Saving Sanity with a Family Calendar
How many times have you looked at your watch only to realize you are twenty minutes late for something important?
Whether it’s the moment you realize you’re missing your son’s opening pitch or that your daughter is still waiting for you to pick her up from school, your stomach drops, your pulse races and you feel just awful. One of the toughest parts of being a parent today is keeping track of so many jam packed schedules simultaneously. But it doesn’t have to be such a headache. There are some great solutions out there today to help you easily keep track of everyone in your entire family’s busy schedule. Let us show you how.
Alicia on ‘Getting the Family On Board’
‘When I wanted to start getting all of our schedules together in one place, I waited for a night when we were all home for dinner. With everyone present and happily full, I gently talked about how it would benefit all of us if we had a general idea of what everyone was doing during the week. My husband, Adam, would know when I was out of town for the day, Lucy would know when Megan had ballet, and I would know where my whole family was. While I can’t say everyone jumped for joy, I can happily report that it made enough sense to them to get them to give it a ‘thumbs up’.’
Sarah on ‘Gathering Everyone’s Whereabouts’
‘To make a master family calendar work, it has to be easy to create and simple to update. You need to ditch the idea that it will be perfect and 100% correct. Focus first on meetings, classes, school events, sports etc., that happen on a weekly basis. Once you get that down, have family members post other important items every Sunday night for the week ahead. Capture not only the event but also any phone numbers or pick ups needed as well. That way you have everything together in one place. Finally, listen to feedback. Ask your family how it is going after a month and implement their suggestions.’
Here are three practical options we think can help you tackle your family calendar.
#1: ‘White’ It Down
Everyone loves a white board. They’re fun to write on and easy to erase if you make a mistake. Buy the biggest one you can find and hang it in a prominent place like the kitchen. Use colored painter’s tape to make a grid on it and then write everyone’s name down the side and the days of the week across the top. Make sure to have plenty of dry erase markers in different colors on hand. White boards are the perfect solution for schedules that change frequently and you need instant access to.
#2: Google It
Google’s calendar seamlessly and simply integrates every family member’s independent schedule into one combined view. Each family member registers for a personal calendar online and then shares it with the others at the push of a button. Because the Google calendar easily links to existing Microsoft Outlook or Macintosh iCal programs, setup is a snap. Get the free ‘beta’ version of Google Calendar at calendar.google.com. Google Calendar is a favorite among tech savvy teens.
#3: Keep It With You
One option which is clearly for mom and not for other family members is My Whomi (mywhomi.com). It is, however, the perfect portable solution if you are the only one who needs everyone’s information. My Whomi is a personal agenda with plenty of room for you to write down the activities of everyone in the family. This solution is most helpful for moms with young kids.