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-   -   How do you organize your calendar in FIRE?! (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/how-do-you-organize-your-calendar-in-fire-108195.html)

Markola 03-02-2021 05:19 PM

How do you organize your calendar in FIRE?!
 
I feel embarrassed asking the question above but I keep screwing up calendar commitments in my new ERíd life. I lived and breathed by the company calendar when I w*rked but now I donít have much of a schedule. In fact, most days and even weeks, I have nothing on the calendar at all, which I cherish and RELISH, along with having no alarm clock.

Itís like Iíve become allergic to calendar appointments that arenít inherently fun, in which case I remember them without calendar. Maybe my problem is some kind of deep-seated resistance to obligations now that Iím finally free of serving others in the w*rkplace.

I managed to get to the dentist yesterday on time but today I spaced a call that I, myself, scheduled with someone helping us design a deck. Itís not the first time, either.

Is this some kind of FIRE Scheduling Syndrome or is it just me, while everyone else reading this has their schedules wired down tight and is flawless about keeping their calendars?

Did you have any similar calendar fails and, if so, how did you get yourself organized after you left the hive to fly solo? Are there reminder apps you like or do you just use paper? DW and I use the shared Apple calendar built into our devices but I find that the Reminder function is hit or miss for me for some reason. Ugh, what the heck, Iím putting myself out there.

Montecfo 03-02-2021 05:27 PM

Yes I have had the same problem. Always on schedule when employed. The summer after I FIRE'd I missed 2 dr appointments - with the same doctor!

That's right I missed one they rescheduled it and I missed that one. Totally embarrassing.

I'm not sitting in front of my computer all day which is a big plus. What I do now is I use the calendar function on my phone and put alerts in there and give myself a lot of leeway before appointments to get notified.

And I keep it more in my brain too so I know I've got something coming up, whatever it is. Also try to review my schedule at start of week. For me it was just kind of a matter of working into a new rhythm.

OldShooter 03-02-2021 05:31 PM

I have the same problem. I have so few scheduled events that I don't do the checking of calendar that I did in Olden Times.

DW and I use Google calendar and share our calendars with each other. Events in the display are color-coded by owner. The calendar automatically synchronizes on our tablets, phones, and home office computers. We can also set default and special notifications.

Dtail 03-02-2021 05:47 PM

I still use a calendar for all important appointments.

foxfirev5 03-02-2021 05:48 PM

DW, DM and my Dr appts on the paper calendar in the kitchen. A few entries for other important events. Same as it was 60 years ago.

MissMolly 03-02-2021 05:58 PM

Everything goes on my iPhone calendar which then also puts it on my computer calendar. I set alerts depending on how far out the appointment is. If it's several weeks in the future I set the alert for 1 day ahead. Then I change it to 1 hour ahead (or 15 min or whatever) for day of the appointment. There is no way I could function without my handy-dandy phone calendar.

Retired Expat 03-02-2021 06:05 PM

I got an Apple Watch for the health monitoring and it syncs up with my phones calendar so even if I don’t have the phone, or look at my calendar it reminds me. That and it offers a bunch of really cool features too. Of course you do need to write stuff down, or tell Siri to put it in your calendar if you are too lazy to actually enter it in the app. (or perhaps Alexa. she is also a great secretary). how about reminders that are location based so when you pass the market you buy the milk and bread you wrote down on a slip of paper and stuck in your wallet?

But as we are all getting older now is a good time to develop some helpful habits and learn to use some of the high tech stuff out there to make our lives easier. I for one am counting on self driving cars being perfected in 20 years so I won’t lose my mobility!

Jerry1 03-02-2021 06:19 PM

I use my computer, phone or iPad every day so I just check my calendar. If I was having trouble, I would rely on my calendar on my phone (I understand they are synced). I’d just do a quick check every night before I go to bed to make sure I knew what was coming up. Another thing I do is make a to do list that I check pretty regularly. I know what you mean, it’s a bit harder when you have much much less actually on your calendar.

Ronstar 03-02-2021 06:22 PM

I use the calendar on my iPhone synced with iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch and Alexa. Everything works fine as long as I remember to enter appointments.

aja8888 03-02-2021 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2570536)

DW and I use Google calendar and share our calendars with each other. Events in the display are color-coded by owner. The calendar automatically synchronizes on our tablets, phones, and home office computers. We can also set default and special notifications.

