The Super Mom Series: Creating a Family Command Center (Part 1)

Ask any Super Mom what’s on the schedule for the week and she can rattle off the events like nobody’s business. That’s because she has a mind like Rainman when it comes to being organized. *insert buzzer sound here* While Super Mom’s can appear to have it together all the time, she’s hiding a secret. She uses several methods to stay organized, one of which is most likely a family command center.

Having a family command center is a great way to get and keep your family organized and is very simple to set-up and begin using. Its goal is to create a central location for all-things family, from homework to keeping track of everyone’s schedule, keys, and birthday invites, this center does it all.  (I’m going to break up how to create a family command center into separate posts to keep things as simple as possible. Meanwhile, you can check out my Pinterest board of cool family command centers to get some ideas of how you want yours.)

Create a Family Calendar – How we did it
We opted to use Google Calendar, which allowed my husband and I the ability to share the calendar while we’re on the go. It turned out to be the best option for us for many reasons; I’ve listed a few below.

Easy to use         Google is one of the easiest and intuitive sites there is, and the calendar feature is no exception. It offers the same functions as any calendar (adding a location, event details, creating a repeating event, etc.) I like color-coding reoccuring events to make it easier for knowing what’s what at quick glance. It also gives the option of having a video call – not sure how it works, but I might check it out later. 🙂

Smartphone integration               My husband and I both have smartphones and syncing our Google Calendar to our existing phone’s calendar was super easy. Google even provides simple step-by-step instructions on how to set-up everything. Now we can both see what’s on the calendar and add and delete from our phones. The only drawback is that you can’t see all of the details and color-coding on your phone, but if you’re a frequent computer-user it’s not a dealbreaker.

Reminder options           This was a big seller as far as why we chose Google Calendar. It gives a choice of how you want to be reminded of an event. For example, if there is a doctor’s appointment on September 20th at 9 a.m., you can choose to be reminded via pop-up, email, and/or text! You can choose one or all three options and pick how far in advance you want to receive the alert. The text reminder is fantastic for my husband, whereas I’m ok with the pop-up reminder.

The Set-up

  1. I set-up a new family email (called gmail) address, in which both of us have access. With Google Calendar, you instantly have access to a calendar within your email, so everything is available once you log into the account.
  2. I went to town adding all of the events I already had in my personal calendar to the gmail calendar. I had to do this so that when my husband synced his phone’s calendar to the gmail calendar, everything would show the same on both phones. You do have the option to see both calendars (your phone’s and the gmail’s calendar) together as one single calendar. However if you’re looking to share a calendar, you’ll have to use my method in order for everyone can see everything as what’s on your phone’s calendar won’t automatically link to the Google calendar. Whew! Hope that made sense. 🙂
  3. We followed the directions to sync everything (again Google will provide this).
  4. Voila! We created a family calendar where both of us have access and automatic reminders.

You can use this method with all family members who use the computer and/or have a smartphone. And, of course you can always print out the calendar to keep a copy in the family command center for all family members to see. So far, this has helped my husband and I stay on the same page about what’s on the schedule, which ultimately keeps any last-minute stress to a minimum. Winning! I see us using this for a long, long time.

Do you keep a family calendar? How do you do it?

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