Getting Started

If you're a fan of Google Calendar tasks and would consider using them instead of events, I go over the pros and cons here on the Philosophy page.


First, consolidate the information you will need. Make a list of your bills including the following...
  • Payee or purpose
  • Due date
  • Amount
  • Method of payment

Initial Set Up

Go to your Google Calendar and create a new calendar. Name it what you like. Mine is simply "Bills." You may want to share it with a significant other. Now may also be a good time to set the default notification for this calendar. If you want to know when every bill is due just set it up now. Mine is an e-mail two days before hand.

Enter payment events

Create a new event for each payment to be made on the day that it is due. Fill in the "What:" field with the payee or purpose, the amount and the payment method if desired. Also, don't forget to switch the Calendar field to your new calendar name.

For example...

Payment method codes

This is optional. I use codes so that the whole event fits on a calendar day. If all of your payments are made the same way you can skip this.
I put an "a" in front if its automatic (as shown above.) If not, then just one of the following...
  • EFT (electronic funds transfer)
  • BP (my banks bill pay system)
  • check (I know. I have one last case to use these)
  • card (debit card for my checking account)

Other events

While you are in the event creating groove you might want to make a recurring event for pay day (geek trick: put a ! at the front so it's always on top of the list.) Set it up in your "Bills" calendar so that it's visible when you do your budget on-the-fly. Also if you want to review your payment situation more regularly than that or on a different schedule you can set up recurring reminders to do that as well.

Don't forget about savings too. If you have a goal to save, a recommended method to treat yourself as a payee can be put to good use right here. I have a savings event for that quarterly water bill.

Weekly events and farsightedness

I've been using only one instance of a payment because, mostly, I only need to see one month ahead to budget on-the-fly. But if you need budget visibility beyond one month or have expenses that occur more frequently just set the repeat options as desired. If you do this, however, events must be moved by clicking on them and choosing "Edit event>>." If you drag them around the calendar future events will not move in correspondence.

Until recently I was trying to avoid recurring events entirely but forgetting a weekly expense like gas or groceries when compiling a budget on-the-fly could cause a panic. Usually I catch the error because I do it twice but just having it on the calendar is safest.


You can get reminders via e-mail, text message (SMS) or browser pop-up. Adjust reminders for individual events by clicking on them and choosing "Edit event>>." I particularly like to know when one of my manual payments is coming up.

Where is when

So you moved an event around due to a new payment coming around. But now it's not on its normal day. If only there were an easy way to remember where it's supposed to go next month. There is! The "Where:" field shows up in the balloon when you click on an event. I use this to put in the date that the bill usually occurs on. Also, if it's not monthly, I specify that it's EOM (every other month) or Quarterly. Task users can put this information in the Notes.

Now it is time to get rolling!