One thing I know my family could not live without is our shared Google Calendar. It is bookmarked on all our computers and phones and is something I reference multiple times a day! In my family, we have multiple shared calendars and every color means something different. My calendar is blue, my husband’s is green, and our daughter’s is purple. I also have a shared calendar with my siblings (pink). My siblings and I live all over the country. This calendar references doctor’s appointments for our father and who is traveling to visit him throughout the year. My husband works freelance so he may have up to ten different employers in a given year. We have a yellow calendar that marks his pay dates. Lastly, our maroon calendar tells us when our monthly bills are due and for how much.
Here are my tips for keeping a packed schedule like this organized and easy – if making your calendar is another thing on your to-do list, it will seem like more work. Who wants more work? Not me!
1. If you work a regular Monday – Friday job – you don’t have to mark that on your calendar. You know you go to work everyday – don’t fill up your calendar with the obvious. Instead, put in work engagements that are not typical, an evening appointment, a half day, or a day off.
2. Make a color coded calendar even for an infant! This may seem crazy, but it really helps! We keep track of who is babysitting and how much we will be paying them. When my husband and I look at our calendars, if we see that there is a blue block (me) overlapping with a green block (him), we know we need to see a third color purple block as well -so we know our daughter has someone to watch her.
3. If you work for several employers, especially if you are receiving 1099 tax forms, having a calendar for your income makes tax season so easy! Right after the first of the year, I flip back through our calendar looking for every yellow pay date of my husband’s. I then make a list of every employer he will receive either a w-4 or 1099 form from and keep a special folder to gather these forms when they come in the mail.
4. Sit down once and enter all your monthly bills in a different color calendar. Monthly bills are usually due the same time every month so make the entries reoccurring. I like to pay all my bills online on Saturdays. I usually sit down twice a month, once for all the bills due somewhere between the 1st and the 15th of the month and the second time for the bills due after the 15th of the month. I always put the bills on their actual due date, so when I sit down on a Saturday, I know to pay all the bills due in the next two weeks. Some monthly bills are automatically deducted from our bank account. These are still in our calendar, so we know the money will be deducted.
More later on online bill paying!
I hope you try a color-coded shared Google calendar for your family! What are some other things you keep track of on a shared calendar? Comment and let me know!