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How to create a simple family calendar that works

Categories: Etc.

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By Angella of Dutch Blitz and Committed: The Ties That Bond

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is in second grade, his brother is in Kindergarten (alternating full days of school) and their sister is on preschool two mornings a week. The boys have swimming lessons all winter and come spring there is baseball/soccer. My daughter has ballet on Saturday mornings and would be in swimming lessons except that when we brought her to her first class she completely LOST IT. We’ll put her in next year. Maybe.

I’ve recently returned to work full-time in an office and my husband works part-time hours around the kids’ school hours. In addition to work, he and I have date nights, fitness classes, church meetings and time spent with our friends. The week gets filled up at lightning speed.

Our system is nowhere near perfect but we do our best to map everything out and it takes a large chunk of the stress away. Here is what we’ve found works for us:

Sit down on the weekend and plan meals for the coming week

Pre-children, we would often fly by the seat of our pants when it came to meals and such. We’d call each other during the day, decide what we wanted for dinner and one of us would pick up groceries on the way home. This is an absolutely ridiculous idea if you have any kids and, well, if you do not have any kids. We do a meal plan (Much like what Sarah posted about last week), make a grocery list and do a “big shop” at the beginning of the week. Part-way through the week we do a “mini-shop” for fresh vegetables, etc.

Write out your schedule

Some people are purely digital when it comes to this but I feel more at peace when I can write out the details by hand and then cross them out.  My husband is back in the dark ages (Motorola Razr phone, three-year-old PC laptop, a Hotmail email account), so things may change when he catches up to the rest of the world. For now, we’re happy in the paper stage.

I love and adore and do not know how I lived without my Polestar calendar. It has columns for appointments, for meals and for home, as well as a myriad of other helpful boxes. Not only do I love seeing everything that is coming down the pipe, I love to look back and see all that we’ve accomplished.

Hang up a calendar for the whole world to see

We have a regular calendar but it is full of birthdays and anniversaries and whatnot. At the beginning of each month I print off an Outlook calendar and fill in the next month’s activities. It hangs in a prominent place where my husband and I can both access it. We’re not quite in the phase where our kids are in five different activities each (And do not strive to be there) but I have friends who have older kids who hand one of those huge wall calendars up and they used different colors/stickers to coordinate everyone. We’ll probably move to that as the kids get older and are more involved in activities.

Do you have any family calendar tips that work for you?



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One comment so far...

  • We use Jussle with our family calendar. This works great. It is a NEW software service that takes my schedules that come in email for my kids activities(soccer, karate, swimming) and puts them directly on our family calendar. We then can all see what is going one because we print it. It save me the time as I do not have to manually enter all the events… Totally saves my time and less stress ..

    kim Motogawa  |  January 26th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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