How to Keep Your Calendar Free of Tasks

Don’t make this mistake with your Calendar

Calendars are brilliant things, but they can get filled up fast!

From events to tasks, calendars tend to be the dumping ground for task management, event management and sometimes even notes.

Physical or digital, keeping your calendar clear can save you huge amounts of time and effort as you go about your daily routine. Keeping your calendar for events and activities, solely, can be a fantastic recipe to adopt.

Stemmed from GTD, Getting Things Done, a classic productivity self-help book by David Allen, shares a little more about this concept of keeping calendar events away from tasks or to-do’s.

Your to-do list is designed for your tasks, not your calendar, and your calendar designed to receive solely events or static based items, not actionable ones.

Why Not Add Tasks? ✅

Tasks are normally associated with a very many variables.

Time, due dates, start dates, duration, energy levels and priority, just to name a few. Calendar apps tend not to have the ability to add all of those like a to-do list app might. Messy right!?

The goal is to avoid this. Sticking to only the events/activities you have on for the day. Here’s a worked example of last Wednesday:

With only one team meeting, a lunch and a later haircut, this is all the calendar events I needed for that day.

No morning wake-up time added, no “clear email” block, no routine dog walk, just the time specific meetings/events. Keeping it cool and simple.

The task + calendar approach is something easily adopted and that can be easily cracked too.

All you need is 10–20-minutes of time to remove all of those tasks and bring them onto a new to-do list application, if you don’t have one already.

As a starting to-do list application. We recommend Todoist or Wunderlist.

What’s the Difference?! 📅 ✅

Struggling to differentiate between tasks and calendar events. No problem!

This can be easily solved. The go-to answer for this is:

Tasks = Actionable tasks to complete over the next 30-days
Calendar Events = Static, time-based activities to attend/be aware of

Naturally, there will be events and tasks that stump you. For example, dog walking is one of those. It is a task, but also a calendar event. Confused?!

This video should help. In this video I dissect a few examples:

A Clutter-Free Calendar 📅

So what does the ideal calendar look like from a bird’s eye view?

There’s no perfect calendar. You need to work in the style that works for you.

One of my biggest calendar revelations of 2017 were helped along by the wonderful Jason Fried with his Medium article all about the basic calendar.

This changed the way I think about calendars alongside with my GTD reading, this really helped to shape what I’m now happy with.

Spend time on your calendar. Workout the perfect layout for you and make sure to begin separating your to-do’s for a clutter-free experience, if that suits you best!

Francisco on FacileThings blog pulls together further advice on this, and how you should avoid your calendar to not become your todo list.

Worth a read!


Looking for a great Calendar app?! Try Newton Calendar for iOS

Newton Calendar is a fresh new companion to our leading email app, Newton (available on iOS, Mac, Android & Windows). Combine this stunning design with features like Read Receipts, Undo Send and Newton Calendar and you’ll be organising meetings in no time!

Follow me and Paper Planes on Medium for more articles.