How to Organize Your Family Calendar Like a Pro

Brought to you by Maple

Staying on top of your personal schedule is hard, managing the schedules of your entire family is much harder.

School events, appointments, kids activities, work schedules, family trips, holidays … a family calendar gets crowded very quickly, especially as your children get older and their responsibilities increase.

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Below are 5 tips for organizing your family calendar and getting everyone on the same page.

There’s no single hack that can lighten the mental burden of all of this chaos. Improving collaboration takes time, but can be unlocked!

1. ADD EVERY LITTLE THING TO YOUR CALENDAR

One common issue is keeping information scattered across many different places. Either by having multiple calendars and documents or by simply not writing down the details. While you may think that you don’t need to write down EVERY little detail, the truth is that your brain only has so much space each day. Input work calendars, school schedules, practices, appointments, family events, pickups/drop offs, as much as possible!

Keeping all of this information in one place is a major unlock. It will make sure that important events don’t get skipped. But more importantly, it can dramatically decrease your stress-level. That feeling that you’re “holding everything together” is real, and it’s because YOU are the central location of information. Of course, we recommend using the Maple Calendar to keep all of this information organized and visible for your entire household.

Maple

All-in-one household management app

Maple is an all-in-one household management app that keeps your home organized and working together. Free for all users, Maple enables families to plan, schedule, share lists, work together, and stay organized from anywhere.

Maple’s mission is to improve the quality of life for families. Managing a household is chaotic, and much of that responsibility often falls on a single primary caregiver. Maple helps families work together through better visibility, communication, accountability, and automation. Maple is the first tech product of its kind that is truly built for home management.

2. GET THE WHOLE FAMILY INVOLVED

The above doesn’t work until the whole family participates. That starts with getting your partner on your side. If that’s like pulling teeth at first, sit down and have an open conversation around your stress-level and need for a better process. If you have teens and pre-teens, hold them accountable for updating their schedules regularly. Once each member of the family is not just looking at the calendar, but ADDING and engaging with the calendar, now you are heading in the right direction.

Younger children can get involved too, even those that aren’t yet reading and writing. Get them involved in the discussion by explaining what events are happening today or throughout the week. This gets them excited for fun events and helps them think through little things like wearing the right clothes or being prepared to put down a toy/activity when it’s “time to go.”

baby crying - shaken baby syndrome prevention
baby crying - shaken baby syndrome prevention

3. INTEGRATE WORK AND HOME

Many of us are now working from home either part time or full time. While that can be a great opportunity, it can also create chaos and a need for boundaries. Take some time to work with your partner on a plan for the work day. For some families, a fluid “pass back and forth” process can work, but for others, creating pre-scheduled blocks of caretaking is more effective. Setting these expectations up front will improve communication and prevent frustration boiling up between partners.

Regardless which approach works for you, we highly recommend that partners give one another visibility into their work calendars. This can be done with Google Calendar or Maple (which directly integrates with your Google Calendar). This gives you the ability to see when your partner is exceedingly busy or may have a break.

4.ORGANIZE AND COLOR CODE YOUR SCHEDULE BY TOPIC

Organizing a household calendar is quite different from a work calendar, mostly due to variety. Throughout the month you’ll have all different types of events. We’ve found that the best way to solve this chaos is building the Maple App around topics. Topics are essentially folders that organize all of your household events, notes, and to-do lists in one place.

Create topics for important event types, things like medical appointments, kids activities or upcoming trips. This will help you break down your overwhelming calendar into smaller, manageable bits and know who needs to be involved in each item. It also allows you to better visualize your schedule by color coding each topic. Color coding has clear organizational benefits, from highlighting important events to focusing your children on the scheduled appointments that affect them.

5. CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR PARTNER

In the end, open, consistent communication between partners is the key to organizing your family schedule. Creating a positive space for communication can be done in a number of ways, but we often suggest the following. Set a monthly “meeting” to sit down with your partner and plan the upcoming 30-60 days in as much detail as possible at the time. Yes, things will get added and moved around throughout the month, but this gives a clear high-level picture of the weeks ahead. This also allows you to see the gaps in your calendar and prioritize fun things for the family.

In between those monthly meetings, a quick weekly catch-up is needed. This gives you a chance to reflect on what went well and what didn’t go well throughout the week, and make adjustments accordingly. Sunday evening is a great option, but to each their own. Find a cadence that works for your family!

If you’re interested in using technology to streamline your family calendar, find more information on Maple’s free app here

Maple

All-in-one household management app

Maple is an all-in-one household management app that keeps your home organized and working together. Free for all users, Maple enables families to plan, schedule, share lists, work together, and stay organized from anywhere.

Maple’s mission is to improve the quality of life for families. Managing a household is chaotic, and much of that responsibility often falls on a single primary caregiver. Maple helps families work together through better visibility, communication, accountability, and automation. Maple is the first tech product of its kind that is truly built for home management.

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American SPCC provides parenting education and support as the most effective way to support families and nurture children. The following resources are made possible through contributions by child and family advocates like you.

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How to Organize Your Family Calendar Like a Pro

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