Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

As it turns out, there are a lot of tools for keeping track of your life that are more efficient than sticky notes scattered all over your desk. If you’re looking for one of the best resources around for planning out any and all aspects of your life, look no further than Google Drive.

Hear me out — Google Drive is an incredible tool How To Use Google Drive To Capture Your Great Ideas & Never Lose Them How To Use Google Drive To Capture Your Great Ideas & Never Lose Them Move over Evernote -- here's how you can use Google Drive to keep and grow your ideas. With the Google tools at your fingertips, put them all to good use for nurturing your ideas. Read More that’s free, accessible from any tech device at any time, user friendly, and multi-purpose. It offers users flexibility, room for creativity, and access to many integrated apps and tools.

While individual apps or programs might be able to make a single kind of planning easier, Google Drive is an amazing way to customize a planner for every aspect of your life that’s in need of a little organization. From route planners to event planners to your daily schedule, Google Drive has the functionality and accessibility to completely organize your life and help you stay on track with the tasks you need to accomplish.

Really, when you think about it, there’s nothing that a combination of Google Docs, Sheets, Maps, and add-ons can’t do – to prove it, here are six examples of creative Google Drive Planners that we’ve managed to think up so far!

1. Day Planner

GoogleDriveDayPlannerLet’s start with the basics. It can be impossible to find a paper planner or planner app that has the exact designs you want. Creating your own virtual planner that can be accessed from Google Drive at any time gives you the freedom to include any prompts and lists you desire.

It may not be as polished as many other Calendar apps What is The Best Free Calendar App For Android? We Compare The Best What is The Best Free Calendar App For Android? We Compare The Best Keeping a calendar on your Android phone or tablet is great, but what is the best app to use? Join us as we examine the best of them. Read More , but what this approach lacks in polish it makes up for in customizability and accessibility.

Ads by Google

Google Drive allows you to quickly and easily insert all of the information you need about a specific part of your life into a single document in whatever visual format that works best for you. This is also a great way to share your schedule with someone else without worrying about what kind of calendar app they use — no matter what, they will be able to open and collaborate with you on a Google Doc!

Suggestions: 

  • Break up the time slots in your day in a way that is intuitive for you and your needs
  • Use colours and text sizes to indicate different kinds of tasks or different people!
  • Leave space for notes and tasks that don’t have a specific time associated with them

2. Route Planner

DriveTravelPlanner

One of the greatest recent additions to Google Drive has been “My Maps”, which allows you to create maps that are more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. My Maps allows you to add several layers for directions and key points to a route while adding as much detail as you want to.

Creating a virtual trip planner can be so much more effective than any file folder or notebook, and can allow you to have a stress-free  travel experience Stress Free Travel: How to Prevent Mistakes and Minimize Anxiety Stress Free Travel: How to Prevent Mistakes and Minimize Anxiety Wouldn't it be nice if traveling could be a blissful affair? With a healthy dose of technology and a few tweaks to your traveling mindset you can banish all anxiety. Read More . Google Drive’s My Maps is a fantastic way to design a planner that makes sure you hit all of the sight-seeing destinations you want while also giving you immediate access to any notes you make during the planning process when you’re en route.

Suggestions: 

  • Include hotels that you’ve booked, restaurants you want to try, and sight-seeing destinations along your route so you don’t miss a single one
  • Be sure to include important information about hotel bookings and dinner reservations in your notes so that you can access all of this information while you’re on-the-go
  • After your trip is complete go back through your Map and add photos of your travels so that it can be a virtual keepsake of your adventures!

3. Interior Design Planner

GoogleDriveFloorPlanner

Google Drive isn’t just for schedules and travel — it can also be used effectively for planning other, more design-oriented, aspects of your life. Floorplanner is a Google Drive add-on that can be used to quickly sketch out design ideas for your home and office. Having a single floor plan is free, but if you like to have more than one floor plan on the go you may want to pay for individual projects or a monthly subscription.

If you’re an aspiring interior designer Who Wants to Learn Interior Design? Here are 8 Free Online Courses Who Wants to Learn Interior Design? Here are 8 Free Online Courses Interior design a pretty subjective matter - but that's not to say there's no distinction between good design and bad design. Here's how you can improve your skills. Read More , are wondering if your couch will fit in a new apartment, have forgotten the square footage of your entryway, or need to show a contractor the space that they’ll be working with, having immediate access to Floorplanner can be a lifesaver! Floorplanner is very easy to use, but also offers plenty of tutorials and how-to’s for new users.

