Calming the Chaos: Calendar Options for Busy Families



When my husband and I had our son, our lives went from five to ten on the busy scale. All of a sudden we were not only juggling the responsibilities of dual careers, home ownership, family and friends, but also daycare, babysitters, doctor’s appointments, play dates, meal planning, and so much more.

There’s a lot to keep track of as your family grows and each year it seems to get more complicated. I quickly realized I needed a reliable way to keep my family organized and myself sane. There are a ton of great calendar options out there, ranging from the latest and greatest family scheduling apps to tried and true paper or whiteboard calendars that you can hang in the kitchen.

If you’re feeling disorganized or are just interested in a better way to keep track of your family’s comings and goings, here are some of the things that work best for various FCMB contributor mamas who are among some of the busiest mamas that I know! 

Family calendar apps 

There are so many possibilites here. I have used Cozi on and off for years and love that I can also use the app for list management (hello, shared grocery list!) and it’s also print-friendly for those days when I just need to have something in hand. Hub is also a popular app that many families use and people rave about the group to-do lists, the ability to assign tasks to others, and how collaborative it is, especially for families with older, tech savvy children. Family Wall takes it one step further and offers the ability to privately and securely share photos and videos with other users/family members. 

Shared electronic calendars 

The most popular among FCMB contributors are Google Calendar (free with a Gmail account) and iCal (for Apple users). You can set up multiple shared calendars, grant other people access and/or notify them of events, set recurring events and so much more. Many FCMB mamas go the extra step to print out their electronic calendars and hang them in a central area in their home to serve as a visual reminder and for quick reference. 

Old school whiteboards/paper calendars

Even the most tech savy FCMB contributors rely on tried and true dry erase whiteboards and/or paper calendars. We’re talking color coding by family member, weekly dinner menus, chore charts, homework checklists and more. This can be great for the kids to follow along when they are old enough (no more asking “What’s for dinner?” 500 times – check the calendar!) Also it’s helpful for other caretakers and helpers to stay in the loop.

Many FCMB contributors also keep track of work or personal commitments using their own personal planners from companies like Emily Ley, Plum Paper, Erin Condren, among other great options. Sometimes you just need to write things down! 

These are just a few options. We’d love to hear about your favorite way of keeping your family organized. Share what works for you in the comments! 


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