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Get Organized! How to make the family calendar work

Frank Buck 2022

Frank Buck is the author of the books Get Organized! and Get Organized Digitally!

A new school year is a chance for a new start. It will be the year everything is organized, right?

This will be the year when we're "all on the same page" about events. Parents will always know what events the kids have, right? We're going to have a “family calendar” and we're all going to put our events on it!

And that family calendar is going to live (drum roll) on the refrigerator door! After all, that's been the treasured place in many households.

But there's one big problem with the 'calendar on the refrigerator’

You can't take it with you. The coach announces an additional practice. The player needs to add that to the calendar … now.

“Oh, I can remember that. When I get home, I’ll write it on the refrigerator calendar,” says Johnny. It’s the dirty lie we continue to tell ourselves. By the time Johnny gets home, thoughts of that additional practice are a million miles away.

Another event has just failed to make its way to the refrigerator calendar. Johnny is in trouble … again. Just like last year. So much for this being the year that things would be different.

Make that two problems

Let’s assume somehow everything is making its way to the calendar on the refrigerator. When it comes time to act on any of those events, where’s the reminder? Unless you spend your day in the kitchen, what’s on the refrigerator door doesn’t help much.

The reminders of where we’re supposed to be and the events that are impacting us need to be available to us regardless of where we are.

Share that Google Calendar

Mobile phones have become ubiquitous. We pay big bucks for them every month. Are we squeezing from them all the value we can? Let’s make them earn their keep.

If you have a Google account, you have a Google Calendar whether you have ever used it or not.

Each of us has the ability to share our calendars with the people of our choice. Our phones are with us all the time. Therefore, our Google Calendars are with us all the time as well. In fact, that Google Calendar is also available to us on our laptops or any other connected device.

Imagine Mom looking at the calendar on her phone and seeing information for herself, her husband, and every one of the children. She has a true “family calendar” in front of her no matter where she is. The cost? Not one penny more than what the family is already paying for those cell phones.

I wrote a post for my own blog that goes into much more depth than space here permits. It talks about making the “family calendar” from the perspective of the teen, the pre-teen, and the toddler. You’ll find it, complete with video, at frankbuck.org/family-calendar.

But what if phones are banned?

If Johnny can’t have a cell phone in class, then he brings an index card. Everything that comes

up gets written on that index card: homework assignments, test dates, events, etc. At the end of the day, Johnny has exactly one job. Handle the card. That’s when those future events get put on Johnny’s Google Calendar and all show up for his parents on their Google Calendars.

Maybe this year will be different

The refrigerator has the important job of keeping food cold, and it does that job well. When it comes to helping us keep up with our schedules, we need something more. This school year, let Google Calendar become the family calendar and help the entire family get on the same page.

Frank Buck is the author of the books Get Organized! and Get Organized Digitally! "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter: @DrFrankBuck.