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What Is the Best Type of Calendar for Busy Families?

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Laminated Wall Calendar at House of Doolittle

As busy families try to navigate their hectic schedules a calendar becomes more than a collection of days and dates. It can be an essential lifeline to help families stay organized and reduce a bit of stress while maneuvering through a sea of obligations and responsibilities for ourselves, spouses and partners, children, extended family, and caregivers.  

Many families tout the benefits of using a laminated wall calendar to keep track of all family information in one easy to access place, so everyone is up to date with daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. 

Everyone Participates 

The multiple functions of a wall calendar are only going to be effective as long as every household member has a role in keeping it updated. Explain to your family that its maintenance cannot fall on one family member, that is, mom or dad. Talk to the adults and children in your home and explain what the calendar will contain and that it will be a useful tool as everyone tries to keep up with their own schedules as well as others.  

Ask them for ideas or additions. Let everyone have some buy-in with the contents and functionality to help make the calendar a family task with all members having their own information to update. Discuss the placement and come to an agreement on the place in your home where everyone will see it at least a couple of times a day. A calendar out of sight is a calendar out of mind, therefore it will not help if that visual reminder doesn’t have a daily impact. Make sure you stress that this is a family responsibility, and everyone is accountable for updating the information. Keep in mind a few best practices to get started: 

• Choose a central location where everyone will see it, update it, and refer to it every day. The obvious choices will be the kitchen or family room. 

• Select a laminated wall calendar that is large enough to incorporate the daily and monthly scheduling items of all household members including mom, dad, spouse, and partners, children, other family members like grandma and grandpa, babysitters, nannies, and other caregivers.  

• Choose a calendar with visual impact. Use color-coding for each person with either erasable markers or stickers and allow everyone to choose their favorite color. Make sure all updates are legible and accurate. 

• Encourage everyone to include the important details: what, where, when, why, and with whom for anything that appears on the schedule. Mark the calendar if childcare or transportation are needed and note what family member will have that responsibility. 

• Include pertinent information like emergency contact names and phone numbers, as well as those for schools, doctors and dentists, vets, babysitters, neighbors, and non-emergency police and 911. 

• If there are little ones who can’t quite read, use photos or other images to indicate a phone number for mom and dad, babysitters, neighbors, or police.  

• Include special dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays as well as doctor and dentist appointments, and vet visits. 

• Keep track of school events like tests, projects, holiday breaks, field trips, bake sales, car-pooling, practices, games, and performances or concerts.  

• Keep track of professional events like meetings and conferences, especially if they involve travel. 

• Keep track of family events like various celebrations and vacations. 

wall calendar that everyone can see and use is beneficial for more things than just the obvious school and work obligations. It can also be used as a chore tracker reminding family members when the trash bins need to be wheeled to the street or whose turn it is to do the dishes.  

Meal planning can also become a lot easier when glancing at the wall calendar reminds everyone that Tuesday is taco night and Sunday morning is designated for pancakes.  

More serious responsibilities can be included when there are family members who have special needs like in-home health care or medication times.  

The Advantages of Physical Wall Calendars 

So many of us may be consumed with keeping our schedules organized online with a variety of digital tools. While in many ways there is the perception of convenience, using digital calendars can have drawbacks, especially when multiple family members need access to the same information. Little ones who cannot yet read or use digital tools like laptops or smartphones or older family members who are not quite savvy about technology pose a hindrance in ensuring everyone is up to date.  

Maximize the Use of Your Calendar 

We are all trying to become skilled at time management. This is challenging whether you are just one person or a large family juggling home, school, and professional lives. A visually appealing, laminated wall calendar is easy to use, adaptable, and accessible for all family members. The more organized and efficient everyone in the family becomes with the consistent use of a family calendar, the less likely there will be missed appointments, double bookings, and forgotten dates.  

But while you are adding reminders to the calendar make sure you schedule downtime. Blocks of family time when phones are turned off and screens are shut down may be the best addition to any part of your calendar. This will allow everyone to decompress and de-stress from schedules packed to the gills with activities and simply enjoy one another’s company.  

To learn more about laminated wall calendar options as well as other family planners and calendars check out a retailer who specializes in products that help you stay right on time.