Work Your Calendar

Today’s list: kids, work, school, homework, school events, sports practice, games, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, family time, friend time, me time, special events, vacations, house cleaning… the list seems never ending… because it is!

EVERYONE is busy these days, especially if you work and have kids. It can be stressful! So to minimize the stress, and make sure I have time for MOST things on my “To Do’ List, I keep a calendar. Not just ONE calendar. Three calendars. Does this seem redundant? It may be for some, but it works for me. And that is REALLY the key to being organized: finding a system that works for YOU!

I often work with kids in middle school, high school and college, on ways they can organize their school work. (Click here to learn more about the Student Organization and Study Skills Program: We work together to discover a system that will work best for them. Just as each student is different, with different needs and preferences, each student’s organizational systems are unique too. The same goes for the rest of us. Are you a techie and use your computer and apps every day? Or are you a “write-it-down” kind of person who needs to see it on a post-it note?

I am BOTH! I use a computer calendar software program AND a hand written calendar. There are many free software programs available online or you can purchase one. Do some research and find one that fits your needs. I prefer a simple program, but you can get one with all the bells and whistles.

Calendar software lets you plan, manage, and schedule appointments, meetings, birthdays, vacations, special events, doctor appointments and more. View and print all your events in a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly overview. These programs also allow you to generate single or recurring events and tasks and set reminders for upcoming events. Put a birthday in ONCE and it will be on my calendar every year! Color-coding different item types provides another level of organization. This is how I color-code my calendar: work is green, tutoring is orange, sporting events are red, birthdays are pink and important items are marked in yellow. This shows me at a glance what is scheduled on any given day. You can customize this and add categories as well

You can also create your own calendar in Google. Whichever calendar program you choose, just make sure it is one you will USE. This link will give you a review of some of the top calendars for 2014: Some programs allow you to synchronize your calendar data with Google Calendar or your mobile device. If you are interested in a calendar app check out this site for 10 of the best iOS apps:

Once you pick your perfect calendar system, it’s time to get started. First I type all my events into the calendar. The “recurring event” feature makes this an easy process! Then I print out a monthly copy to keep on the side of my refrigerator. I also write down a weekly calendar on a silicone dry erase planner that sticks to the front of my stainless steel refrigerator. I color code this as well and add a menu at the bottom of each day in blue. This way I can see my week and days including meals at a glance. Finally, since I am a post-it note girl, I write reminders on a post-it note for things like a doctor’s appointment or client meeting, and put these on my countertop.

Time & Money Saving Tips:

Make a menu for the week right after you return from the grocery! This will remind you to dethaw things in advance give you a head start in getting all your ingredients ready the night before. Dinner can be a hectic time. Eliminate stress by planning ahead! You can get great crock-pot recipes online. Make a master grocery list for a variety of one pot meals. Spend ONE day preparing all the ingredients then place each meal in individual freezer bags with directions for cooking and freeze! In the morning, just pull out the bag of your choice and cook as directed in the crock-pot. Dinner will be ready when you get home!

My calendars and post-it notes are in my kitchen because that is the room and area I use the most. It is my Family Command Center. Find YOUR Command Center and Calendar System and take control of your family’s schedule. Then share your plan and ideas with us!

To view example and pictures of my calendar system visit at

Now, if I could just hire a personal assistant to do the grocery shopping…

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