Managing the Family Schedule Jen and John Speak

Managing the Family Schedule

With 3 kids, we have a lot of schedules to keep. Between playdates, birthday parties and after school activities, my business trips, church activities, and more, it can get overwhelming fast. John handles a lot of the day to day scheduling for the kids. I just try and make sure my work schedule makes it to the central calendar, so we can plan around it. Most of the moms we know in town know at this point that they shouldn’t ask me about scheduling playdates. I always refer them to John.

With so much going on, having a good system in place to keep track of everyone is essential. I won’t say we have the perfect system, but it works for us. It’s rare we miss anything (although we did miss the scheduled call from the teacher last night…coming back from a business trip, I was just sooo tired and plain forgot! Oops!)

Here’s what we do:

  • We have a family calendar hanging in the kitchen. Sports, playdates, parties, and other activities are all listed there.
  • I initially put travel in my computer’s calendar, but always add it to the family calendar as well.
  • Birthday party invites go on the fridge, under a heavy duty magnet. That way we can always find details/directions.
  • My travel itinerary goes in its own spot on the fridge. I always print out 2 copies, so that when it’s time for me to pack my bag I can grab one to go in my travel pack, while John has all the drop-off/pick-up info he needs within arm’s reach.

I’ve thought about creating a central calendar on Google Calendar, but haven’t gotten past trying to sync Outlook and Google Calendar. One of these days I’ll figure it out. J It is nice, however, to have a handy reference available without having to turn on a computer.

How do you manage the schedules in your house? Any handy tools or apps that you use? Would love to read your tips in the comments.

  • We’ve recently started using Google Calendar so my husband can log in at work and check and see how busy that week is before he makes changes to his schedule or adds anything extra. It’ll be nice if/ when I get a smart phone to be able to have my calendar at my fingertips without having to rely on my memory that is getting increasingly faulty as we add more and more outside activities. I used a Palm Pilot for years but our cell phone carrier didn’t support blackberries when they moved that way so I’ve been without for more years than I care to think about

  • WildtreeKate

    I just started using an app called Cozi. It’s free and members of your family can log in on computer or smart phone as well to view the calendar, shopping lists, etc. I’m still learning it but so far I like it. You can also send reminders to various family members through it which seems like a nice feature. 

  • Kpurcell197

    I truly LOVE technology — and all it has to offer. I’ve had my Palm pilots over the years, I’ve dabbled in Google calendar, etc. Bottom line, though, when it comes to calendars and scheduling, we are most successful with good, old-fashioned PAPER. We also have a central, family calendar hanging on the fridge. We have a Cozi account (LOVE the simplicity of their Droid app) which I use to set reminders but I don’t keep our complete calendar on it. My mantra now is “if it’s not on the calendar, it’s NOT gonna happen!” DH and I sit down – only takes a few minutes – a few times a month to update the central calendar and we each update our personal agendas we carry on a daily basis. Works for us!

  • Mary Armeli

    We started using Google calendar a little over a year ago. Since I usually have my computer on at home, access it not too much of an issue. I like that you can color code in a couple different ways whose events they are. The only weak link is getting hubby to check it regularly… hm, still working on that one.