Monday, August 29, 2011

A Mom Needs a Calendar

A Mom needs a good calendar.  Once a child is old enough to interact with the world, it taxes a mommy brain too much to rely on simple memory for obligations like playdates, doctor appointments and snacks for soccer practice.  Add more than one child to the mix and unless you are super woman, forget about being sharp enough to stay on top of everything without writing it down.

I've tried all sorts of calendaring methods in my life.  The old Franklin/Covey Day Planner method was too complicated and I never remembered to open the stupid thing up anyway.  A plain old calendar on the wall was dummy proof, but still too easy to forget to update or check every day.  I wanted something on my computer since I'm on the dang thing every day anyway.  I wanted something that would either be part of my email or home page on my browser, something that would put my calendar in front of my eyes automatically.  I tried several options, always chasing that elusive perfect program.  Yahoo's calendar is convenient since I prefer My Yahoo as my home page, but the calendar itself is more complicated than it needs to be.  Google's calendar is user friendly, but I don't use Google for more than this blog and tool bar searches so it isn't convenient.  FlyLady endorsed Cozi online calendars and I must say, they are super simple to set up and use, but again, I had to remember to log in to it every day.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  I've spent more time than I want to admit setting up online options, only to default back to the old paper grid on the wall.

The Holy Grail of calendars?
Then I got a MacBook Pro.  It came with iCal, which syncs with my email and all the various online calendars I've set up over the years.  It's taken me three years to make a priority out of syncing all my calendars, but last night I finally spent 20 minutes figuring it all out. Wow!  Was it worth it!  I finally have everything - including the girl's school's calendar -  in one place and the best part is that it's right on my dashboard to see before I even launch my browser.  If I decide I prefer adding events and updates with my Cozi calendar - which really is the most uncomplicated calendar program I've found - I can log in there, add my updates, and have them automatically show up in iCal on my dashboard.  With a little more time I'll learn how to sync my calendar with my email so each day's events are also right there with my new messages.  Isn't that great? 

Oh, and for the record, I keep a cute dry erase calendar on the wall for the girls.  I put their events on it so they can help keep track of everything.  It's a simple way to teach the concepts of months, days and seasons to my little ones, and helps Miss E be accountable for her own responsibilities.  It's their space though, and I'm still jazzed about possibly finding calendar nirvana for myself.

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