laid off and learning to love it… my journey from corporate sprinter to life marathoner

sahm: organized-ish… lovin’ my google calendar 06/23/2009

Filed under: Organization,SAHM Choice — ccatet @ 1:47 pm

for the first few days i was home after being laid off, i felt directionless… when was the next family birthday? when were the kids’ next dr appts? when was my next haircut? i had no idea! i was getting behind on household chores, missing dates with friends and personal appointments, and was overall confused in the calendar department. i should have seen this coming… the company took my laptop including my access to an organized calendar system. jerks.

in meeting other SAHMs, many of them claimed that they did not get on the computer let alone use any kind of calendar tool other than pen and paper. what – i thought to myself? no way, this gig is not for me. the realization that there may not be time for email or the internet was just another reason i hedged in committing to the SAHM role.

for years, we have had a family wall calendar in the kitchen. it’s a big dry-erase board calendar and everyone gets a color for their events and we use black for events that we all attend or participate in. the calendar maps out the next 5 weeks of our lives which helps for the short term planning.  here is a picture of our current calendar:

family wall calendar

family wall calendar

as awesome as this calendar is to keep our daily lives smooth, i was missing a longer term planning tool and the ability to build in future events and recurring events/tasks. my husband suggested google. i was already behind on EVERYTHING in the house, when was i going to find time to get set up on google’s calendar?

being the super fantastic husband that he is, he did the start-up for me! he showed me how to add events, create a recurring task and set up separate calendars for everyone in the family (in different color text). all 4 calendars merge onto one view…just like our house calendar only online (and you can plan things out months in advance or with no end date)! Woo-Hoo!

here is a screen shot of my current google calendar:

google calendar view

google calendar view

if you like the look, click here to learn more about the google calendar.

my 3 favorite things about this calendar:

1 – if you already have a gmail account, it’s super easy to set up. also, you can use the top navigation links to quickly view the calendar while checking email.

2 – you can configure the settings to receive a daily email at 5am with all the scheduled activities for the day.

3 – if my husband wants to know what is going on for a particular date, he has access to the calendar so he can view and make plans without having to check with me.

after appointments and playdates for the kids, my husband and myself, i added all household chores/maintenance as recurrences which has saved me tons of brain energy. i can easily forget the last time a particular household task was completed so i really love the reminders. also, we added in the weather (3-4 day outlook) and holiday applications – good thing because i am lucky to know what day of the week it is!

it took only about an hour to add all items and the google calendar immediately made a world of difference in our lives. we still use our house calendar for the short term view, but all events go onto the google calendar for current and long term planning.

i admit it, i like systems. they are not for everyone, but they work for me and my family. in many ways, i actually feel more organized about our lives now that i am home compared to when i was working.

if you stay home (or work) and have found a cool way to keep your family organized, please write a comment and tell me about it! i know i have much to learn. i am secretly hoping to figure out how to have laundry clean itself … one can dream, can’t they? 🙂


2 Responses to “sahm: organized-ish… lovin’ my google calendar”

  1. Cate's mom Says:

    I hate to tell you this…but this is what my palm pilot did, and iPhone does…but it gives you access in your pocket or purse, as well as computer…which is nice for when you are NOT at home.

  2. Kathy Fiala Says:

    Cate – I enjoyed reading your blog. I think it is great how you are getting organized. I am married to a “list freak” so I am going to share the goole calendar idea with him.

    Enjoy your time off with the kids. As my teenage daughters run in and out of the house going and coming from activity to activity with friends, I would love to have an afternoon to play in the backyard with the sprinkler and listen to the joys of summer with “little people” again. Wishing a summer filled with sunshine, laughter and love!

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