That's our simple and effective method too.

GalaxyBoy 03-02-2021 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronstar (Post 2570568)
I use the calendar on my iPhone synced with iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch and Alexa. Everything works fine as long as I remember to enter appointments.

+1

In ER I use my personal calendar more than ever.

PaunchyPirate 03-02-2021 07:04 PM

I use Apple products. I place all events on my iCloud calendar either on my iPhone, iPad, or computer - depending which is handy at the time. These events synchronize to all my devices. I set reminder notifications for important ones.

If it’s not really an event, but something I want to remember, it goes in my Reminders app. This also syncs to all devices. In Reminders, I have several lists... the default Reminders, Groceries, Things for Mom, Long Term, and Retirement Things. I use the time/date feature and notifications on reminders too if I want to try and get to the item at a particular day or time.

The Long Term list contains reminders of things like the garage door code and the brand of toilet paper I like. The Retirement Things list contains projects I may or may not get to some day like family genealogy tracking or to put shelf liner in the hall closet.

In addition to getting the notifications of upcoming events and reminder items, I review both the calendar and the reminders lists every day during my morning computer time during breakfast. It keeps me running smoothly.

Markola 03-02-2021 07:04 PM

How do you organize your calendar in FIRE?!
 
It helps to know that Iím not the only space cadet. I just changed the calendar Reminder tone to the longest and most obnoxious one I could find in Apple/Settings/Sounds and Haptics, which is the one called ďAnticipate.Ē

If I could, Iíd have one with trumpets and bagpipes, followed by screaming ďHey, you moron, youíre supposed to call ______ in two minutes.Ē Maybe I just identified a business opportunity for someone with ringtone skills.

rk911 03-02-2021 07:37 PM

i use MS Outlook as our main calendar which is auto-synced to iPhones and our iPad. make, edit or delete an entry and if populates everywhere.

Katsmeow 03-02-2021 08:04 PM

Tasks and calendar appointments are different for me. DH and I share a Google calender and I have it notify me and email me a couple of times for all real appointments.

I also use 2 other apps for things that are not appointments or if something is so important I absolutely don't want to forget.

I use an iOS app called Alarmed that I put short reminders on. You can set however many reminders I want to. For important tasks or appointments, I set a relentless reminder. It will remind me ever minute until I clear the alarm. On my phone it does a notification every minute. More to the point I wear an Apple watch and it will buzz every minute until I clear the alarm. This has helped me so, so, so much. Particularly the buzzing on my arm.

I also use Todoist to organize my tasks. I have it on my phone and I use the browser extension. This is more for tasks that aren't really scheduled. MOre just stuff I don't want to forget about. Alarmed exists just to notify of my tasks or appointments and make it sufficiently annoying that I will read the alarm. (You don't have to have an annoying alarm. For some non-critical tasks, for example, I will set a notification to occur only once).

Lewis Clark 03-02-2021 08:16 PM

I use Google Calendar and have it send me reminder emails.

My wife maintains her own calendar separately. Every couple of weeks we have a "calendar meeting" to ensure all important events are on both calendars.

Music Lover 03-02-2021 08:28 PM

I use a calendar app on my phone and every single event/obligation goes on there from a tee time to band practice to meeting someone for breakfast.

Bamaman 03-02-2021 08:42 PM

Calendar? Most of the time, I don't know the date unless I look on my computer screen. I sometimes have to think hard to remember the day of the week.

My secret to making appointments, etc. is to tell my wife. She keeps a big printed calendar, and she watches it closely.

walkinwood 03-02-2021 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lewis Clark (Post 2570628)
I use Google Calendar and have it send me reminder emails.

+1

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lewis Clark (Post 2570628)
My wife maintains her own calendar separately. Every couple of weeks we have a "calendar meeting" to ensure all important events are on both calendars.

We share calendars so I can see her appts on my calendar and vice versa.

Finance Dave 03-02-2021 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissMolly (Post 2570553)
Everything goes on my iPhone calendar which then also puts it on my computer calendar. I set alerts depending on how far out the appointment is. If it's several weeks in the future I set the alert for 1 day ahead. Then I change it to 1 hour ahead (or 15 min or whatever) for day of the appointment. There is no way I could function without my handy-dandy phone calendar.

