Calendar template

The fix for Google Calendar’s biggest drawback | by Ondrej Svoboda | LIGHTING | August 2022

You don’t realize what you missed in Google Calendar until you try the Mighty Spreadsheet Calendar

I love Google Calendar, it has great features, events, tasks, notifications and almost everything. You can sync your calendar with others, see their availability, and invite others to events you host. It offers almost everything you might need to organize your day and know your plans and those of your partner.

There is one major flaw – the level of detail it offers. You will attend a 30-minute meeting with your work colleagues as well as a 3-hour restaurant visit with 8 dishes planned for your birthday. Or even a 3 day trip with your companions in nature.

If you zoom in you will see all events with full details, if you zoom out a bit you will always see everything no matter how big the event is and if you zoom out fully you will will only see the dates and what day of the week it is.

Image reproduced with the kind permission of the author

When I met my future wife and we started dating, we were quite active, visiting theaters, cinemas and restaurants, often several times a week. We needed a place to plan all of our activities and make sure we didn’t have a swing dance party on the Boat of Secrets on the same day as the bobsled ride.

Bobsleigh ride and swing dance evening. True story. Photo of the author.

I voted for Google Calendar, and my wife voted for a Google spreadsheet she’s been using for a while…

“What? A simple, stupid spreadsheet? It’s just a bunch of lines going in two directions! It’s not a calendar, it was designed to create tables and graphs and play with sales figures !

No question that I use a spreadsheet as a calendar! I might as well go back to the cave and draw a line where the sun rises to count the days I’ve been trapped in the Stone Age.

“Just try.” said my future wife.

I was so reluctant to try it because I thought I knew the best way to work efficiently and use all the online tools, mind maps and to-do lists. But I was brave and smart enough to swallow my pride, open the spreadsheet, and start using it. All in all, I didn’t want my potential future wife to become unlikely future wife.

And I fell in love with it (and with my wife, but it happened even before the love of the spreadsheet).

I have been using this tool for 7 years and I am constantly improving it.

Let me introduce you to the Mighty Spreadsheet Calendar.

The calendar itself is quite simple. Each month is in a new column and there is a row for each day of the year. We have this line divided into two parts – morning and evening activities. Thanks to this, you can see the overview of the next months and the main events on a single screen without any further scrolling.

Image reproduced with the kind permission of the author

It’s important to only add more important activities that affect your or your partner’s regular schedule and may or may not have a specific schedule. It’s great for jotting down the dates of trips, social events, planned movie visits, doctor’s appointments, birthdays, hair appointments and more.

When you want to plan something, just check the spreadsheet and immediately see if there is a conflict with your or your partner’s longer-term plans or not.

This is something Google Calendar can’t give you because you’ll never be able to see that exact level of detail. Or better said – a full year overview of your major plans.

Since it’s just a spreadsheet, you won’t get any notification for events stored in it unless you can do some advanced scripting automation, but that’s not the point. You can always create the event in Google Calendar afterwards if you care.

  1. Open my template for 2022 at the link below and copy it to your Google Drive:
  2. Share it with your partner or the people you need to sync your days with
  3. To start, add some major events that you have planned for the next few weeks (it’s good to also mark public holidays depending on the country you live in)
  4. When there is a new event, add it to the calendar
  5. Enjoy the great feeling of being in tune with your partner
  • When a month passes, hide the columns where it was so that you always see the current month as the first.
  • There is dynamic highlighting of the current date – you will see the date in bold
  • If there’s an event you might or might not attend, put it in cursive or add a question mark
  • If you are already making plans for next year, add them to the last column.
  • Create a shortcut to the document on your phone so you can quickly access it from the home screen
  • Save this article and come back here at the end of 2022 for the 2023 model

Let me know in the comments if you’re missing anything in the template and I can put it there and make it even better. I also look forward to your improvements!

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