One of the first places that we need to get #RealOrganized as moms is our calendar and our family calendar. Today, we are going to start getting our home and family more organized by clearing the fog of not knowing who has what going on by getting our calendars organized. I've also got a feature rich and pretty printable calendar for you. 🙂
This post is part of my #RealOrganized series. If you want the whole series, just click the graphic below or you can click here to sign up to have each week of this series and all the freebies directly emailed to you. The goal of this series is for you to be able to organize some of the things that as moms, we have to deal with on a yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily basis. By getting these things organized we can free up time in our week as well as space in our homes and minds. The main goal is to feel more organized and less clouded as moms so we can find time and space to spend with our family as well as do things we love and find fulfilling.
So, let's get going with this week's project. Let's get our calendars organized! I know, you probably aren't super excited and cheering about this, but I'm telling you, it is the perfect place to start!
There were times in my life that I felt like I was in a fog and wasn't sure who had what activity going on. It was stressful. Like the Saturday morning we were chilling in our PJ's as a family and I got a phone call asking when we were coming to the Girl Scout event that had already started. Panic! I hate that feeling and I hate the feeling of coming off like a complete ditz. Not that everyone who misses things feels panic or is a ditz, but it is how I feel. I knew I needed to figure something out so that I could stop missing things and messing things up and feel good about taking charge of my family calendar.
I knew I needed to figure something out so that I could stop missing things and messing things up and feel good about taking charge of my family calendar.
Over the years, I've tried a lot of things to keep up with all 4 of our schedules. I've tried digital and paper and everything you can think of. I've come up with what works for me so that I am generally prepared and know what everyone is doing and where we all need to be. That is what I'm going to share with you.
I highly recommend a printable planner. I know that digital is the way most people are moving, but there is just something about having a paper version so that anyone in your family can reference it, it just seems to work better. I do use a combo of digital and paper, but I just couldn't do without my paper planner.
You can use any calendar or planner that you prefer, however, I've created my own planners and they go perfectly with everything you are going to learn in my #RealOrganized series. They have things that other planners don't, like places to plan meals and keep track of bills, etc. I think you are going to love them! (And if you sign up for me #RealOrganized series, you get yours free!!)
First up in getting a grip on your family calendar is to map out the important events for the year. I've got a free important dates planner for you. So, grab that below and print it off. Then just take a few minutes and add all of the important dates that you don't want to forget for the year.
By having this all on one sheet, it makes it easy to glance at it and keep up with what is to come for each month.
Now, take those important dates and place them on your monthly calendar.
I like to add all of my important dates in pen because they aren't going to change. Everything else I add to my calendar in pencil because things change all the time at my house and I'm sure your house is no different.
Next, you need to tackle this month. Do this by adding all of your weekly commitments to the calendar. Do this in pencil as sometimes things change.
If you have the time, add those onto the calendar for as far out as you know you will be going to those weekly commitments. If you don't have time now, add a time to your calendar to come back and work on adding more.
Now pat yourself on the back! You have a great view of your upcoming month. Of course, I'm sure it will change some, but you have a great view. It will help keep you on track with what needs to be done, schedules that have to be altered or things you need to remember to buy for that upcoming event.
Add in any additional none recurring appointments for the month. You can easily make them stand out with the washi tape or stickers. You can also make your special dates stand out using the stickers or washi tape.
If you have time, I recommend that you add any and all appointments to your digital calendar at this time as well. I know it may seem like double work, but I keep a digital calendar as well. It is just so much easier to have that with me. I don't like carrying around my paper calendar, but I need to be able to make appointments on the go. Now that I have things entered on both of my calendars, this whole process takes me maybe 5 minutes per week.
Now have a little bit of fun with your calendar! Buy some washi tape, cute stickers, or if you purchased one of my calendar sets, they come with three pages of stickers. Print those out on full sheet labels (these are my favorite because they can be moved around if needed – affiliate link) and add some to the calendar. This is totally optional and should only be done when you have the meat (the important dates, appointments, etc) of the calendar completed.
If you prefer to just see a monthly overview, you are done with your calendar and can skip to the bottom of this post for a few tips on maintaining your organized calendar, however, if you have busy weeks with lots of things going on, I recommend that you also have a weekly calendar.
The monthly calendar can be the general overview and the weekly calendar gets into more detail. Follow the same order of adding important dates, then recurring events, and finally appointments, etc that are a one time only event. This is also a great place to add a reminder to buy cupcakes on Monday for the event you have to take them to on Tuesday. The weekly format allows you more room for those types of reminders.
Follow the same order of adding important dates, then recurring events, and finally appointments, etc that are a one time only event. This is also a great place to add a reminder to buy cupcakes on Monday for the event you have to take them to on Tuesday. The weekly format allows you more room for those types of reminders.
If you plan to have a weekly calendar let it help you keep up with more than just appointments. Your calendar can help you plan meals and keep up with cleaning (both things we will tackle later in this series). It makes it so nice to have it all in one place and be able to plan ahead for busy days so that you don't plan to do a huge cleaning project or a big meal on a crazy busy day. Of course, my planners have those right on them to make it easy to plan for both the appointments, meals and cleaning for each day.
I generally only do one week at a time. You will have to figure out what works best for you, but be consistent. If you think you can plan a month at a time, go for it.
Either way, add an appointment for yourself to update your calendar. Yep, you have to add a short amount of time to keep up with this. Once you get it going, it really doesn't take that much time. I promise!
Now I know some people love daily planners. I do too. I'm totally a planner addict, however, I don't think we need a daily planner on an everyday basis.
I recommend that you use a daily planner occasionally for those super busy days. I also use them when I have a lot going on at work, so I can plan out what needs to get done and get more done.
I fill in EVERYTHING that needs to happen for the day. My planners have a spot for bills, cleaning, notes, reminders, and a to-do list! I packed a lot onto one daily planner page so it could be really helpful on those really busy days.
I find that they daily planner pages help me keep on track and I tend to get a lot more done when I have a plan like this for the day.
For showing you how to plan your calendars, I showed you the black version of my planners. I also have a pink version. They both have the same great features, just different color and font themes.
You did it! I knew you could! You got your calendar organized.
Now take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back. That was the first step in taking back your sanity with your family and your home. Can you feel that fog and stress lifting a little bit? I hope so! I hope I'm not the only one who feels that pressure, fog and stress lift when I take a few minutes to get organized.
If you need a little more help with your calendar, I've written a more in-depth post about planning your calendar for those busy days or busy weeks . I also have written about organizing a homeschool year in an easy way to provide yourself an overview of what you need to get done and how to translate that into your weekly plans.
The last thing you have to make sure you do is to set a date with yourself to consistently update your calendar.
I update mine every Saturday when I plan the meals for the following week. It makes it easy to remember. Find something like that for yourself and make it easy to remember. Don't forget to update your paper and digital version at the same time, if you are keeping both.
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram. I've got all kinds of great ideas and inspiration and I'd love to have you join me.
What is your favorite printable calendar tip? How do you keep your calendar organized so you don't miss the important things?