Charting Your Course: Managing Calendars

managing family calendars tips

Navigating this modern life is becoming more challenging than ever.  Trying to do it without a plan is virtually impossible.  Add kids to the mix and you have just taken on another part-time job.

A household calendar is a necessary tool for any successful home.  It can be as simple as the flip kind that the insurance guy sent you in December or take up a full wall like one in a corporate “war room”, but you must have one.

Many people these days opt for the electronic sort.  These give you the option to move things around fairly easily or delete an event altogether.  You also have the ability to set up recurring events (hockey practice, etc).  Smartphone users have the advantage of taking their calendar on the run.  I must add here that my favorite tool is google calendar.  My wife and I can both keep and share a calendar here which minimizes miscommunication.  It’s brilliant.

Teaching your children the importance of keeping a calendar will certainly help them later in life, but also help with their study habits and ultimately save you some major headaches.  If you have already experienced completing a six-week project in total on the very last night before it is due, you know exactly what I mean.

To that end, I will tell you that we use a couple of methods around here.  As already stated, I use google calendar for work, home, and personal.  However, at home, we have installed a fairly sizeable whiteboard that holds the “family” calendar.  Using a whiteboard with dry-erase markers makes it easy to adjust as necessary.  Plus, we each get our own color to make it clear who is affected.

The boys love helping with the updates.  It is a great place to post daily countdown updates like Santa’s visit or the beginning of summer.  I must advise that you reserve some space on the board for drawings.  If not, you will end up with a furry monster scheduled for the 28th.

Here are a few things that should be on the calendar:

  • Medical/dental appointments
  • Veterinarian appointments
  • Car maintenance
  • Home maintenance
  • Holidays
  • Kid’s extra-curriculars – sports, dance, music, school clubs
  • Special events – weddings, birthdays

Finally, flexibility is the key here.  One idea that may help is to keep recurring events on sticky notes that can be moved from month to month.  Understand that this is a “machine” with many moving parts, but it is instrumental in guiding you and your family.


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