The Digital Calendar! Yes, that’s it, that’s the answer. Let me tell you why.
If you want to spend time together as a family you need to get it on the calendar because it won’t happen by accident. Rarely do families drift into uninterrupted time together, it must be intentional. If you have more than one child and they are over the age of 10 then you have a dilemma. “How do I get everyone on the same “calendar” page?” Easy, go digital!
I have seen (and used) everything used from a piece of paper on the refrigerator–one piece of paper for each person in the family–to a digital calendar kept in the cloud and maintained by each family member on his or her own smart phone. The later is the best place for a family calendar!
Here Are 5 Reasons To Put Your Calendar In The Cloud
Reason #1: You Will Never Lose It
I know, never say never, right? There is always that one instance when someone loses his or her calendar online. However, with digital backups, Dropbox and cloud servers the chances that a digital calendar will be lost forever are slim to none. However, if you lose your paper calendar it’s lost for good.
Reason #2: You Can Print It
If you start with a digital calendar, you can always print what you have scheduled if you need to see it on paper or post it on the refrigerator. Any changes that you need to make can be entered on your digital calendar, and then the calendar can be reprinted.
Reason #3: You Can See It All...or Not
We have five individual calendars within one main calendar in our family. We can see each family member’s schedule individually or we can merge them to see everyone’s schedule on one master calendar. Each click of the button can change the view from all kids to just mom and dad. One-button ease of use is huge for managing a family with different schedules.
Reason #4: You Can Change the View
The calendar can be changed so that a single day, a week, a month, or an entire year can be viewed. With so much coming at a family on a daily basis, it’s helpful to be able to look at varying lengths of time for those plans that need to be made well head of time.
Reason #5: Everyone Can See It
As parents, it’s great to have the digital reins to the master family calendar. In a quick button click of a button, we can share appointments, family events and block off uninterrupted family time together and push those notifications and events to our kids’ calendars on their phones. Just make sure your kids understand that they must periodically check their calendars for changes and updates.
Once you put everyone’s schedule on one calendar you will begin to see when uninterrupted family times together can be added and what, if anything, needs to be removed to allow for those times. This may not be an easy thing to do, but start by deciding the answers to two questions.
First, what is most important to you and your family right now? (Dinner together? Game night? Eating out? Family fun night?) Whatever that is, put it on your calendar first because whatever gets scheduled usually gets done.
Second, what can you eliminate or stop doing right now? This is probably the more difficult of the two questions because someone in the family usually ends up sacrificing more than someone else, but sacrifice is always a difficult but necessary step in order to move toward time together.
The bottom line is that you have to schedule uninterrupted family times together, and you need to schedule those times in a way that works for your family–be it on a paper calendar or a digital one. But honestly, go digital, please!
There are several free calendar programs available online. I tossed a question out on Facebook asking if parents use a family calendar and, if so, which one. From the responses I received, here are the the top three calendars that were being used by the parents who responded.
Which calendar do you you use? Why is it the best for your family?