Now that we’re all back into the routines of school and juggling the varying demands of extramural activities, work and personal commitments, we wondered…how do families stay on track and make sure they don’t miss out on anything?
When we asked the question on our Facebook page and Twitter profile, most responses from readers leant on the use of technology and the convenience of having digital calendars (while a few of you still enjoy the paper diary setup, which works well too!) So, we thought we’d jot down a few suggestions on how to choose the calendar set up that works for you!
How to choose the right kind of calendar app for your family
There’s a wide range of calendar and diary-like apps out there, but figuring out which one is right for your purposes can take some trial and error. These are the main questions we ask about calendar and diary apps:
- Do you need an app that can share a calendar across users?
- Do you need an app that can be synchronized with multiple devices? This is especially important for people who are on the move a lot!
- Will your kids need access to it and, if so, is it simple enough for small kids to use and update?
- Does adding tasks or events to the calendar app take an age and many clicks, or are there one-click functions built in to the system that make it easy for you to update events easily?
- And lastly, integration! Can the app easily synchronise to other applications like your email account calendar or school calendar system?
So, with those questions in mind, our Big Cheese Editor in Chief, Stacey Vee, recommends “A shared Google Calendar for me. Work stuff in blue. Family stuff in purple. Birthdays and anniversaries in green. “ Colour coding helps a lot when you need to stay on top of things at a glance!
As for other apps we’ve found, there’s Cozi. Cozi is more like an ecosystem than a calendar as it works to integrate all facets of family life, including the grocery lists and meal plans! Cozi is free and really quite fascinating to use.
We’ve heard a lot about Wunderlist over the past year or so and, really, it’s a great tool, not only for list making and diary functions but for note taking too.
Famjama – we hadn’t heard about this one until we started digging around for apps to include and, well, we’re impressed! Famjama gives parents administrative control and enables profiles to be created. Famjama would also work well in professional team setups too! There’s a great little alert system that lets you “blast a message” to specific groups and members too.
But, sometimes the tech-focused solution isn’t the best solution for everyone. As reader Belinda pointed out, she keeps “A daily (paper!) diary for my personal to-do list. And a weekly planner on the fridge from with all family’s commitments”. We’ve also read about people devoting a wall in their lounge to a whiteboard or turning a kitchen wall into a chalkboard to keep tabs on events and lists!
What works best for your family?