This is me too. I set my first alert a week ahead if it's something "out there" or needs some type of preparation, or 1 day ahead if not.

Sunset 03-03-2021 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by foxfirev5 (Post 2570545)
DW, DM and my Dr appts on the paper calendar in the kitchen. A few entries for other important events. Same as it was 60 years ago.

Same here, we use our Wireless paper calendar hanging in the kitchen, it's always on so we can see it. :coolsmiley:

DrRoy 03-03-2021 05:40 AM

I have to put everything in my phone calendar or I would miss most things.

audreyh1 03-03-2021 06:28 AM

Sounds like FIRE scheduling syndrome to me.

I use the iOS calender, and DH and I share some calendars on it that lets us see each other’s or shared appointments as well as planned travel. I add alerts to important appointments to remind me in advance. I also have a calendar with monthly repeating reminders about credit card and bank statements, etc.

I do have to be diligent about making calendar entries right away. Especially as they are few and far between and easily forgotten.

The reminders work well for me. I often use a day before plus 2 hours before alerts. They also pop up on all my devices, so hard to miss.

freedomatlast 03-03-2021 06:33 AM

I'm old school. I use a large desk calendar that I keep on the desk in my office. I see it everyday and use it for all appointments and for things like when quarterly income tax payments and RE taxes are due. I like the fact that I can attach any necessary supporting documents for appointments next to it.

Aerides 03-03-2021 07:37 AM

Google calendar, and it I get an alert/phone chime about 30 mins prior. If the appointment is something that I need to go to, I set it up to block the time from when I need to leave the house. So at most, I've got 30 mins to get ready and go if I've completely forgotten something that required me to be presentable.

I don't often have anything on it, so I'll usually just have a quick look at it once a week in case I put something on there a while back and forgot.

EastWest Gal 03-03-2021 07:45 AM

We use our Apple Calendar app. I generally set alerts for one day before, and one hour before, so I don't forget. My calendar is limited to doctor and dental appointments, and home and car maintenance stuff.We have a variety of calendars in the app-our own personal calendars, Family Calendar, and Music Calendar (for rehearsals and gigs). The township provides a paper calendar each year, which we hang. Last, we have a whiteboard refrigerator calendar, which we use for this month's plans, including our few appointments, and even dinner and cooking plans.

The biggest use of the electronic calendars is for future appointments, including stuff like pool opening date and HVAC maintenance.

DayDreaming 03-03-2021 08:13 AM

I'd be lost without Google Calendar. It's one of the tabs that automatically opens when I start my web browser in the morning. And I use it with Alexa, so that Alexa reads me my next few calendar entries first thing in the morning (or whenever I ask).

scrabbler1 03-03-2021 08:23 AM

I began using a homemade spreadsheet for a calendar back in 2004 when my employer ended my telecommute deal and I had to report to my office 3 days a week. I had to keep track of many more things such as which 3 days of the week I worked and my growing personal activities which also varied from week to week. The spreadsheet also kept track of my PTO hours.

After I retired in late 2008, the spreadsheet stopped keeping track of work stuff (yay!) and kept track of even more personal activities, mainly my square dancing which had grown to 3 nights per week along with some daytime stuff.

After I began having health issues in mid-2015 which included a 12-day hospital stay, I had to see more doctors than before. So the calendar showed all of them. When my ladyfriend gave up her car in 2013, I began putting her schedule into my spreadsheet because I was driving her to her doctors. When my snake-bit friend lost his drivers license in 2018 and 2020, I kept track of the number of times I drove to his place so he'd know how many times he'd have to drive to my place.

I'd add reminders to do small things months in advance, too.

MRG 03-03-2021 08:24 AM

When I retired from technology I didn't want to use it to organize. I'd been driven by calendar entries and wanted something different. After 7 years of missed appointments and issues I've changed my mind. I use Google calendar and DW uses a paper version. Does it work? Pretty well.

Markola 03-03-2021 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MRG (Post 2570831)
When I retired from technology I didn't want to use it to organize. I'd been driven by calendar entries and wanted something different. After 7 years of missed appointments and issues I've changed my mind. I use Google calendar and DW uses a paper version. Does it work? Pretty well.



