Google Calendar: Family Tracker

Alternate Title of this Article: “Now If We Forget Something, We Have No One To Blame But Ourselves”

For years, my husband and I often found ourselves arguing about one of us not remembering something the other one told us we were doing.

Why aren’t you ready to go?
Where are we going?
Laura’s party – I told you that TWENTY TIMES!
I’m sorry, I forgot.

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My husband encouraged me to create a Google Calendar for the family so we could keep up with things. And by “encouraged” I mean that he insisted I do it if there was any chance he would ever remember the 50 million things we always have going on in our lives on any given day. Between soccer games and rehearsals and work and exercise and book clubs and family dinners…let’s just say it’s a lot to keep up with.

While I moaned and groaned about doing this for the days it took me, I am so VERY glad we did. Not only is this a centralized location for all of our activities for the family, but it is practically accessible by anyone we want from anywhere we are. We both have the calendar connected to the one on our iPhones and every family member is a shared user on the calendar so they can check our schedule if they want to see a soccer game, or if they want to plan something we’ll need to attend.

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Google Calendar’s accessibility is it’s biggest selling point in our lives. As long as there’s internet, we can check our calendar. And since all of our family has a (free) Gmail account, we can share it with any of them.

It’s also a very flexible calendar. We can color-code items for quick viewing. I have events for my volunteer obligations in one color so when I’m scheduling meetings I can easily find days empty of conflicting items within the group. My husband had his training schedule for his triathlons this summer in a bright color so he could find them easily when he pulled up the calendar. We set alarms and reminders for some things, but not all. It’s completely customizeable which is pretty awesome since it’s still free.

With three kids, two very active adults, and general life obligations – we no longer can recall how in the world we functioned before this calendar. And we don’t have to worry about losing it (which would probably cause all of our lives to freeze in place) or even misplacing it. If we have our phone, the calendar is with us too. And since we both always keep our phones on us? The calendar is always with us.

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It is very worth the several days it took me to digitize every paper calendar I had access to! My only complaint is that, because our schedule is so full, it’s easy to miss stuff. But that’s not something a different calendar would fix…that’s just our life!

How do you keep your family on schedule?