Most modern families juggle multiple schedules for work, home, and school.  We find ourselves running to get everything done and everyone there on time.  Here are a few tips for keeping track of everyone's busy schedules.

Write it Down
  • We can't emphasize this tip enough - the key to gaining control is writing everything down.  We recommend a master calendar, prominently displayed in a central hallway, the kitchen or the family room.  Make sure this calendar has plenty of room to write and is easy to update.
  • Write entries in pencil instead of ink.  This makes updating easy.
  • Give everyone a tool for communicating new calendar entries, like a Notes section on the calendar, a dry erase board, or self-adhesive notes.  This keeps scheduling items where you need them.
  • Don't rely on memory!  You have too much going on to remember if the appointment was on the 9th at 11:00 or on the 11th at 9:00.
Organize and Update Regularly
  • Update your calendar regularly, at least once a week.  Sit down when you don't feel rushed.  Review new entries.  Write everything on the master calendar.
  • Transfer repeating entries to next week or next month.
  • Some calendars feature repositionable, color-coded stickers for each family member.  This makes it easy for each person to quickly scan and see what's coming up.
Set and Keep Due Dates
  • If your daughter needs a permission slip turned in on Monday, highlight this deadline so you can complete it on time.  Same goes for paying bills and returning RSVPs.
  • Set interim dates.  This is especially useful for big projects or events.  Planning a party?  Set dates for sending invitations, setting the menu, shopping, decorating, and cleaning.
  • A pocket folder new your calendar helps you keep paperwork where you need it -- store it and work on it in due date order so you don't miss a deadline.
Make Time for Family Fun!
  • Use your calendar to "schedule" downtime for your family.  The kids can help with this one -- ask them to take the lead to plan a meal, organize game night, or schedule a nature hike.  This encourages responsible planning and ensures participation.