So even very tech-oriented people can want a break from it. Good to know.

finnski1 03-03-2021 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 2570728)
Same here, we use our Wireless paper calendar hanging in the kitchen, it's always on so we can see it. :coolsmiley:

Same here. We hang the calendar we get each year from The Nature Conservancy right in the pantry door. Write them on there the old fashioned way. Has worked well for us for years.

pacergal 03-03-2021 10:51 AM

I have always had a small paper calendar on our desk in the dining area. Use it for everything--birthdays, appointments, events.
I also use my iPhone calendar with reminders.

Markola 03-03-2021 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katsmeow (Post 2570622)
Tasks and calendar appointments are different for me. DH and I share a Google calender and I have it notify me and email me a couple of times for all real appointments.



I also use 2 other apps for things that are not appointments or if something is so important I absolutely don't want to forget.



I use an iOS app called Alarmed that I put short reminders on. You can set however many reminders I want to. For important tasks or appointments, I set a relentless reminder. It will remind me ever minute until I clear the alarm. On my phone it does a notification every minute. More to the point I wear an Apple watch and it will buzz every minute until I clear the alarm. This has helped me so, so, so much. Particularly the buzzing on my arm.



I also use Todoist to organize my tasks. I have it on my phone and I use the browser extension. This is more for tasks that aren't really scheduled. MOre just stuff I don't want to forget about. Alarmed exists just to notify of my tasks or appointments and make it sufficiently annoying that I will read the alarm. (You don't have to have an annoying alarm. For some non-critical tasks, for example, I will set a notification to occur only once).



Thanks for this tip. I downloaded the Alarmed app and went whole-hog premium for $5, which I would have gladly paid yesterday to prevent missing that appointment. Alarmed seems kind of complicated to me at first glance, so Iíll have experiment.

The designer I failed yesterday was nice about it and weíre back on track to talk next week.

Thanks all.

RobbieB 03-05-2021 11:53 AM

I use paper on the wall of the office. Also is marked with yard waste and re-cycle pickups which alternate and estimated tax days.

Maenad 03-05-2021 12:35 PM

I have a bullet-journal-style planner in a discbound notebook with three types of two-page "spreads":
  • One is for the whole year, broken down by month (and the back of the second page is left blank for anything in 2022 that I already know about).
  • One is for the current month
  • Four or five are for each week of the current month.

Appointments for the current week are noted in the weekly; for the current month in the monthly; and later than the current month get jotted down in the yearly one.

At the beginning of each new month I check the yearly to see if I have any appointments, then transfer them to the monthly. At the beginning of each week I check the monthly for appointments and transfer them to the weekly.

Every morning I check for any entries I already have for the day, and I also use the weekly to track daily chores and such, since I forget anything that isn't written down. Since the entire week is laid out in front of me I can see if something is coming up tomorrow.

This sounds really organized, but it's because I just can't remember everything that needs to be done. An electronic planner is too easy for me to ignore, and paper allows me to play with my fountain pens and inks. ;D

jollystomper 03-05-2021 02:04 PM

I use Google Calendar, since I can add entries and get alerts synchronized across phone, desktop, or laptop. Anything I schedule I add notifications for 24 hours before and 3 hours before. So far that has worked for me.

I only need it for irregular things. So far I do not need a calendar for regularly recurring items, my memory can still deal with that :).

Midpack 03-05-2021 02:32 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I use the free Apple Calendar and Reminder mobile apps, which sync to my iPhone and iPad. Otherwise I’d forget appointments (recurring and unique) and chores all the time (e.g. I use recurring reminders to clean the coffeemaker, replace furnace filters, etc.). I usually add the address corresponding to appointments (the calendar looks them up for me) and just plug my iPhone into CarPlay when I leave and voila - perfect directions!

I don’t have to remember much re: schedule or chores thankfully...ain’t technology grand!

MrsHaloFIRE 03-05-2021 02:42 PM

Google calendar shared to both laptops and both cell phones so wither of us can schedule things wherever we are without conflicts.

steelyman 03-05-2021 02:51 PM

How do you organize your calendar in FIRE?!
 
iCal and Errands app (syncs to iCloud) for me.

