Creating a Meal Planning Routine Using Google Calendar
I love using Google Calendar for routines because it makes it very easy to see when you need to do your routine, the exact steps you need to take, and it minimizes overwhelm, confusion, and mistakes. In this video, I'm going to share with you a great hack for making routines using Google Calendar and show you how to use it.
You'll need Google Calendar set up prior to following these instructions, so if you haven't done that already, I'll link a video on how to do that here.
Creating a Recurring Routine
All-right, so first, we are going to open our Google Calendar. We are going to create an event which is going to be your routine. We can do this by either clicking on the plus sign or by choosing a blank space in your calendar. Either way is fine, just depends on what makes sense to you. I'm going to click "more options" here to make it bigger.
Name the event: Let's create the title of your routine. I'm going to name mine Meal Planning. Choose the Frequency: You're going to want to decide how often you want to do this routine: daily, weekly, monthly, bi-weekly etc. For this example, I'm going to make our meal planning routine be every Sunday.
Choose The Time and Duration: You can also choose if you want to specify a specific time, or just make it an "all day event". The advantage of making it an "all day event" is if you don't want to schedule it in on a specific time and just want it handy on top of your calendar that day. I'm a big advocate for scheduling everything in, so I'm going to choose a time and not say "all day event". I'm going to choose every Sunday at 11 am. I want it to be for a half hour, so I'll make sure the times say from 11 to 11:30 am.
Make the Event Recurring: Now you'll notice that I clicked "Weekly on Sunday"- this is how we make it recurring. So we will go to this button to change from "does not repeat" to the appropriate option. If you don't see your option, you can click "custom" and select which works best for you.
Notification: If you want to be notified on your device or sent an email, you can just click here and select what type of notification you want and how far in advance you want to be notified of the event. You can also add more than one notification per event too if you wish.
Calendar Selection: This shows what calendar it is going into so you can verify it's the right one, if you have multiple Google Calendars.
Color: I am a huge advocate for color coding on your calendars. We, for whatever reason have picked orange for our meal events, but you can pick whichever color you want. We like it to stand out from our other events because it makes it easier to see.
Availability: This is your availability. You can pick busy or free. The reason this option would matter is if you use Google Calendar to schedule any meetings. If it shows busy, it will show your clients or whatever is booking appointments for you, not to book over that time. So, for that reason I will select "busy".
Guests and Permissions: If you need to share this event with another person, you can add their email into this section so that they can see it on their calendar too. It's totally optional though. You can also share your entire calendar with another person instead of just the one event. Totally your preference. Guest permissions are if you want others to be able to edit or invite any others to this event. If you do not want anyone to change anything, go ahead and uncheck all these boxes.
*If you want to share your entire calendar with someone else instead of just adding them as a guest to your routine event, here are the steps you would need to do: * Go under "my calendars" and click the three dots by the calendar that you want to share and click "settings and sharing". * Then scroll down until you find "share with specific people" and click add people. * Type in the email address of the other account you want to share it to and then select what permissions you want them to have. * If you want to share the steps in your routine like we will in the description box, you will need to select "see all event details". *If you want the other person to be able to make changes to the events, click the third option. * Once you share this calendar with the person, it will send a notification to their email that you shared a calendar, and then they just have to accept the calendar so they can see it on their end.
Fill in the Steps of Your Routine
We are now ready to fill in the steps of your routine. We are going to go down to the "add description" box to type in all the steps in your routine.
Unfortunately, Google doesn't have the option to have a "checklist" in this section where you can actually tick things off, so rather we will be using the numbering or the bullet feature instead. I'm going to choose numbering.
My suggestion here is to make your steps SO simple that anyone else could look at it and do it for you. Here's the reason for that: On those days you really don't feel like doing the routine, you don't want the lack of an easy-to-follow process to encourage any confusion or overwhelm.
One other great tip I have for this section is you can link documents or link hyperlinks to it.
So, if you have a document you need to look at or reference each time you do this routine, just click the paperclip icon and either upload a document where it'll save in your Google Drive, or search in your Google Drive folders for the file you want.
As far as hyperlinking, this is useful if you want to link websites to your processes. Hyperlinking makes things look cleaner instead of copy-pasting an entire URL into your description box.
I'll paste an example of steps in a meal planning routine here including the hyperlink example to show you what I'm talking about.
Once you have everything looking great, go ahead and click save.
Changing Your Routine You might run into a situation where you need to delete, change, or reschedule your routine. So, what you need to do is click on the event you want to change as I've done here. As you're making your changes, you need to decide if you just want to change this one event, or if you want to change all the others. So, make the changes you want by clicking the pencil here (edit event), and then after you click save, you will be prompted 3 options.
1. This event: (change only this event on this day)
2. This and following events: (it won't affect any of the routine events that you made in the past).
3. All events: (it will change all your routine events past and future). Now, there is no undo button so take your time as you're changing events. Choose your selection and then click "ok". Now that my friends, is the easy part of routine building. The real work comes in when you have to actually implement and follow through with it. So if you struggle with meal planning or following through, I just want you to know that you are not alone, and I'd love to help! I have the tools that you need to help build your dream meal planning system and also actually follow through. Just visit katiewredecoaching.com or check out the link in the description. See you in the next video.