Easy Ways To Keep Track Of Your Family Schedule
Keeping track of who in your family is going where and when, no matter the size of your family isn’t always easy. Add in a chronic illness like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and you may feel like your life is one big game of catch up. This is how I keep our family of four knowing who is going where and when without me having to tell them over and over again.
Early on into the onset of my autoimmune disease I realized that brain fog and general mental exhaustion was a side effect that I was experiencing. As wife, mom and “planner of all the things” keeping all of this information in my head was causing unnecessary strain. I had my calendar all planned out, but the only way the members of my family could find out when something was scheduled was to ask me. Not ideal at all.
Digital or Paper? *Spoiler Alert! I use BOTH!
If you are digital calendar fan, there are several options available. The main two options that I have tried in the past and plan to get back to are Google Calendar and Cozi.
Google Calendar and G Suite in general, is my hub for all my email, planning, documents, etc. Each member of our family has their own account and we use Google Drive exclusively for our word documents, spreadsheet needs, presentation creation and so much more. I like using Google Calendar because I can drag and drop appointments when they change and I like to time block using various calendars there as well.
Since I hold the main G Suite account, I decided to go ahead and pay for a G Suite Basic account. That way, I don’t need to worry about reaching my storage limit and I archive most of my emails and save a ton of documents to Google Drive. It is SO HANDY to be able to access almost anything I need from my phone when I am out and about.
I have a few 20% off your first year codes available, so if you would like to give G Suite just click here to send me an email with 20% off G Suite in the subject line and I will send you a code if I have any left! You can also join up here on your own if you want to. I pay yearly and it really provides a nice peace of mind for me!
If you need help getting your life under control enough to be able to write it all out on a calendar, then my 5 quick Steps To Take Your Day From Chaos To Calm is for you!
I used the Cozi calendar years ago when the kids were younger. I am looking into using it again now that the kids both have phones. I know that I just said everyone in my family has the G Suite, but there are some key features that I would like to test out in Cozi.
I like their monthly printable view. *It may replace the paper calendar I am currently using.
I like the option of assigning events to certain people and only those people getting reminders for those events. I would like to use this for chore deadlines. Specifically, laundry and house chores. We are implementing a day and time that they need to be done by in order to give the boys more freedom in their schedule and I do not want to have to remind them. If it is not done by the time it is due, your wifi gets turned off until it is complete. I feel that reminders through the Cozi app will be a more peaceful option than me acting as a countdown clock. *This will require me to get the Gold Level, but I feel that it will be worth the $30 per year for sure.
My husband and I like the idea of shared and reusable Shopping Lists and To-Dos
My husband (he does most of the cooking) likes the recipe feature and is looking forward to taking that for a spin.
(If you have littles, scroll down for ideas!)
One thing that I have noticed with a two story house and multiple family members is that we never seem to be in the same area as the calendar. Yes- even with my Google calendar on my phone since I will often leave it in another part of the house in order to not distract myself when working on a project or hanging out with the kids.
Downstairs, we use a paper monthly view calendar by Emily Ley. I keep it on our fridge with a few magnetic clips. That way I can guarantee that the boys will see it. 😉 You know… on their way to emptying my fridge daily.
I list my husband’s schedule and any games or club activities that the boys may have since those are the main questions I usually get.
Upstairs, I have a dry erase monthly calendar on the wall next to my desk. Same events listed there as well. It may seem silly or like too much work to have to write up two separate calendars a month, but it only takes about 15 minutes and the benefit of empowering my family to be able to look up what their schedule is is certainly worth the time. As I mentioned above, it saves me so much brain power and I really do love seeing the kids responsible for their own schedules and not dependent on me to tell them how their day is going to go. Ownership of their day provides a bit of maturity and responsibility as well.
Now, this is not going to be a scene out of “Field of Dreams” where you write it down and they stop asking you. It will take some training and reminding to have your family members look at the calendars first before asking you a question. Rome wasn’t built in a day and they have had the habit of going to mom/wife for “all the information” for years.
Once everyone gets the hang of it, it will empower them to know when their next practice or game is and it will allow you to have more brain space in in turn more energy.
Our current set up is for kids in middle school and high school that have access to their own phones, accounts and can read. We had a very simplified system when the kids were little and not reading just yet. It was once they went into elementary school that I took over as gate keeper of the calendar. Don’t make the same mistake as I did!
We used the magnetic calendar from Melissa and Doug. I LOVE their products and wish my kids could still use them! I would turn it into an activity that we did together. The boys would love to put the magnets on. Just make sure you pull only the magnets that you need for that month. Otherwise they may see a really exciting magnet choice and be disappointed that they don’t get to use it yet.
You could also use a paper calendar like the one linked above and use stickers or just draw pictures for the activities. This is also a great opportunity to start using site words just for fun.
So tell me in the comments! How do you keep your family in the know without constantly telling them what the upcoming activities are? Is my system too complicated? Do you use any of the same methods? I love hearing how others organize and plan!