Monday, January 30, 2012

The Family Calendar

When I was in college, my brain and a fun planner were how I generally kept things straight.  When I started working with college students in my vocation I had electronic devices at my finger tips that let me know where I needed to be and when.  Oddly, I would default to paper when those electronic devices didn't deliver quite what I was looking for in a planner.  Then for the last four or five years I have gone back and forth trying to figure out what works best for me in tracking with our household.

A regular spiral bound planner didn't always work well for me because I wanted to see the whole month at one time and the need for it to be on the counter at all times so I could look at it when needed.

A wall calendar that I could put in a central location.  While that generally worked well I always had to find one that had large boxes.  Of course, it had to be pretty, too.  Those two requirements limited me... a lot!

My smart phone.  I know people LOVE this option.  Nope.  Not me.


I am a paper girl.  Much to the chagrin of my all-things-electronic, software engineering husband.  I love how paper feels and looks.  Call me old fashioned, I'm okay with that.  I have learned to embrace my old soul.  I can usually remember things better in my noggin if I have actually written it down.  Sometimes, it takes more than once. ha!

So, what is the happy medium for this mama of three littles (two in diapers)?

I have found that a combination of Amy Knapp's Big Grid Family Organizer and my smart phone do a pretty good job...for now.
  • It's big!  Plenty of space for me to write (and it's lined!)
  • Extra space to write notes for the month.
  • Designated area for dinner meal plan.
  • It beings in August and goes to December of the following year -- plenty of space to plan ahead.
  • It's pretty enough for the season that we are in and I can doodle if I am feeling really creative.
  • Spiral bound so I can put it up and take it down as much as I like to update, etc with minimal wear and tear.
My smart phone acts as a reminder system for me.  I update it when new things go on the family calendar.  It's also helpful to have when we are out and so-and-so wants to know if we can do dinner or whatever on a particular evening.  I don't have to make room for a planner in my already full diaper bag... I just need to remember my phone.  My husband will tell you that is a feat in and of itself!  So, it's helpful in that regard.

I had it color coded for each person but my children like to abscond with my pens.  Even when I try to keep them in one particular place.  However, I admit sometimes I leave them in a wrong place from time to time.  Anyway, I think now I just go with what ever color I can find that pops.  I also keep this in my pantry.  It's the most central place for me and I can hide it, too!
I realize that I will have to do more specific meal planning for lunches in the near future when there are four of us to think about (5 on the weekends and for breakfast and dinner) and it will be harder to just pull it all together split second.  I will need to think through snacks items to have on hand, etc.  The calendar doesn't accommodate that now but I have some time to think through other options.  Meal plans significantly reduce my stress level for sure!

Anyway, things may will change and I am sure at some point and so will my style of planning.  Maybe.  I am looking at some other of Knapp's products to see if they fit with how things will change.

What do you use for a family calendar?

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