When I was 17 the very first Palm Pilot (PDA) came out on the market (pictured here), and when I was 19 I BEGGED my dad to buy me one for Christmas.
For those of you who are too young to know what a Palm Pilot is – it’s the 1996 equivalent to a Smart Phone, but without the phone, Internet, Apps, or fancy color touch screen. Essentially it was an electronic calendar and contact management system, and maybe had a few games on it. But it cost about as much as a new iPhone does today — around $500! Which was even more money in 1996 then it is today.
The Christmas of 1998, I begged my dad for one because I, at 19, was already a full fledged calendar addict – I was in school plus trying to start a business, and I LOVED being organized.
I would daydream about a paperless future where everything I needed was on a pretty little electronic device that I carried around in my pocket. As you know, I got my wish. In 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone, I realized that the “heaven on earth” concept was a real thing. 🙂
By the time the iPhone was released, I had been using electronic devices to keep my life organized for 9 years. (Christmas of 1998 my dad surprised me the uber expensive Palm Pilot that I had been begging him for — BEST. DAD. EVER. I cherished that thing for years).
Over those 9 years, I figured out some cool little life hacks using it, most of which still serve me well to this day.
Here are a few of my cool little calendar tips for travel agents:
1. I put everything in my calendar that needs to happen on a regular basis, and then set to recur. For example, each month I get a pop up reminder to change furnace and water filters. Each quarter I get a pop up reminder to wash my makeup brushes, change Sonicare toothbrush heads, check smoke alarms, and so on. Each season I get a popup to reset the outdoor light timers to accommodate for the change in sunrise and sunset times.
2. I create phone contacts for things like light bulb sizes, furnace and water filter brands and sizes, and so on. If I’m at the store and I know I need light bulbs, I open up my Phone Contacts, search for Light Bulbs, and then a contact appears called “Light Bulbs”. Listed in it are all the sizes and brands of light bulbs for the different rooms and fixtures in both the interior and exterior of my home.
3. I fully utilize Voice Notes, especially when I’m driving! When I think of marketing ideas, things I have to do, solutions to problems, or have a flash of insight, I hit the Voice Notes button and speak my mind. This ensures I capture my thoughts.
I use the Google Apps Calendar and the Tiny Calendar App on my iPhone – they automatically stay synced at all times, and they work with online schedulers such as Time Trade. And they allow you to create shared calendars with your family, co-workers, staff, and so on – which is a really handy feature!
If you’re unfamiliar with how Google Apps works, and why it’s SO great, watch this video.
And if you don’t yet have an online scheduler, I made you a quick video on my current favorite one and how it works.
In the comments below please share some of your cool little calendar tips for your fellow travel agents. I can’t wait to hear about them!
Love & Success,
Heidi and Your Marketing Team
P.S. Even though I LOVE my (nearly) paperless office and my digital organizing tools, I still go back to pen and paper for goal setting, mind-mapping, success planning, etc. for the proven benefits of handwriting vs. digital planning. And this is why I created the Travel Agent Success Planner for you. You can get yours right NOW – you’ll love it! Click here for details.
I use a color code system for things that happen on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday between 9am and 10am is red because thats my day to go to the doctor and get my allergy shots. Tues thurs and Fri 8am to 930am is blue that’s my gym time etc etc
Color coding is such a great idea, Belinda! Thank you for sharing.
I use magnetic glassboards. I like to write things down.
This is something I am definitely doing. I lost so much data in the fire. I am now going paperless !!! Thank You !
I had a couple palm pilots! They were everything!! I too developed a calendar fixation over the years but the contact list trick is super brilliant! Excellent blog!
Thanks Felicia! The contact list trick has been a lifesaver! 🙂
I remember the Palm Pilot! Had one myself! Then Blackberry…now iPhone runs my world! I use Calendly as my Appt scheduler with syncs direct to my calendar. I also color code my life- green =appts w/clients because that is where is the money is made, red= Other business important things like training & mtgs, yellow = family/personal life things, brown= my reminders. Everything is an Appt in my life so that I’m maximizing my time: admin time, workout time, even my drive time!
Love it Sutra! 🙂
Since I manage and also am an agent; I use the google calendar to keep all of our agents on task. Each agent is assigned a color on the calendar so they know which meeting is their’s and also which meeting they may want to accompany a colleague to. All conferences and conventions go on there as well . (in the color of the person attending)
Great tip Sandra! Thanks for sharing!
I am constantly irritated by the immediate assumption that EVERYONE uses an iPhone! In 2018, iPhones represented a little less than 20% of the smartphone market … in other words, for every iPhone user, there were _4_ non-iPhone users. So, why are all of the blogs telling people about iPhone apps and iPhone tips and tricks without any hint as to there being any other kinds of smartphones?
Also, using Google Apps means that Google has access to your information and that, in the “fine print” of the End User License Agreement (EULA), you have given Google permission to access that data and use it for their marketing purposes if they so desire.
Hi Ralph, You make some good points… however, I hope that you are not irritated by my article, because none of my three tips are iPhone exclusive, the tips can be used by anyone, with any device, if you look closely, I don’t even mention iPhone in the three main tips themselves.
In regards to Google having access to all your information – yes – that’s true, so many of the services that we take advantage of on-line these days have access to the information we share using those services. It’s a great point to be aware of and make sure you’re not sharing anything you wouldn’t want to get in “the wrong hands”.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your great recommendations!
One lesson I learned about using a phone calendar is that appointments need to be added not only on the date of the appointment but also at the specific time of the appointment, with an anticipated duration, and with a reminder set for some period of time. (I use a default of 90 minutes but often set additional reminders at 60 and 15 minutes before the appointment.) While it is easy to just stick the appointment on a date without making sure that it is at the target time and for the target duration, taking those extra steps can help ensure that you don’t double book times.
That’s a GREAT tip Ralph, thanks for sharing!
I use google calendar along with Calendly . this is a platform where if my client is not sure of their schedule I can send them a link with my open spots and they simply chose one put in their name and phone number and it appears on my calendar.
Calendly is a great one! I personally use TimeTrade, it’s does a similar thing – saves me – and my clients – a ton of time!