You probably already use some kind of digital calendar to schedule all your work meetings. You may also have one — integrated or not — for personal and family events, errands, and such. Hopefully, your calendar is also synced across your devices, so you always know your next move, no matter where you are. If you’re not already doing all this, it’s a wonder you’ve survived. Your calendar shouldn’t just be doing the bare minimum to keep you on top of your appointments. There are so many ways you could be using it to streamline your day and use your time more efficiently. Modern calendar software can do everything from eliminating tedious back and forths to analyzing exactly how you spend your time. Here are some ways to organize your calendar to get more out of each day — and out of life. Book Meetings With Scheduling Software Instead of endless email chains to nail down a meeting time, use calendar software with an automated . With these programs, you can select times that work for you and then let clients and colleagues select from among them. Some programs also help you automatically find a meeting time that works for multiple people all at once. If you meet with lots of clients throughout the day, a meeting scheduler can save you tons of time. meeting scheduler With meeting schedulers, you can also use a custom link to let clients or potential clients schedule with you. If you’re in a field like life-coaching or therapy, a meeting scheduler could even bring you new business. Prospective clients who might be timid about calling or emailing are usually more amenable to clicking a link. Offering them the option to self-schedule a first meeting or a free intro call could save both your time and their nerves. If you host Zoom, Teams, or other virtual meetings, you can include the meeting link right in the calendar entry or invitation. That way, attendees don’t need to dig through old emails at the last minute when the meeting starts. They can simply click on their calendars and be taken directly to the virtual meeting room. Some schedulers integrate with other apps, including virtual meeting software, to make this process even simpler. Some let you limit how many people can schedule with you daily so you don’t get . overwhelmed with meetings Color-Code Color-coding is a simple way to make scheduling your work and personal time a bit more efficient. By using certain colors to designate different types of events, you get a simple picture of your day at a glance. In the short term, this helps you remember important events without a close reading of your calendar. Over time, color-coding also gives you a better idea of how you spend your time. Some calendars can also automatically analyze categorized blocks and determine what you spend the most time doing. There are two main ways you might want to think about using color to organize your calendar. The first is color-coding each event by a designated task-type or category. For work calendars, choose a different calendar for each type of event (staff meeting, focused work time, client call). For all-purpose calendars, you can color-code by work, exercise, doctor’s appointment, kids, etc. Another way to color-code your calendar is by priority or urgency so you can instantly distinguish what’s most important. For instance, you could make important events like job interviews and picking up kids from school bright red or orange. More flexible events, like a friend’s party you’re only half-interested in, could be light blue. For very important events, setting automated email or text reminders can also act as insurance against missing something. Block Off Focus Time and Me-Time Calendar programs can also help you use your time more efficiently by letting you set aside blocks for concentration or self-care. At the office, you can set specific times when you work uninterrupted on tasks that need deep concentration. For instance, you can use focus time to write a white paper, script an important presentation, or proofread a spreadsheet. Most calendar apps give you an option to hide the nature of an event on your calendar. If your calendar is shared with colleagues or family members, this can add a layer of privacy. Your coworkers don’t need to know when you’re working on next year’s budget, especially if it means they might barge in with questions. And you might want to keep that meeting about a promotion a secret from your spouse until you get an answer. Calendar blocks can also help you prioritize self-care tasks like exercise, , mental health breaks, and more. For instance, you might block time off on your calendar to take a long lunch and head to the gym. Or you might need to schedule a remote doctor’s appointment or therapy session during the workday. Making more time for yourself gives you the energy and focus you need to be the most productive version of yourself. meditation The Best Productivity Tool is Your Own Brain These and other calendar functions can help you be more efficient at home, in the office, and beyond. But the most important tool for greater success and productivity is your own ability to tweak and optimize your schedule. For the best results, use your calendar as a way of gathering insight into your own behaviors and habits. Then, decide what’s most important to you and how to spend more time on the things that matter most.