: rent a place to stay.
  • Got my hands on next year’s school calendars for the 5-year-old’s district, the 3-year old’s-preschool, and my husband’s high school. I realized the December 2016 holiday looks short, and may require some inter-faith family finagling. Noted.

For Fun

  • Checked the schedules at the Verizon Center, Kennedy Center, Black Cat, Folger Theater, and 9:30 Club to see if any music or plays were coming our way this year that would require advance purchase of tickets. I did find the Indigo Girls, a blast from my college past, in January, as well as several other shows. Time to buy tickets!
  • Put President Obama’s State of the Union, as well as all the remaining election debates, in my calendar. I like to watch this stuff!
  • Downloaded the registration for this. If I do end up participating, I will need to sign up soon, borrow or buy a different bike, and figure out a wetsuit situation. Stay tuned on this one… But it was helpful to at least determine a deadline for making the decision.

And because I sometimes need to step out of the digital weeds to see the big picture, I also polished off this 2016 calendar on my office wall. So, what about you? How will you make your Calendar truly Comprehensive? What To-Do’s will it generate?

PS – The case for a comprehensive calendar & my New Year’s post from 2015: Build Your Own Planner