As a relatively new homeowner and someone who enjoys preventative maintenance it has been fun, even if a bit overwhelming, keeping up with the house. To keep from losing track of all that needs to be done, I have been using Google Calendar with Google Tasks. I set up recurring tasks, such as “Change HVAC filter” or even “Take the trash out” which send a notification at a chosen time. For the most part this has been working, but it hasn’t stopped me from looking for better options.
I find Google Calendar to be less user friendly than in years past, although integration with other Google services is a plus. One odd thing I found out tonight is that when I tried to change how often a task repeats, I couldn’t do that from Calendar. (Edit – I found a workaround that involves unchecking an old task that repeats which will make it appear again in the task list and available to edit. It’s still more work than it should be.) This was frustrating and has left me wanting to find a better solution. Here’s the requirements I have come up with:
- Must be focused – I need to be able to “silo” my home maintenance calendar for planning purposes
- Needs to be accessible from my mobile device, or at the very least notify me via my mobile device
- Speaking of notifications, they are very helpful so they are required
- While weekly/monthly calendar view is useful, I find for home maintenance a schedule view is most convenient
- Integration with a task list would be even better.
With these in mind, I have several options:
- Go back to a paper calendar – While this is the most simple, it does lack the one requirement I have for reminders that are sent to my mobile device. There may be days that I don’t look at a paper calendar. If so, I might miss a to-do item for the day.
- Use Google Calendar or Similar Product – There is certainly no shortage of solutions available for calendar/task tracking. This might be the most viable path, but I have been disappointed by Google Calendar.
- Build my Own – This is one option I am still considering while looking for new options. The downsides are obvious: I’d need to build an app for mobile, which I’ve never done before. Also, there’s a really good chance I would be “rebuilding the wheel,” and it would likely take considerable time. On the other hand, it would likely be a great learning experience.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I really do want a cleaner experience. I’m rather particular in the sense that I want to keep the home maintenance calendar and task list separate from any other calendars that I use. This might be because I want to have the option of putting the house to-do list “out of sight, out of mind.” I also don’t really use a calendar for my personal life since I keep that rather simple and keep up with plans on a week-to-week basis. Google Calendar can be pared back to show only my “home maintenance” calendar, but the user interface can be frustrating. A task list integrated with a calendar schedule view would be ideal. Notifications would seal the deal, and I’d make the switch.