Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WFMW: Using Google Calendar for Family Organization

I know I already wrote, once, about using Google Documents to manage your grocery list. I guess if I do WFMW much longer, it's going to become clear that I'm totally Googlified. My whole life revolves around my Google stuff, and if they ever take it away, I will be lost. LOST!

Anyway, in Google Calendar you can set up an infinite number of calendars (at least, I haven't reached the limit yet!), so why not set one up for each kid, color code them, and put each kid's activities into their own calendar? Share it with Dad, and get him to put his work calendar in there too, on its own color. Poof! Suddenly you have color coded calendars for everyone, that you can use to keep yourself from losing your mind! Dad never misses another soccer game, because he can access the schedule from work.

My kids are small, so mainly I put doctor visits and trips to the infant labs at the local university (where they are lab rats every once in a while, to earn books - too fun!). When they have a doctor's visit, I put their height and weight in the notes on that appointment, so the next time I need their weight, I can just go into the last appointment and find their most recent measurements. If I get a new dose for Tylenol or Motrin or any other medication, I put that in there too, so I don't have to remember it. As they grow, I'll already be used to using this system. It will adapt to (and we won't get overwhelmed by) new responsibilities once they're in school and sports and lessons and everything else. Nothing irritates me more than having to find a new "system."

But wait, there's more! Why limit yourself to activities? Set up a separate calendar for your meal planning, and put each day's menu, color coded, into your main calendar. No more, "What's for dinner, Mom?" because everyone knows. Set up another calendar for due dates - put the date that you need to return library books, videos, borrowed items from friends, etc. into that calendar, so you don't forget and incur late fees. Set up a calendar for the due dates of your bills. Set up another calendar with kid-friendly local activities, so you never miss another fair or festival. There are a million possibilities.

After using GCal for a while, now, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to a paper calendar again. It is just too convenient. Being able to access it from anywhere is amazingly convenient. The e-mailed reminders are a lifesaver. I seriously don't know what I would do without it!

If you're here for WFMW, don't miss my other WFMW posts:

How to save a zillion dollars with the Magic Bullet.
How to quickly cool Mac & Cheese.
How to soothe a teething baby without whiskey - oops! I mean Tylenol.
How to do Time Outs correctly.
How to improvise a changing table.
How to get a baby and a toddler into the car.
How to keep your house decluttered with an old waitressing mantra.
How to find a great baby sling.
How to manage your grocery list online.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon!

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips!


ellen b said...

You go with your google girl! :)
I was cracking up on your comment on my blog about spearmint. I actually considered leaving that part of the article out...

Robin said...

I'll have to check this out! Thanks for the tip.