Keeping the family calendar updated for my family can be a full-time job. In college, I worked as an Administrative Assistant for an entire department and that schedule was nothing compared to the schedule for my family. But I do manage to get everyone where they need to be on time, most of the time. This is a sponsored post.
Family Calendar Planning Tips
Throughout the years, I’ve found a few family calendar planning tricks that may seem like added work, but in the end save me a lot of time.
1. School Schedules. At the beginning of the school year, when everyone brings home their schedules for the year, I add everything to both my online and my desktop family calendar. I add the days off and exam schedules to the year at-a-glance calendar. This makes it very easy when trying to schedule trips or even doctor appointments 6 months in advance.
2. Travel Schedules. Each year, I add my husbands holidays and travel schedule to our family calendar. I add my tentative travel schedule to the family calendar and I send it to my husband.
Tip to work conferences into your busy year. Each year, there are conferences that I hope to attend. If I add it to the family calendar as soon as I know about it, then it is more likely to happen. If my husband is planning a business trip and he sees my conference on his schedule, he will call me to see if that is “really” happening or can he schedule his trip.
3. Kid’s Activities Schedules. Add all of the weekly activities to your family calendar. Even though dance may happen every week from 5:00 – 6:00 pm on Monday, if it isn’t on the calendar, you may double book something.
4. Vacations. Try to pick one week that is your sacred vacation week on your family calendar every year. For us, it is the week after the kids get out of school which also happens to be the week after my husband annual trade show. We don’t always go out-of-town, but we do not schedule any other activities that week. We know that week is available every year if we choose to take a vacation.
5. Write EVERYTHING Down Immediately. And I mean everything. When you are at the doctor’s office and scheduling an appointment for 2 weeks out, be sure you get written confirmation of the appointment. I will also put it into my online calendar when I’m standing in the office.
6. Schedule Planning Time. I do this on a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily basis. My big family calendar planning sessions happen yearly and monthly. I take time out to look at the big picture and this is when I do some goal setting personally, for the family and for my business. Each week I take some “me time,” to plan my week with the family calendar. A little tea, nice music and my calendars really starts my week out right. Then each morning before I start working, I look at my calendar for the day.
7. Schedule Your To Do List. It helps to write down the obvious and the simple tasks in your family calendar. My kids all have birthday parties to attend and I was always forgetting to buy the birthday present. I started adding in “Buy birthday present” into my To Do List for the Monday before the birthday party. Now when I look at the schedule for the week, I see that task.
8. Be Flexible. No matter how hard you try to schedule your life and keep everyone organized, stuff happens. Don’t fret about it. If you miss something, reschedule and move on. The family calendar must be flexible to keep up with most families. That’s why I write a lot of my appointments in pencil. Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays are the only things written in pen on my family calendar.
9. Sticky Notes. I put them everywhere I need a reminder…..in my car, my bathroom mirror, computer monitor, purse and kid’s doors. Sticky notes are a Mom’s best friend. You can buy them in so many different colors and shapes now so they look quite pretty too.
#1 Family Calendar Planning Tip
This last tip is probably the most important one to keeping the entire family organized and on time.
10. Keep Everyone Informed! I started telling my kids about everything that was going to happen when my oldest son was very young. I realized the more information he had about the upcoming events, the smoother the event went. Now it is just habit. I make sure that everyone knows about activities that are coming up well in advance. Having a family calendar for planning somewhere in your kitchen where everyone can see it is also very helpful.
The goal of my planning is to keep the stress level down in my family. We have a rule, “If it’s not on the calendar, I don’t know about it.” I started doing all of this early on so it’s been a very natural part of our family. I notice that my kids do a lot of planning without even thinking about it.
Disclosure: As a member of the momAgenda COMM team, I am compensated in exchange for my participation on the team which includes writing articles like this one. All opinions are 100% my own.
Let’s Talk About Family Calendars! Do you have a family calendar? Any other tips for keeping a family calendar?