Organizing Your Work and Family Calendars

In my almost nine-year marriage to my husband we haven’t argued about many things. We don’t bicker about money or putting dirty laundry in the hamper. There aren’t many dishes stand-offs or laundry pile ups. The thing that we go around and around about is the family calendar.

My husband is a computer geek. He keeps everything synced on his phone/google calendar.  I’m a die-hard paper girl (plus having a cute calendar hanging on the kitchen wall is, well, cute).  It always drove my husband crazy that he had to “check in” with me about things because I refused to get with technology.

It took some time and some persuading (“Kate, do this.” “NO!”) but we finally have a system that works really well for two working parents, and I still get to keep my paper.

Here are some 3 tips for finding your way to an organized family/work calendar.


1.Check your digital options. 

Google calendars is just one online option. Many people love it because you can add users, sync it to your phone and other devices, and have more than one all in the same spot. The school where I teach uses Google Calendars for EVERYTHING, but it’s not my favorite for our family calendar or for my editorial calendar.

My family uses Cozi. Like, Google Calendars, it can have multiple users, but unlike GC it also offers To Do Lists, shopping lists, meal planning, etc. I think it’s easier to read (in other words, it most resembles paper) than GC.

We use Cozi to keep all appointments, dates, etc that everyone should be aware of. Cozi has become the new wall calendar.  I don’t put any of my own deadlines or work-related items in the Cozi unless it somehow affects the rest of the family (re: I won’t be home) for dinner).

Plus it has a nifty phone app that is extremely user-friendly.

2. Check your paper options.

I have probably tried every single paper calendar/planner known to man…or at least the ones available at Office Max and Target. I’ve even tried to make my own. I am very particular about my planner since I like to have space for regular calendar things, but also for deadlines, To Dos, and homework due dates.

The best planner I have used is the Erin Condren Life Planner. I like it because it provides a weekly view with each day broken into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening.  There is a spot under each day for other notes, and a sidebar for To Do’s for each week, which I use for homework due dates. I use the area under each day for deadlines/my editorial calendar.

For less spendy options, Target has some cute ones out that are also divided into weekly spreads.

3. Find a compromise.

I was never going to be able to go fully digital and my husband was never going to every go back to paper planners. The calendar on the wall was just not cutting it anymore since having a second child. The squares weren’t big enough and both of us had a tendency to forget to add our own appointments to it leading to a lot of last minute “Oh, did I forget to put my haircut on the calendar? Sorry. Can you pick up the boys today?”

By going digital for our “family” calendar, but keeping my own stuff on paper, we have found what works for us.  We aren’t leaving sticky notes for each other anymore, or losing appointment cards.

What do you use for your calendar system? Or do you need an overhaul?

Katie Sluiter is a full time high school teacher, and writes at Sluiter Nation. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. I use Cozi with my ex-husband to make sure we’re both up to speed on the kids’ activities. I like that you can select which family members are participating in each family event, and the fact that you can send messages in there, too. I absolutely love it.

  2. We are the same! Digital for husband, Paper for wife.

    The only difference? It’s word of mouth for joint family engagements. 🙂

    • We have to use the digital for joint…we don’t argue about much, but forgetting if we told the other about things…such a point of contention.

  3. We don’t have a system in place as such as a couple. I use a my Erin Condren planner for my editorial/ writing/ consulting stuff. I have a whiteboard on my desk for the kids’ things, which he can see at a glance. He pretty much just tells me what’s going on with him, and I keep it in my head 🙂 I do have a Google Calendar for everything else though – birthdays, events, etc.

    For now, things work for us because the kids don’t have that many activities, and I’m basically the family calendar keeper.

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