Over the years, I have tried so many techniques and apps to mange my time, tasks, and productivity. There are some pretty great digital apps, but lately my fall back solution is to use Google Sheets. And I’m loving it!
Sometimes simpler truly is better. Some of the features I love about Google Sheets is that I can create checkboxes, color code different categories, easily copy and paste from one area to the other, and create links between sheets to further organize a goal or task. So let’s break it down into the ways I use Google Sheets to organize my life and keep me motivated.
Health and Fitness Goals
First, let’s talk about health and fitness. Right now I don’t have access to a scale, which honestly is probably a good thing. I walking a ton in Norway where I call home at the moment. So before that, I tracked my weight every week in a Google Sheet.
However, one of the most productive things I’ve done is create a training guide to complete a half marathon.
That method worked for me! At that time, I was already pretty in shape so I was able to start my first week with 2-3 miles.
Since it has been 5 years since I ran that race and I let running go, despite it being an excellent stress reliever, I have decided to do another one! I am planning to run the Bergen City Half Marathon at the end of April 2022.
So, of course, what did I do? I created a 20-week training plan with Google Sheets for myself! I will be on a European adventure trip for 8 days in December, so I just went ahead and blocked that week off so I don’t have to worry about being “disappointed” if I don’t meet my goals for that week. I will probably be walking a ton anyway. And since I am starting way more out of shape than last time, I’m giving myself a few slower weeks to ease back into running.
I do not have a fancy or detailed budgeting system. I mainly use Google Sheets just to make sure that all my bills are paid on time each month. It also helps remind me to have enough money in my account for automatic withdrawals.
I should probably call this a bill system and not a budget system because you can see that I don’t account for food or miscellaneous expenses. This is my checklist for December. Some of the amounts change depending on renewals and you see I also put reminders when I know annual subscriptions are coming up. You don’t see car insurance on my December bills list because I am only paying about $40 every 6 months while I am in Norway and my car is just sitting in the U.S.
I am a licensed Zumba instructor, but I just don’t have the time right now to continue classes. And most of the people that attended my virtual classes previously were in a different time zone. So, I am paying a monthly hold fee so I don’t have to redo the whole licensing process when I get back to the U.S.
Daily and Weekly Tasks
I have tried all sorts of methods of tracking daily to do lists. Now, I just simply type my tasks out in the day I would like to complete it during the week it needs to be done. I can work several weeks ahead so that reminders go in and I don’t forget about important things. Then, when the week has passed, I just hide the sheet so the current week is first. If I don’t get it done, I just cut and paste it into the next day. I go through my action items for the week every Sunday night.
For my current job in Norway I have a lot of details to manage. I have to create a schedule for the year of places that I’m going to give workshops. Then, I have to make sure I do a bunch of things during that communication. So I created one giant Google Sheet that has the weeks of the school year listed. I put the main details in that sheet and then link to a checklist for each school visit. All the checklists are on individual tabs in a separate Google Sheet document.
Another way I use Google Sheets to organize my life is a habit tracker. Again, I’ve tried different forms of this, and I even have a PDF habit tracker for free here on my site. Here is a screenshot of how I used it in the past. Obviously, I was still in the process of building the habits then. Now, I don’t have to think about all of them quite so much. I used this when I was trying to build a solid morning routine.
Final Thoughts for Today
There are many different ways you can use Google Sheets to organize your life. These are just some of the examples that I use to keep myself focused and organized. I’m sure if I went back through my whole Google Drive I would find even more examples. Share in the comments how you use Google Sheets for organization!