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.