EastWest Gal 03-05-2021 03:24 PM

Calendar alerts. I need an alert 24 hr before and 1 hr before. We also have a white board calendar. With the pandemic shut down, it mostly alerts the family when I choose to cook or when we have freezer stuff/ leftovers. The alerts are key.

Calico 03-05-2021 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sunset (Post 2570728)
Same here, we use our Wireless paper calendar hanging in the kitchen, it's always on so we can see it. :coolsmiley:

You made me laugh out loud! ;D

I'm glad I'm not the only person left who uses a paper calendar (and only a paper calendar).

gayl 03-11-2021 06:11 AM

I have a paper calendar but forgot to change it from December .....

Also use the phone app bc it 'reminds' me. Hard to keep track of which day it is and when appointments are. Not lazy but weekday VS weekend becomes irrelevant

Golden sunsets 03-11-2021 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldShooter (Post 2570536)
I have the same problem. I have so few scheduled events that I don't do the checking of calendar that I did in Olden Times.

DW and I use Google calendar and share our calendars with each other. Events in the display are color-coded by owner. The calendar automatically synchronizes on our tablets, phones, and home office computers. We can also set default and special notifications.

+1. This is me. Also part of my morning ritual each morning, after reading several newspapers on my tablet, is to head upstairs to my computer where among other things I check our google calendar. This morning DH has a scheduled teledoc appt, so the morning will be a bit different, but normally I have at least one email to respond to, bill or invoice to review or investment or banking item to execute.

Gumby 03-11-2021 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calico (Post 2572188)
You made me laugh out loud! ;D

I'm glad I'm not the only person left who uses a paper calendar (and only a paper calendar).

Me too. I never used the Outlook computer calendar when I was working, just the wire bound desktop "At-a-Glance" datebook. Since I retired, I have purchased the exact same datebook and keep it on top of my computer desk.

Kwirk 03-11-2021 10:24 AM

Apple calendar with family share as default for one-time events. Reminder app with family share for recurring events (trash, recycling, filters, linen changes, etc). My wife stays on top of these things more than I. (We also use the apps and Siri for shopping lists, to-do lists, wine lists, favorite restaurants,...)

Our white board calendar and bulletin board just gather dust now.

W2R 03-11-2021 11:45 AM

The first spreadsheet in my Excel investing and spending workbook, is called "calendar". Each line is the next day.

I don't have many entries, since I am retired and since we have a pandemic going on.

Whisper66 03-11-2021 02:05 PM

Great post, I'm having similar issues .... gotten worse since COVID took away some of the weekly events that defined the days for us.

Wife and I have syncronized calendars on our Apple devices. So we can see each others appointments and sometimes remind each other about them. My calendar events by default have alerts 1 day before and 2 hrs before. The alerts is set to pop up visibly on my phone screen with an audible beep. I set them up so they have to be acknowledged before they disappear. On the really important events, I will also set a phone alarm the night before that goes off early enough that I will look at my phone and see what I've forgotten. Seems like overkill but I'm enjoying retirement and calendar events mean less and less each year that goes by. : )

Gotadimple 03-12-2021 12:05 PM

Google calendar and a small white board in the den where the computer is. I update the white board weekly. If it's not on the white board I don't go!

ncbill 03-12-2021 02:46 PM

Paper calendar hanging on the side of the fridge for family stuff.

Google calendar for my individual stuff like dentist appointments.

tmm99 03-12-2021 02:53 PM

I used my phone calendar app and put several sounding alerts for important events including an alert a day before, 6 hours before, 1 hour before, etc.

luckydude 03-13-2021 12:17 AM

I use Excel. Most of the stuff is the same and carries over from year to year---property tax payment date, tax filing date, etc. At the beginning of the year, I print it out and tape it to the bottom my of PC screen. I leave enough space (by month) to scribble in things as they come up: vacations, doc appointments, home projects, kids-related stuff, etc. At the end of the year I rinse and repeat. Generally speaking, the less number of entries on the calendar (other than vacations), the happier I am ;D

Lucky Dude

iloveyoga 03-13-2021 09:23 AM

I used the Apple home calendar and also the family calendar for DH's appointments. We both have the iWatch, so that keeps us up to date. When I first retired, it did take some getting used to.


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