Happy Wednesday! The Let’s Look linkup is back for 2023 and I am pumped. I am so curious about how other people do things. I have been listening to so many podcast episodes about goal setting, planning the year, and getting a fresh start. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed by all the goals and intentions, but I have been inspired! I just love hearing how people do everything. I keep thinking there is a better, easier, or smarter way out there.
Last year, I started strong and then skipped a few months in the middle of the year. I got back to posting to finish up the year. This year’s topics look fun and I am hoping to stick to the schedule.
Today’s topic is scheduling and organizing a busy family. This is right up my alley! I love to be on the go and our boys are involved in quite a few activities. Our elementary school day ended at 2:15, my teacher day ended at 2:45, and we got home at 2:53 every day. The kids’ bedtime was between 7:30 and 8 pm. That left me with 2 high energy kids and 5 hours to fill every afternoon. I managed to sign the boys up for a seasonal sport AND year round swimming to fill the time and wear them out. It was great, and it still is great but we are busy!
I have four tools that keep us organized. These two are my main workhorses: my Erin Condren Life Planner and a notepad from Homegoods.
I have absolutely no desire to move to an electronic calendar. I don’t want an app or website because I love my paper planner. I have been using a paper planner for over 20 years. I started using one in high school and really fell in love with paper planners in college. I’ve bounced around in a few planners and found the Erin Condren Vertical Weekly planner. It is really a great fit for our family. Here’s how I use it.
I use the four sections for during school hours, evenings, extras, and habit tracking. We each have our own colors and a typical week looks like that. Jeff and I have calendar meetings once a week or once every ten days to make sure we are on the same page for everything. It is a little heavy, but I carry that planner with me EVERYWHERE! I usually even have it in my car at the pool in the summer.
My second most used tool is that notepad. My friend Sandra gave me my first one a few years ago and I realized it was exactly what I needed! The lines are perfectly spaced, the front and back cover are quite durable, and there are a lot of pages in the notepad. It also fits perfectly in my purse. I think this is my third one.
I always have a To Do list running on this note pad. I also use it to meal plan and make a grocery list each weekend. They are from the Homegoods checkout maze. You know what I am talking about, the maze of things they make you walk through to get to the registers. 😉
My third tool is electronic. I know I said I would never use an electronic calendar, but these apps are a major fixture in scheduling our family.
Team Snap, On Deck, Sports Engine, Swimtopia, and Golf Genius keep me on track. Coaches share schedules through these apps exclusively. Not a day goes by where I don’t have multiple notifications from this part of my phone screen. Jack has the apps for his activities on his phone so he is responsible for knowing what’s happening, too.
The final spot for our family organization is on the refrigerator. I bought this magnetic dry erase calendar four years ago and it is fantastic. Each Sunday evening, I put it all together here. We each have our own color and dinner is listed at the bottom of each day.
I recently decided that it would make more sense for our family to have a calendar that started on Monday. I made labels and modified the calendar. It’s been a great change!
I do use a 12 week one page calendar to plan our summer vacations and kids’ activities too. I use the website, www.pdfcalendar.com, to print that out. It’s quick and easy, folds in half, and I tuck it in my Erin Condren planner.
There is a look at how we schedule and organize our family schedule. I can’t wait to see how other people do it. Hopefully I learn something new! Have a great day full of sunshine and books!