The problem: With school in full swing, sports, school events, and the everyday details that need not slip through the cracks. It seems to me even as a homeschooling mom who is “home” a lot our family was in need of an organizational overhaul. Our calendar on the refrigerator was not cutting it. I felt tossed about from activities, work, school, even trying to keep track of my husband’s schedule and balancing our work and childcare schedule. Frankly I was tired of telling everyone, "I will let you know when I get home and take a look at my calendar."
The process: My husband and I sat down and made a list of all the reoccurring responsibilities, events, and activities. We discussed what our limits were for how many activities each member should have in a week to still allow enough quality family time together. I put everything on the calendar, from weekly grocery store runs to monthly trips to Costco, karate practice to my photography bookings and my husband’s evening business meetings/dinners. Once we had this info we moved to the next step.
The solution: We both have email with calendars that sync to our phones. We set up to share calendars with each other and this became a real time calendar. I can add things that he can see and he does the same. It is color coded with the option of reminders. Our first question when something comes up is, “Is it on the calendar?” This may seem over the top for some. Honestly I wasn’t really happy about losing my hard copy calendar. I like putting my stickers on it and writing birthdays down. So I painted a door in my kitchen with a little chalk board paint, (a simple dry erase board would do) and I write the week days Monday through Sunday, because that is how we plan our weeks, then I write the activities scheduled for the week for everyone to see and as a reminder for me. The phone calendar is the end all when it comes to scheduling; the chalk board is just the reminder.
This system may not be for everyone but it certainly has helped us with scheduling conflicts and overbooking our lives. It has helped me prepare for those days when I know my husband has a busy schedule and it gives me reminders of when and where and what I need to be along. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to organize but I am not great at sticking with any one system. This system has really worked for us! It has saved me countless hours by not having to call people back after I check our calendar and check with the hubby. So convenient to just look on my phone and give them an answer then mark my calendar while it is open. We have been doing this for a few months and it has just become part of our life.
I hope our system has a few things you can use to help organize and simplify your schedule. If you want to create your own system remember to ask yourself a few simple questions.
What are our family limits on time away from home?
What night do we want to mark down as family night? No one schedule on this night. Play games, read, cook dinner together, get creative!
What are our weekly and monthly reoccurring activities?
Where is all this information going to be displayed for all to see in a way that is easy to update?
Make sure the family has a say in their schedule guidelines, getting everyone on board to using the system is key to it’s success. Keep it simple, remember if your system take too much of your time you WON’T stick to it.
How do you keep your family life organized and scheduled? I Would love to hear