technology

The Greatest Family Invention Ever!

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?

Relationships Matter

Last year I attended a hackathon where a developer showed me a mobile application he was building for the homeless community. I challenged him to instead use a marker and paper to sketch his ideas and walk across the street a homeless shelter to test his basic assumptions directly with the people it would most affect. Not sure if he would take me up on the challenge, I was pleasantly surprised when an hour later he returned with key insights and a profound joy from the interactions.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
— Ephesians 2:10

Sometimes we hinder our best efforts to help others by over-intellectualizing a solution when we should be directly engaging our communities in true, authentic relationships. "Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them." (Romans 12:9) Yes, God placed you here specifically with works that He prepared in advance for you to do (Ephesians 2:10), just remember that the greatest gift you can offer is to is to be present and alert (Isaiah 43:19) to that work by engaging in direct relationship within the environments God has strategically positioned you.

If you are involved in technology and entrepreneurship here in Silicon Valley, this is not by chance. I invite you to to join us for <analog> , every fourth Thursday in Venture's coffee house,  we will be building relationships to encourage and empower each other to become more directly active in our communities. On September 23-25 Venture is hosting a Bay Area Code for the Kingdom Hackathon, where we will all have the opportunity to engage our skills and talents directly to building technology solutions that impact our local region. I truly hope you will join us! Click here for more information.

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Marc Krejci
Pastor of Innovation