Never miss another meeting … Or wrestling the calendar monster

Today I messed up

BUSYYes, I made a mistake.  The first step in automation, as i’ve spoken about before,  is to identify a problem specifically, and only then look for a solution.  Today I had an example of a problem that became all too obvious when I realized that I had missed an important meeting.  I was scheduled to be interviewed by my good friend Erin Smith for her podcast over at thestartersclub.com.  But, the day came, and the time came and went, but for a number of reasons I totally forgot about it until it was too late!

I feel horrible!

Let me paint you a picture, and please let me know if you can relate to this too in the comments below too!  And, please hang with me, I’ve got some great tools and tips at the end to help us all do better at keeping up with our schedules!

And first off, I’d just like to say that Erin is a friend located here in the local Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area who I see at local meetups from time to time.  We even both attended the Podcast Movement Conference and had a chance to chat (which was awesome by the way).  Our conversations are always amazing and I feel like we both come away better because of them.  I was so excited to be able to help her out with some automation questions and issues she was having, but also to be able to provide value to her podcast listeners too!

But nope… I totally missed it 🙁

Being Late Equals Disrespect

What’s worse however is that I really have a lot of respect for Erin and all she is doing over at the The Starters Club.  I especially love her awesome podcast!   And I also believe that being late for anything, or worse, totally missing a meeting or interview, is a huge sign of disrespect, even if totally unintended!  Erin, i’m truly sorry!

Update: She was gracious enough to reschedule the podcast interview with me and it went awesome!  I think if you like the content on this site, you will love her podcast too! Check it out! 

What Happened to The Automation Guy?

I’ve been introduced a number of times as “The Automation Guy”, and I really like that!

But as the automation guy I am supposed to have all this together! Right??

Well, while I’ve learned SO much about automation and productivity, and I love sharing it with you, I too make mistakes.  I love to learn all about about technology and how it can make our lives better, but I also learn from how it fails us from time to time.

In short I am still learning too, as we all must keep learning! Especially in this ever evolving, fast changing world of technology.  And most of all, learning from our mistakes!

What can we learn?

But what can we learn from this?  For every failure or shortfall we must make the most of it.

Failure is our most powerful teacher and the tuition is steep, .Lets not repeat any classes ok?

I’ve beat myself up about it enough. it is what it is and we move on.  And, how can I help others learn from my mistakes?  Lets break down the problem into its parts and find a way keep this from happening again, and hopefully automate some, or all of it!

The problem:

I originally got an email from Erin with a meeting maker that let me go online to see the times she is available and I can select a time works best for me of the times available.  I selected a time and it sent me a confirmation email that made it super easy to add to my calendar.  But what broke down after that?  Here are some of the contributing factors I know of:

  1. My phone, that I use to keep up with my events was on silent
  2. Other push notifications had pushed the calendar even off of the screen even if I thought to look at it
  3. I was busy with my 2 year old and very distracted.
  4. I hadn’t thought to check my calendar that day yet.
  5. For super important events I make sure my wife knows and also reminds me

Tools to Help Automate our way out of this

I’ve been looking at a number of ways that I can help keep this from happening again in the future and i’d like to share a few of them with you.

  1. Google Calendar Daily Agenda Notifications – Google Calendar can send you a daily email of the events for the day.  Set it up by following the directions here.
  2. Set up an IFTTT or Zapier rule to call, text, or send push notification to your phone before a meeting
  3. Create a calendar / meeting reminder on my phone
  4. Create an alarm on my phone
  5. Post It Notes!
  6. Have a Team and Family Calendar (and tell my wife!)

And i’m constantly looking for for more tips and tricks to keep up with everything going on!  I’ll be sure to let you know about it as I learn about it!

What about you?

How do you keep on top of your appointments?  How do you keep from missing meeting?  Lets learn from each other!! Please let me know in the comments below!

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