Calendars and to-do list systems are the challenge this week for the Mom of 6 Boot Camp bloggers. The question is does what I have really work for me? For the most part, it does, though I’m seeing the need to simplify my system a little. At the same time, I’m always mindful of the cost of implementing new systems and whether or not they’re green.
I use Google Calendar (free!) and a paper wall calendar and a MomAgenda planner for my family’s calendar. I have separate color-coded calendars in Google Calendar for each of the kids, myself, my husband, and the activities we participate in. Up until this month, I would access the calendar on my smartphone or my laptop. Thanks to my mom, I have an iPad on which I can access my Google calendar. I love the bigger size of the iPad which was the drawback for entering dates on my smartphone.
The paper wall calendar is a blank one that I bought at Staples for about $20. Not only do we have our family calendar on it, we also have a schedule for who chooses tv shows, who’s setting the table, and who gets to use the computer. My kids and my husband rely on the wall calendar even though my husband has access to the Google calendar. In addition, because of my smartphone issue, I started carrying a MomAgenda calendar ($20) with me to appointments.
Sharon challenged me this week to look at my system and decided if I needed all these calendars. The truth is I don’t. I hadn’t realized that my MomAgenda calendar was redundant until she pointed it out. I could drop the wall calendar and print out my Google calendar. I’m not happy with how the Google calendars print out, and everyone’s comfortable with the wall calendar.
My To-do List
Last year, I started keeping my to-do lists, and basically all of my life as mom and blogger in Evernote (free app!). I can create checklists, save pdfs, email notes, and clip web pages or parts of a page to Evernote. I set up a Getting Things Done system in Evernote for doing weekly reviews.
This spring, I started using Nozbe (free to start) with Evernote which improved my ability to stay on top of my to-do-lists. Nozbe works like a dated reminder system, and can link up Evernote notes if I tag the notes in Evernote. I have access to Nozbe everywhere, just like Evernote. Because I needed to have multiple projects in Nozbe, including my 2 blogs, I upgraded to the paid version which is $7.50/month or $89.95 for the year.
Now that I have an iPad (Thanks, Mom!), I feel like a million bucks. The iPad sits on the kitchen counter next to my housekeeping planner (yes, Sharon, I should integrate that into my to-do list system!). Any time I need to type a note, add to our grocery list, or check Nozbe, I can. I can also bring the iPad with me for making appointments or anything else I need while out. Thanks to a tip from Prerna of The Mom Writes, I pulled out my Thirty-One totebag to bring the iPad and other items with me, like a mom briefcase. The totebag sits by the back door where I can grab it on the way out the door.
For more ways to handle calendars and to-do list systems for busy families, check out Mom of 6’s Get Organized Boot Camp.