Suggestions:

  • Keep an up-to-date virtual representation of your house or office on Floorplanner so that you always have access to measurements when you need them
  • Floorplanner can be a great way to try out new configurations of furniture in your house without having to overexert yourself
  • If you need to re-purpose a space for an event, Floorplanner is a great way to visualize your end result

4. Event Planner

GoogleDriveEventPlanning

There’s so much information on Google about throwing an event, that you don’t need an event planner 6 Reasons To Fire Your Event Planner & Use Google Instead 6 Reasons To Fire Your Event Planner & Use Google Instead Read More . That being said, there’s no denying that planning an event is stressful, and there’s no reason to complicate it further by using inefficient technology in the weeks and months leading up to the big day.

Google Docs and Google Sheets are both excellent tools to use during the planning process, especially because of the freedom that they offer with regards to collaboration. Keep everyone up-to-date with a Google Doc Calendar that highlights important dates, a to-do list that can be updated by anyone at any time, and a Google Sheets budget to keep everyone’s spending in check.

Suggestions: 

  • Use a Google Form for RSVPs so that attendees’ names and information can be automatically sorted into a Google Sheets file
  • Make use of Google Drive’s chat tool and comment system to communicate clearly with others involved in the planning process
  • Try to minimize the number of files you use to keep conversations and information focused and centralized

5. Hobby Planner

DriveHobbyPlanner

It might seem counter-intuitive to plan out a hobby — after all, they’re supposed to be something you do to relax! With that being said, when it comes to developing a skill (like learning a language How I Finally Learned a Different Language. And You Can Too. How I Finally Learned a Different Language. And You Can Too. No single language learning app is the magic wand. The secret to learning a new language is a blended solution. With desire and motivation you too can learn any foreign language. Read More or a musical instrument Learn to Play an Instrument with 7 Free Online Music Lessons Learn to Play an Instrument with 7 Free Online Music Lessons Online music lessons can be your first learning step for any instrument. Some of the best music lessons are also free on the web. We pick seven instruments and the best teachers for them. Read More ) having a plan written down can help you to use your time effectively and to make huge strides in your abilities!

One of the best benefits to using an online planner to  instead of a paper-based one for your hobbies is how interactive your planner can be! The Internet is an incredible resource for anyone learning a new hobby Learn Today & Earn Tomorrow: 8 Hobbies the Web Can Help You Start for Fun Learn Today & Earn Tomorrow: 8 Hobbies the Web Can Help You Start for Fun You can learn literally anything on the Internet -- and one of those might just go on to pay your bills someday. Sharpening your skills online is an open door to improving the quality of... Read More , so instead of just writing down that you want to practice guitar for an hour on Tuesday, include a link to a YouTube video on strumming technique that you want to watch and an image of the chords for a new song you want to learn.

Suggestions:

  • Include links to any resources you might need to help you with your hobby such as inspiration or tutorials
  • Consider having a section for reflection that you can fill out after each session – this can remind you of what you accomplished and guide your next session
  • Consider having an overall timeline that can help you keep your long-term goals in sight!

6. Project Planner

DriveProjectPlanner

Another great add-on for Google Drive is Gantter, a web-based tool that is primarily intended to help managers with online project planning (although it can easily be repurposed for a variety of situations including group projects, event planning, and projects around the home!).

Gantter helps you to break down projects of any size into their anticipated duration and to visualize the steps that are required to see the project through to its completion. Gantter works seamlessly with other software that you may be using to complete your project – important files can be linked directly to the step that they are related to, expected completion dates can be exported to iCal or a web calendar, and project files are easily imported and exported between Gantter and Microsoft Project.

Suggestions:

  • Assign each of your participants a unique colour to identify the tasks they are responsible for completing
  • Use the integrated chat and comment functions to communicate key information

The World of Planners is Yours for the Taking

Google Drive is essentially limitless in its potential. The number of extensions that work with it is constantly increasing. Its functionality does nothing but improve with each update, and it is a tool that is easily accessed by anyone, anywhere.

I do want to acknowledge that there are definitely many other apps available that are specific to the kinds of planners I’ve mentioned here. These apps can be wonderful as well, but I often find that it’s much easier to have everything I need in one online location so that I’m not forced to rely on having a specific app installed on every computer, phone, or tablet that I need to use to accomplish a task.

