Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Family Calendars

Let me start off by saying I'm a reluctant electronic calendar person.  I find it so much easier to open a book-like paper calendar, find the date I need, and note whatever commitment than I do powering up something electronic, logging in, and trying to decipher what time something might end and how do I get it to not repeat every Sunday for the next three years.  I also keep a large paper calendar (one of those desk blotter styles) on the frig, available at a moment's glance.  A tip from a girlfriend years ago still works today - each person has their own color ink on the calendar, which helps visually identify who's where.

But thanks to those other people in my house called children, I find myself now keeping an additional calendar, electronic to boot.  And surprise! - it's not that bad.  Because the Oldest is a typical plugged-in teenager, he can see the family's commitments before he tries to make his own, and my parents are included on the weekly email the system sends out so they can plan which of the kids' events they're attending.

I was using a different online system but switched to Google Calendar for two specific reasons.  The first?  The kids' teams and other groups we're involved with have calendars that upload right to Google Calendar so I don't have to type each individual event.  The second is the click-and-drag feature for blocking out time, which Google Calendar lets me do.  Doesn't sound like much, but anything to speed up the data entry process is fine with me.

So why still keep a paper calendar?  Because I've had too many situations where technology has failed me.  The system goes down, I mistakenly delete something, I need fast access - through 25 years in the business world, one major lesson I've learned is always have a backup in another format.

How do you manage your family calendar, and what format works best for you?

No comments: