Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tech Tip - Google Calendar as Social Media Planner

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Today's tip is one I came up with a few weeks ago when I was trying to get organized.  If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that I took a couple months off from posting Tech Tips.  Most of that was due to not having enough time to balance everything, but another part was I hadn't found an organizational system that worked.

So this summer I searched for a solution.  And I think I've found it!  So of course I want to share it with you, hoping that I can help someone else.

Step one - sign up for a gmail account if you don't already have one.  If you already have one, just sign in.  Return here for directions after you sign in, but don't close the window.


Step two - Open up Google Calendar.

Click on the icon that is a grid of squares.  Then click on calendar on the menu that opens.

The Google calendar will open and show you the default view - mine was weekly.  I prefer to see the month, so I changed it.  Here's how...

Up at the top, click on the gear icon and then click on settings.

Scroll down until you see the option that shows default view.  Mine was set to week as shown below.
I clicked on the drop down menu and changed it to month.
Then scroll back up to the top and click save to make sure the settings are saved.
Now whenever you open the calendar, it'll show you the month view.  If you prefer something else, click on one of the other options in the drop down menu.

You are now ready to set up your calendars!  As you can see, right now I use calendars for my blog, Facebook, tasks, and Twitter.  Everytime I schedule a post, I make sure to add it on my calendar under the appropriate one.  It helps me see when I'm interacting with my followers.  Each calendar is color-coded so it is very helpful to visually see my posts.

If you want help setting up different calendars, click here to follow the steps given.  The link takes you to Google's help page.

After you set up your calendars, start adding events to your calendars.  Soon your calendar will look like mine!

My goal is to get ahead on blog posts before I go back to school, so I've planned to write multiple blog posts a day during the 3 weeks before going back to school.

I started off by looking at the calendar and deciding when I wanted to post something.  Where you see the colored box with black text is where I want to write something.  Those things have not been written and scheduled yet, so I can quickly see when I need to get to work.  When I've actually scheduled a post, I make sure to include the time.  Then the colored box goes away and the text is now the color of whichever calendar it is for.

The purple with check boxes is for my tasks.  This helps me keep track of specifics and it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I'm finished.  I just click on the box when I'm done and it crosses it off.  I use to-do lists ALL the time so this feature is really helpful.  And once I finish this post, I'll be able to check something else off my list!  :)

Once I go back to school and get my important school dates (report cards, conferences, etc), I plan on adding those to this calendar so I can make sure I don't schedule lots of TpT activities around big school dates.

I am so excited about this and I hope you have found this helpful!

What do you use to stay organized?
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  1. Here's another tip - Try Google Calendar + ClipPod. We've using it for planning and discussing our editorial and social media calendars and it's worked out quite well so far.

    1. Thanks so much for the tip. I will look into it.