Oh technology. We love you and we hate you. To be honest, I’m a pen and notebook kinda girl. But, I’m also the kinda girl who refuses to cart around a pen and notebook when there’s a technologically more efficient way. That’s why I’ve set out to make my Google calendar an efficient and reliable fitness tracker.
why you need this
Are you wondering why you need a fitness tracker? Think about it this way… Your workouts are appointments with yourself. If you don’t schedule an appointment it’s SO MUCH EASIER to tell yourself you’ll do it another day. On Mondays, for example, why work out? You have 4 week days left to get to the gym. On Tuesday you decide to go to happy hour with some co-workers (because you had nothing else planned!) and so on…
Does putting a workout on the calendar prevent you from missing the workout? No. But it does allow you to visualize your healthy week early on. A fitness tracker allows you to motivate yourself, to think through your goals and to remind yourself of why you’re doing all of this. When it’s Wednesday and we haven’t been to the gym yet, our brains are already exhausted from making excuses. Don’t make it easy for yourself to just start over next week.
Here’s what I needed
Yes, there are a ton of fancy apps out there that can be used for fitness tracking. But I found all of the bells and whistles to be more than I was looking for. First and foremost, I wanted the following:
- An online solution that would keep me on track with my workouts
- A tool that could be accessed across all of my devices
- A tool that could track all of my workouts (classes, workout pins, my own developed workouts)
- A tool that would allow me to enter all of my workouts for the week (or month) quickly
the ten minute rule
The tedious typing. Most of the apps I’ve used required you to individually manage your workouts by entering each one into your calendar. Boo! Even when I took the time to think through my workouts AND type them into an app, I had a hard time motivating myself to do it every week. Ten minutes or less seemed to be the magic number. Anything more, and I ran the risk of not planning ahead and ultimately skipping workouts throughout the week.
Related: 10 little habits for a healthy week
sometimes the answer is right in front of you
I use my Google calendar and Gmail for organizing my life. But, I always struggled with adding every single workout in my calendar as its own event. That’s when I realized that of course there’s an easier way. And it’s powered by one of my very favorite things: a spreadsheet. Follow this step by step guide to learn how to schedule your workouts and keep a fitness tracker in less than 10 minutes each week!
What you’ll need
- A Google account
- Three or four workouts you’re excited to do this week
- The .csv template that I’ve created for you
Open up your Google calendar by going to this link: https://calendar.google.com. Then, on the left sidebar, click the little down arrow and select Create new calendar.
Name your calendar and add a little description and the location (if you want!) Otherwise, a name only will work just fine.
When you click back to calendar, you should see your new calendar in the left sidebar!
Open up your .csv template and add as many workouts as you want. I’ve only added 4 in this example, but it’s so easy to add a month’s worth of workouts if you’re doing a 4 week plan. Or if you want to plan week by week, just add your weekly workouts to your fitness tracker.
Here’s a breakdown column by column:
Column A: This will be what shows up on your calendar as the name of your event
Column B: This is the start date. Just put the date of your workout here. It’s important that you don’t change the date format in this file. The import tool is very picky when it comes to formatting!
Column C: Start time. You’ll notice the template uses a 24-hour clock. When you enter your time, you can use the time you would use for a 12-hour clock (with AM and PM). Just make sure you add a space between the time and the am/pm. For example, use ‘6 pm’ instead of ‘6pm’. You’ll notice that when you move out of the cell, the time will convert to the 24 hour clock time.
Column D: End date. Obviously, your workout will not last more than 24 hours. Just use the same date you used for Column B
Column E: End time. Same story as Column C with the 24-hour clock!
Column F: You’re not working out all day long, so just keep the word FALSE (in all caps) in this column for each event
Column G: This is where you can add a link to your workout, your entire workout, or general notes about your workout
Column H: Add your location. This can be an address or a general location.
Column I: Unless you would like your calendar to be accessible by search for other people, just keep the word TRUE (in all caps) in this column for each event
Save your file in a .csv format.
step 5: Upload your calendar
Go back to your Google calendar. Click the little gear icon and access your settings.
When you click the calendars tab, you should see an import calendar option in the middle of the page. Click it!
Then click browse and find the .csv file you saved. Make sure your calendar name is your ‘workouts’ calendar. Then click Import.
Now, when you go back to your calendar you should be able to see all of the workouts you added.
Now make it fun
I like to color code my workouts so that they stand out against all the other things I have going on in my week. You should be able to toggle between all of your calendars (including your new workouts calendar). The first few times you do this, it might take a few extra minutes. But, once you’ve mastered the process, you’ll be able to easily manage all of your workouts just like any other fitness tracker. Don’t forget to grab your template for easy tracking!