This list of custom planners is by no means an exhaustive list of what you can accomplish with Google Drive, but it is a great place to start!

Have you used Google Drive as an everyday planning tool? What parts of your life do you think it would be most useful for?

Image Credits:Busy Calendar by hidesy via Shutterstock

  1. Alicia Bayer
    November 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    You convinced me, but I still have no idea how to do any of it. I don't see a link anywhere to anything other than other articles. I opened google drive and see the option of creating a new document or spread sheet. I don't know if you did the calendars by hand or if there's an add-on somewhere that I need to access that has templates... I've used google drive in the past for documents and have tried to create charts and schedules, but I've never found it intuitive and have always given up (other than creating basic documents). I'd love to be able to create my own calendars, charts, goal sheets, etc. but I still have no idea how to do it. :(

    • Briallyn Smith
      November 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Alicia! Thanks so much for your comment - I'm really happy that the article led to you being interested in doing some of your planning with Google Drive!

      Most of the basic spreadsheets I did actually do by hand - For the hobby planner and day planner I created just a basic table and then set it up the way that I wanted (maybe not the most intuitive process, but it gave me a template that was exactly what I wanted). You can also search "Google Doc template calendar" which gives you a bunch of other options that might be more what you're looking for!

      The budgeting one was on Google Sheets - again, I made my own to illustrate for this article (and it's what I use for my budget as well!), but there are some templates available for Sheets as well :)

      Hopefully that helps, and I'm sorry I wasn't totally clear in the article itself!

  2. Kelsey Tidwell
    October 31, 2015 at 2:50 am

    My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge. We took our 19 year old son (who's still at home), and met our daughter and son-in-law there (who live in a city about 30 miles from us, and who like to drive in their own style...slightly slower than the speed of sound).

    We had a LOT of things planned to do there, some dinner shows, some museums, and some other attractions. We also wanted to allow for free time for everyone to go their own ways because not everybody enjoys the same things...we all have varied interests. So the big challenge in both planning and also throughout the vacation was keeping everyone coordinated.

    I used Google Sheets to plan out an itinerary, adding comments where appropriate to display the costs of each individual attraction and dinner show so that everyone could sort of keep track of spending as they went, and do or do-not as wanted. We stayed in a cabin, so check-in and check-out times were highlighted in red, and each similar activity was color-coded alike.

    This was the first time I'd done something of the sort, and it seemed uber-structured and geeky-rigid at first glance. But after actually using the sheet, which was available on everyone's phones at any time through a share link, everybody in the group agreed that it made everything so much easier! It took away all the planning and strategizing that we'd have had to use our "fun" time for...really allowed us all to just relax and leave the details to the sheet. :)

    All in all it was a BIG win! Even my daughter, who prefers to just go with the flow, liked it a lot lol. It's definitely something that we'll all be using from now on.

    THANK YOU GOOGLE!

    • Briallyn Smith
      October 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Kelsey, it sounds like a travelling dream!

      I really appreciate the amount of detail you provided too - I'm going to have to borrow some of those strategies the next time I travel, because it sounds like you hit the perfect balance between organization and flexibility :)

      Sometimes people roll their eyes at me for how much I love Google Docs, but I seriously find it one of the most convenient tools around – and I'm glad I've got your comment to back me up on this now!

      • Kelsey Tidwell
        October 31, 2015 at 8:28 pm

        Briallyn, if you'd like to actually examine the sheet, just email me and I'll give you the share link. Nothing especially private on there, but I'm weird about sharing family member names and financial items with the world at large. :)

        I assume you can find my email address through MakeUseOf's records? If not, I can send the link to your business mail address.

        • Briallyn Smith
          November 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

          That would be amazing! I don't actually have access to your email (that's above my pay grade ;) ), but I would love it if you could send the link to my makeuseof email (briallyn@makeuseof.com) Thank you so much for offering!

      • Kelsey Tidwell
        October 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm

        By the way, one of the coolest things about using Sheets for this sort of thing is that after the trip, it wasn't a physical piece of paper to throw away, resulting in me struggling to remember exactly how I made it up and laid it out the next time we take a trip. It's still sitting right there in Google Drive, ready for me to use as a template any time. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *