Keeping track of appointments, school projects, sports games, and outings is tricky to manage with a large family. Here’s my low-tech way to keep organized.
But wait – why low-tech? Sounds crazy, right? I’ve tried different tech apps and found this method to be most effective in the past year. I’m sticking with it! With these steps, every family member can be informed instead of always asking mom.
All you need is 1 wall calendar, 1 book calendar and 30 mins each week.
- Wall Calendar I write in all appointments, activities, and due dates for projects on the wall calendar. This calendar hangs on a visible wall but moves to the kitchen table whenever needed. When we started to move the calendar around, it became easier for everyone in the family to write in their activities. I no longer hear, “Mom, can we go to or do (blah, blah, blah)?” The kids now understand activities on the calendar take priority. They’re learning when and how to plan around those commitments.
- Book Calendar I use a book-style calendar for budget planning & bookkeeping. It correlates to the wall calendar but is more specific to activities that require purchases and travel arrangements. There are many tech apps for this but the main reason it worked so well for me is the simple act of writing it down. The manual process of budget planning, writing my expectations, seeing our needs and wants for the year made the commitment real. With diligence, I was able to save money consistently last year. Something I’ve struggled with for years! Now I have “Money Dates” (great tip from Brittney Castro of Financially Wise Women) with my book calendar.
- Weekly reviews Initially setting up a year worth of activities and budget planning can take some time but once you have then all you’ll need is about 30 minutes for weekly reviews to stay on track. I generally do this on Thursdays. Choose a time that works for you and stick to it!
Bonus low-tech tip I tear off each month from the wall calendar and fold in receipts from that month. At the end of the year, I can easily categorize all receipts needed for tax purposes.
With these super low-tech steps have kept our family on track effectively this past year. I’m able plan ahead and save for fun trips which is one of my goals for this year. This month, I’m looking forward to spending time with my husband at the Lodi Wine and Chocolate Festival then later a family trip to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield.
How are you managing your busy family? Are you planning for family trips and quality time? I’d love to hear about it!