Do you ever feel like you just have too many responsibilities to juggle? A family calendar can help you stay on top of your busy schedule.
Let’s see how this one simple tool can make it easier to organize multiple tasks and keep track of your kids.
How a Family Calendar Can Help
1. Get organized. A good system always helps you get more done in less time. Plan ahead and look for opportunities to coordinate your activities.
* If you know you’re going grocery shopping every Monday night when the store is less crowded, you can add to your list all week and avoid making separate trips.
2. Spend more time together as a family. The most welcome improvement in your life will probably be having more time to share with your loved ones. Streamlining your errands will make it easier to enjoy more after-school outings.
3. Fulfill your goals. You’re more likely to follow through with your plans when you put them in writing. Instead of those three-day weekends taking you by surprise, you’ll be all set to head off camping.
4. Teach your kids to become more responsible. Kids think differently than adults. While their abilities like executive functioning are still maturing, it’s helpful for them to rely on more reminders and visual cues. When they see a time blocked out for homework, it may be all the prompting they need.
Tips for Designing a Family Calendar
1. Plan your time frame. Depending on your schedule, you may prefer month-at-a-glance views or want to take things one week at a time. Many calendars cover more than a full year so you can fill in major events like graduations well ahead of time.
2. Consider going undated. You may like plain whiteboards or dry erase boards better than printed calendars. They give you more flexibility if you have relatively few recurring events. You also cut down on expense and environmental waste by using them over and over.
3. Pick your organizing scheme. You can always stick with the traditional format by putting the dates across the top. Otherwise, you can fill in each person’s name and put the dates down the side.
4. Determine the level of detail you need. Some families want lots of room for jotting down extra notes. Assigning a different color to each family member makes it a snap to see who’s doing what.
5. Build in some storage space. Pockets and folders can hold the back-up material you accumulate. Use them for party invitations, parental consent forms, and travel brochures for your upcoming vacation.
6. Create a section for notes. A separate section for comments and contact information can also come in handy. You can keep the babysitter’s phone number right at your fingertips.
7. Take your calendar online. Use an online calendar as a supplement or to go completely paper-free.
* There are many free software programs to choose from. Most will give you options for receiving email alerts and synchronizing your office and personal appointments to avoid conflicts.
Tips for Using a Family Calendar
1. Post your calendar in a central location. Keep your calendar where you can see it. The refrigerator door is the logical choice in many homes.
2. Enlist everyone’s participation. Give everyone a role in making your calendar work. Praise your kids for being conscientious about letting you know in advance when their piano recital is coming up.
3. Make regular updates. Establish a routine for making reviews and updates. Sunday night is often a natural time to plan for the week ahead.
Simplify your life with a family calendar. You’ll make better use of your time and manage your busy schedule with less stress. Best of all, a family calendar can free up more time for you to spend with your loved ones.