Family Calendars: Examples From Readers To Get Your Inspired
Family calendars are the focus of week #52 of the Organized Home Challenge, and as usual I asked for those who completed the challenge to show how they use or organize their family's organizing system.
Below I've got some examples from readers showing and explaining they use their calendars. I'm always looking for more examples too, so please show me how you've done it so we can all get inspired and motivated to create a system that works for our family.
Color Coded Family Calendar For Blended Family With 4 Teenagers
by Jennie Hunt
A colourful diary encourages the kids to use it
Jennie has shared her family calendar with me, and I have to say it looks beautiful and functional (the best of both worlds).
In our blended family we have 4 teenage girls from 13 to 17 and in any given week they are either home with me and my partner or at their other parents home.
It is a challenge to know what everyone has planned. The 2 eldest have work commitments too so a family diary helps keep everyone informed of who is where and when.
Thanks so much for sharing this calendar idea with us Jennie.
I like the idea of color coordinating like I can see from the picture you do with your kids and partner. If you've got lots of kids in your family, or other family members you're trying to coordinate then letting each family member have an assigned color can keep your system organized even at a glance.
We Use A Combo Of Paper Calendar With Highlighters And Online Family Calendar
In response to Jennie's color coordinated family diary system, Suzette shared how she does something similar, but with a twist.
We have coloured highlighters, including "kids with me" (yellow) and "kids without me" (orange), so that I can see where everybody is.
They are still young. I am now teaching my dd age 12 how to use cozi.com, so that she can enter her assignments into the calendar while still at school. Cozi works, in that everybody can pick up the info, but I am still emotionally connected to my daytimer and highlighters. Everybody, including friends, know that if it isn't put into my book, it isn't guaranteed.
The advantage of the Cozi version is that it can show me who is blocked out for what hours.
Thanks for sharing your system for family calendars too Suzette.
I have heard lots about Cozi, but had not tried it. It looks like it has some great characteristics and stuff for families though, and there is a mobile app for the iPhone and Android. Plus, the major thing I like about it is it is FREE!
Several readers have shared with me that they use Google calendars to keep their whole family organized.
HSS101 Reader says:
We've tried lots of methods over the years but have found the best for us at the moment is Google calendars.
We have one for hubby's work (he's on rotating shifts which gets confusing), one for meal plan, one for everything else (meetings, my work shifts, parties, appointments etc).
You can share the calendars with others, sync them to your phones and the ipad and show more than one calendar at a time.
Very useful and both hubby and I can see wherever we are whether we are free for an invitation, what needs to be cooked for dinner, etc.
Wendy White says:
I love using Google calendar as our family calendar.
As both my husband and I are on computers most of the time, it is easy to check in.
I did like your comments of the advantage of a paper calendar, so I print one week at a time from the Google calendar to post on the fridge so we can all check in easily.
It gives me the best of both without maintaining two calendars.
Google Calendars For The Win!
Another HSS101 reader stated: "We use google calendars too- couldn't live without it. I have 3 kids (19,17 & 13). I actually have about 20 google calendars (really categories) set up- one for each child, one for kids as a whole, family, school, my husband and I joint activities, meals, pets, etc. I give access to everyone for the calendars they need.
With my older children it has been a good way to train them to start to use a calendar because they have to put their sporting events, activities etc. on there....or they can't go. As a mom, and the "logistics manager" of this household, it is vital! :)"
Our Family Calendar: Combo Of Cozi, Dry Erase Calendar And Flylady Notebook
I am a HUGE fan of the Cozi.com site.
I started out doing the FLYlady stuff so I have what we call our family "Brain". I combined it with the Cozi.
I am able to keep track of my DH work schedule as well as my household schedule. My hubby and I are foster parents (waiting for a placement) so the Cozi and "Brain" will be SO helpful.
I also have a dry erase calendar board that has everything on it too.
I know this sounds like over kill but my hubby has had 6 brain injuries (due to a trucking accident in '02) that has messed up his short term memory.
Thanks Becky for sharing your system. It does sound elaborate, but you know what, you've got to do what works.
I'm not a fan of doing organizing tasks just to do them, but when they are actually necessary it is good to come up with a system that gets the job done, and with your husband's memory it sounds like this works really well for you guys.
Meg Combines Cozi & A Wall Calendar As Well
Meg says: I, too, use both Cozi and a wall calendar. I need a space to write things down at home, and to check quickly, like if someone calls to make plans.
But, I also use Cozi so that when I'm out and about, I have that available on my phone. And my husband can make any changes. Sometimes, his work schedule will change, or maybe his work will give us baseball tickets. He can just check our calendar, then put it in!
Also works for the grocery list, too. He will add stuff while at work, and I can see it. Love Cozi!
Cozi Account Gives My Husband Updates For Our Family Calendar
Jennifer also shared how she uses Cozi for at least part of her family's calendar.
Sadly, here we are a full week into February 2012 and I still haven't picked up a calendar.
And even sadder...my husband hasn't missed the calendar.
I have not done a good job of getting him on board. We do have a Cozi account and he gets updates whether he likes them or not :) So hopefully he will start being on the same page with me soon.
Jennifer, I know it can be hard to use a calendaring system for your family when not everyone sees its necessity.
However, don't get down on yourself. There are many advantages to having an online calendar, such as what you've mentioned about getting email updates regularly. Perhaps you can just build on the system you've got, and go from there!
Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect - just do what it is supposed to do, keep you and your family on track with work, school and family activities.
As you can see there are lots of reviews of the Cozi app for organizing and using your family calendars on the go. You can check out the great organizing apps recommended in the HSS101 App Store for more ideas of things you can use today on your smart phone, whether you've got an Apple or Android model.
Have You Been Inspired To Start Your Family Calendar?
I hope these ideas have gotten you inspired to begin a family calendaring system of your own.
As you can see, there is no one right way to do it. Instead, use what works for your whole family, and just get started.
You can learn more in the Create A Family Calendar Challenge, which is part of the 52 Week to an Organized Home Challenge. That article shares all the steps to take to set up your own system.
Once you've taken this challenge make sure to take pictures of your new calendar system, and share them with me here for the Home Organization Hall of Fame!
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