Balancing between family and work is art and science at the same time. We live in times when we want the best of both worlds: family and career. A calendar, designed especially for families can be of great help. They are made as very transparent spreadsheets, so every family member can see obligations of each other at a glance. Let's have a look at some of the most popular family calendars, what all have in common and where are the differences. Beware: we may pick few family time management tips by the way!
What are The Best Family Calendars?
A question is much simpler than an answer. According to reviews and feedback of the customers there is a wide selection, but most of the available family calendars with planning / organizing sections lack at least some of the features users would like to have and at the same time offer ones which are not in so high demand. The most often complaints are about not enough space for writing, too thin paper, unreadable stickers and unneeded months (many calendars have 16 months instead of 12, what doesn't suit everybody).
Be warned: all presented calendars are made of paper! There will be no fancy electronics, just good plain old paper with a lot of space to write on and some occasional tabs or stickers to make checking of family activities as easy as possible. We did our best to find the best of the best, but you'll still have to choose what could work best in your case.
Wall calendar planners made by Orange Circle Studio are among most popular items in the section with planners and organizers. This 17 month family calendar has many favorable reviews. It offers a lot of room for writing down appointments, obligations, travels and parties. It has a magnetic tab hanger, so you can put it on the wall or on the fridge. It starts with August and ends with December next year, what makes it great for everybody who is planning time according the school year (most families belong to this group).
Paper is thick enough to allow some erasing, but if you use very sharp pencils they can bleed through. Stickers are relatively small, so people with not so great eyesight may experience some problems seeing what they say. Apart from that it's a great and sturdy calendar planner (with practical back pocket for loose material like notes, coupons, flyers, receipts, ...) which can survive its lifetime without falling apart and being under stress every single day in a prolonged 17 months year. It's available in four different designs, visible after you click the image above.
Next wall calendar looks similar at first look, but it differs in some details which may or may not be important to you.
With plenty of space, colorful stickers, dedicated squares for family dinners and suggestions for monthly projects Amy Knapp's calendar is clearly aimed at keeping the busy life under control and preserve family values at the same time. With additional pages for extra notes and shopping lists it makes 40 (fourty!) pages overall. There should really be enough space for everything a busy family needs to plan and with over half of million customers it definitely delivers what is expected.
To be fair we should mention some less likeable features of this wall calendar. Some customers would like to have even thicker paper (this bleeds through, if you use color markers), others would prefer more empty space instead of pre-filled activities, some miss back pocket. But in overall the buyers are satisfied and majority reported they will buy it again, what says pretty much everything we want to hear.
As a matter of fact we can see Amy Knapp followed a good punch and successfully offered several related products to the market. Here is a calendar - organizer for Christian families in a booklet format.
Apart from already mentioned goodies (huge planning space for every single day, additional perforated pages for to-do lists, grocery shopping lists, notes, etc.) we can find sections devoted to prayers and inspiring quotes. Just perfect for a family trying to gain some spiritual power. People who bought it are very happy with space, quick reference sections and overall clarity. There are more than two hundred pages overall!
There are complaints too: some would like to have inside pocket, some miss months tabs, other would prefer not having so many pre-written holidays. But overall it's a great organizer for a busy mom trying to keep control over the life of the family, big enough for writing everything important and still small enough to go in a purse. Christian moms (and many non-Christian moms too) take it with them just about everywhere.
By the way, Amy Knapp offers very similar family organizer in different design as well:
It's basically the same format with 208 pages altogether, but without sections for prayers (it still includes inspirational quotes). Design is a bit more fashionable, and among complaints we find too many international holidays included and too thin paper (if you want to use very sharp pencils and color markers, it can bleed through).
So it's up to your personal preferences and habits. Thinner paper can be a problem in some cases, but this also means lighter organizer and better portability. Many busy moms love it and are faithfull costumers for many years now.
Top Three Tips From Busy Moms To Busy Families
- Start your day early. Do as much you can (packing schoolbags, making school lunches, prepare your kids' clothes) the evening before. Let other family members to do (clothing, cleaning, brushing) as much for themselves as possible. Always have few minutes for yourself (for a nice cup of tea or a quick workout, for instance).
- Automate you daily routines. Make things predictable, have the same order of chores, be sure everybody involved knows what, how and when to do. Change things only if it's very likely you'll achieve improvement, otherwise don't fix anything if it is not broken.
- Keep things simple. Simple meals, clear communication, easy maintenance, etc., are the way to go. From time to time life will happen anyway and simple things can be fixed much easier. Accept mistakes, try to learn a lesson or two from them, and keep going.
Portable And Spacious Weekly Family Planner
If you have a bigger family with busy members and love to know what is going on with every family member, this 18 months mom's weekly planner by Peter Pauper Press could offer just that.
It has 258 pages in approximately 8 x 9 inches format, five columns (one for mom), removable cover band, perforated checklists and shopping lists, several built-in pockets of different dimensions, and elastic band to keep things together.
Majority of users love it, only minor complaint is huge number of predated pages, what seems like a vaste of space to some. On the other hand they like printed quotes about families and all in all we are dealing with a clean and highly effective tool.
Another important characteristics of Forest Weekly Planner for busy moms include portability (it fits in typical tote bag, for instance) ability to stay open when it lies flat, and really cute cover design with owls. One of reviewers mentions it makes a lovely keepsake when it is used up. You can store it on the book shelve and years later check what was going on with a family in certain period.
We hope you got the feel about most useful family calendars and organizers available online.