How Agile and Google Calendar Changed My Life

    As a project manager, I tried to integrate various Agile / SCRUM techniques into my daily life. After all, it is also in a sense a long-term and rather dynamic project.

    Repeatedly tried to use the popular GTD tools, but in the end it was the Google calendar that, due to its visibility and timing, turned out to be the most effective. It turns out such a Self SCRUM Board with iterations and gliders :)


    How it works

    Monday morning - planning meeting
    The coming week is planned (iteration), budget accounting and planning is carried out (with the involvement of the spouse if necessary). The tasks that need to be done, but not the fact that there is enough time, are planned for Thursday / Friday. You can also immediately throw a rough plan for the next week.

    Every day in the morning - daily meeting
    Planned tasks are weighed in accordance with the current state of things (weather, mood, problems, or vice versa, free time, etc.). Something is carried over to another day, something on the contrary is added. At this stage, it is important to at least scatter most of the tasks in time, rather than leaving them in the “All Day” state. So there is a clear ToDoList and the day is more likely to pass like clockwork.

    On Friday - a retrospective.
    The results of the working week are evaluated, if something important is still not done - if possible it is planned for the weekend. If the weekend is free, you are planning a vacation with your family.


    As a backlog (a general list of tasks) MindMeister acts with planning for months / years. Mainly because there you can attach pictures to milestones, and this is convenient when planning your life / setting large tasks and goals. So, for example, recently I had a half year photo of a recreation center, until I finally went there.

    But in general, Google Tasks with the placement to the right of the calendars (I used to use them before) is quite suitable for the backlog. The main thing is that the backlog is simple, otherwise it will eat up undeservedly a lot of time. And this is just a decrease in personal effectiveness. Well, it’s important that the goals are achieved in the end and broken down into small and measurable tasks (not “learn English”, but “call back somewhere, sign up for courses” and plan for calendars today), otherwise what’s in all this then meaning.


    Tasks are marked manually. Of course, it would be more convenient to tick off, but this is only possible for Google Task. And they can not be assigned to a specific time and do several types / colors, which is not so convenient. It remains only to hope that over time, Google will correct the situation.

    The meanings are:
    “Prefix /” - thing is done.
    “Prefix x” - the task is flawed and cannot be transferred (shit happens).
    “Prefix?” - the task is in question (rarely but it happens).


    Tasks are divided into main types according to calendars:
    • Violet - work
    • Green - personal files
    • Pink - a common calendar with my wife (yes, yes, and I also forced her to use it))
    • Gray - secondary affairs (it would be nice to do, but will not run away)
    • Blue - regular affairs (hairdresser, study, etc.)
    • Red - very important events

    Well, plus a number of external calendars (birthdays, weather, moon, Russian holidays, etc.).

    In addition, you can place an unlimited task on top and write something motivating on it like “Go to the gym, do not sit until late, eat in moderation, etc.”, and this strip will constantly be an eyesore (you just need to choose the right color).


    As a result, I can definitely say what I did on any of the days I lived since June 2008. And also, thanks to the descriptions, I can easily find and say that, for example, the doctor prescribed me the last time with the flu (plus locations, work schedules, etc.).

    Previously, it turned out to perform 4-5 basic tasks per day. Over the years, this value periodically reaches 10-20 tasks per day. It is only necessary to get up early and be charged with a good mood.

    If I promise or plan something, then in most cases I do it (regardless of the real importance). The main thing is to bring it into plans before it flies out of my head))


    The main problem as in any system is laziness. Sometimes it comes to the fact that the task is planned for months on weekends, but is constantly dragged on to the next week and it still won’t be done (my main epic task is to sort the archive of photos, damn them there are thousands ...).

    I also sometimes find myself opening up Google calendars too often and stupidly staring at them instead of doing something useful at the moment. But this is again a personal factor that must be fought everywhere.

    But what about burn down chart and other Agile / SCRUM buns?

    In the furnace. No, well, the truth - everything is good in moderation;). After all, in the end:
    • Personalities and their interactions are more important than processes and tools
    • Responding to change is more important than following a plan

    PS: the first post and all that, do not judge strictly

    Up: To make the calendars look like in the picture above, go to Settings - General - Default view mode: View at the user's choice; Your view: 2 weeks

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