Some people maintain that they are able to remember everything they have to do, without ever writing any of it down. We're not so sure about that. We might be able to remember what we are doing this week and next, but looking further into the future it is hard, if not impossible, to keep all our commitments in our head.
And busy lives can mean it is tricky to remember what you are meant to be doing next week, let alone next month. Most of us, surely, rely on some sort of calendar to keep track.
It gets harder, too, as managing your own life is only part of the complexity. If you've close family, you need to keep tabs on what they are up to too, just so that you don't have any silly, avoidable clashes which require last minute workarounds. Then there are all the birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends to keep an eye on too. Forgetting an important birthday really isn't an easy thing to get away with as anyone who has been in that position can surely testify.
So, for most of us a diary is not just an optional extra. It is a basic requirement of modern life. While a paper diary is one solution, your Android tablet can be so much better. It has its own built in calendar, which you can manage on the device itself.
But you can be smarter than that. You can synchronise your diary with a desktop calendar on your man computer, and also with Google Calendar which is stored 'in the cloud' on the internet. That latter option is what many people choose over a desktop calendar.
After all, Google Calendar is free, and if you use it online from your computer you can access it anywhere you have access to a computer. And it has the other great advantage of being able to synchronise with any Android device, including your tablet and any smartphone you may have.
This means you just need to enter things into your calendar once to get access to them from a multitude of locations. It also means, very importantly, that if you change your tablet (or your phone), you don't lose all your saved calendar data. You simply login to your new tablet (or phone) with your Google account and you are up and running again.
The calendar on your Android tablet can cope with repeating events which makes using it to record things like birthdays and anniversaries as well as recurring work meetings and other regular events is really easy. We'll show you how.
We've used a Samsung Galaxy Tab to show how you can use a tablet's calendar. This has a unique visual design, and, depending on what Android tablet or smartphone you have things might look a little different. But the basic concepts remain the same. So, if you've been using a paper diary, now might be the ideal time to switch.
NEXT: step by step guide to using the calendar, and synching with a Google Calendar >>
Step-by-step: use the calendar and sync with your Google Calendar
1. Your Google account
When you switch your Tablet on you'll be asked to enter your Google account settings. If you don't do it then, choose 'Settings' then 'Accounts and Sync', then 'Add Account'
2. Configure account
Choose 'Google' then 'Next' and then 'Sign In'. Next type your username and password and then choose 'Sign in'. Next check 'Back up data with my Google Account' and choose 'Next' then 'Finish setup'.
3. Google calendar online
Log in to your Google calendar from your computer and enter appointments and events. These are automatically saved and provided your tablet is online via your SIM or Wi-Fi they are automatically transferred.
4. Set sync properties
On your Android tablet choose 'Settings' then 'Accounts and sync'. Tap the icon for your Google account. Ensure there is a tick next to 'Sync Calendar'. Put a check against any other boxes you want to.
5. Tablet calendar
Open the calendar on your tablet. On the Samsung Galaxy Tab use tabs at the top of the screen to see Day, Week, Month and List views and to jump straight to today.
6. Add an event
Tap the '+' symbol. Give your event a title and then select its date and time by tapping the 'From' and 'To' boxes. Tap the '+' and '-' symbols to change settings, then tap 'Set'.
7. Add to Google calendar
If you want the event to appear on your Google calendar as well as locally tap 'Calendar' and choose your Google account. Alternatively leave the setting at 'My Calendar'
8. More details
Add locations, settings, and alarms. If you want an event to recur tap 'Repeat' and choose the interval you want. When all settings are made tap 'Done'.
Tips and tricks
Have a look at the widgets on your tablet. You are likely to find one that will put a large calendar display on to a home page. That's really handy if you are a keen user of your diary to manage your time.
Tap the event in the Day or List view and choose 'Send via' and then 'Messaging'. The email tool will open and you can send an Outlook calendar invitation.