So my organization is in two forms—online and also on paper. I was always a person that preferred to take notes by hand in class, rather than on a laptop, and I thought wedding planning would be the same. What proved to be the single most helpful part of my life, though, was my online organization. It’s excessive, so be prepared for a wordy post, interspersed with unrelated photos of Howie.
Doesn’t he look like such a old man here? Or is that just me?
Right, so as soon as I wrapped my mind around being engaged, I went online and reserved two Gmail accounts—one with my married name (I knew I was going to need it in the future) and one that would serve as a wedding account. McGlovin and I both use and love our Droids, so I thought that Google would really be the most convenient source for us, and I was right. Here are just a few of the many awesome ways that Google was helpful:
I have no idea why he uses his back legs less than his front legs.
Google email. We made a wedding account with a generic password so that we could both easily access it. This is the email that I gave out to vendors at wedding shows, at DB, for our registries, and to our various vendors. This was immensely helpful because a) it avoided my real email getting spammed and b) then Mr. G and I could both find the info that we needed for vendors. I prefer Gmail to anything else due to the great spam filters, the search function, the ability to label, the unlimited storage, the G-chat…overall, it’s the easiest email for me to work with.
He really, really likes to perch on top of Mr. G’s laptop.
Google Voice. This one was a little less vital, but still helpful. Most people aren’t aware of it, but Google offers a service that will set you up with a local-to-you phone number, for free, that will be forwarded to your phone line. I wasn’t at all interested in giving out my cell phone number until I had my vendors arranged, so we used our Google number instead. People (DB, and various scammers that got our number through bridal shows) would call that number and leave a voice mail, which was then transcribed and emailed to me. This service didn’t really help with anything except cutting down on scammy calls, but I still appreciated it, especially when I un-forwarded that number and never received another wedding related call.
No big, just playing with some water bottles.
Google Calendar. I don’t know how we would have lived without linked G-Calendars, and that’s only a tiny bit exaggerated. As it stands, McGlovin and I have linked calendars. That is, we each have a calendar, linked to our email, which we allow each other—so I can see his schedule and he can see mine. This especially is helpful since McGlovin is a firefighter and his calendar shows his duty days. Since both of us were doing the planning and making appointments, linked calendars made it so much easier to organize our schedules.
He specifically likes to sleep upside down on road trips.
Google Drive. Before wedding planning, I’d used Google Drive to avoid emailing myself files occasionally, but the wedding brought it to a whole new level. I made a folder on the drive of our wedding account titled “Glove’s Super Awesome Wedding.” Then, I shared that folder with my account and Mr. G’s account, so that anyone logged into any of the three accounts could view and modify documents. Then, I put every.single.thing that was wedding related into that folder, starting with our guest list. Our moms each sent over Excel spreadsheets of guests and addresses, and Mr. G and I would each update the spreadsheet as we received more. Awesomely, more than one person can modify at the same time, so we would frequently be using this feature on our laptops across from each other, adding or updating names and addresses. Also, I could be on the document at work while he was on at home, and use the G-Chat feature to sort out any questions that we had. This was especially helpful when we were recording RSVPs, and there was some confusion among relatives. There are so many reasons that Google Drive was an amazing part of our wedding planning, which I’ll detail in another post. Just know—our wedding was so well organized as a direct result of Google Drive. No joke.
Seriously, though—whats with the back legs??
YouTube. YouTube was helpful to us mostly in organizing playlists. Using the wedding account as a sign in, we could each add songs to various play lists (getting ready, ceremony music, bagpipes, dinner music, first dance options, and reception playlist). This wasn’t life changing or anything, but it let each of us access lists in our own time whenever we were struck with inspiration.
God, I cannot even handle how cute they are playing together!
Droid phones. Maybe it’s not just Droid phones, though that is what we use, but smart phones in general that made our wedding planning easier. But I do know that McGlovin and I both have Droids that sync with Google incredibly easily. We each had the wedding email synced to our phones, in addition to our personal emails, to access vendor information. Our shared calendars were viewable, and updated instantly with added appointments. We downloaded a Drive app so we could see and update all documents as needed, which was especially helpful when arguing over a vendor contract the week before the wedding. We were so crazy-organized—and without needing to carry around a heavy binder and rifle through a mess of papers to find what we needed.
So there you have it. I for sure required my wedding binder and used it until the end, but using Google to organize our wedding was the number one most useful decision we made at the beginning of planning. It also makes the difference, though, that McGlovin and I were both doing planning and coordinating—maybe I would have used some aspects less if I’d been handling everything on my own.
So, is everyone else also using the entire suite of Google products? If not, what are you doing to keep organized?