Household Management Made Easy
Let’s face it, we all have trouble balancing our busy schedules. That balance becomes an even greater challenge when you have a staff and growing family. At Adventure Nannies, we’ve tested all of the tools out there that claim to help a person organize their life! Here’s what we found:
1. Shared Calendars
Most families have one thing in common; being insanely busy. The key to successfully keeping it all running smoothly is communication. Our one recommendation for achieving sanity through it all is setting up a shared calendar.
Old-School Calendar – Some choose to keep it “old school” and love having a shared calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. These families keep a stash of colored markers near it so staff and family members can add important events. Physically writing things down helps most people remember things, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
Virtual Calendar – A different and more recent option is for families and staff to use a shared Calendar App. One of the best features of a good Calendar App is the Pop-up reminder, which is essentially a virtual manager that keeps a family on schedule. Helpful Tip: every calendar entry should be accompanied by 2 reminders; a 1-day reminder and a 30-minute reminder. Another great feature of these calendar apps is the ability to make and receive real-time updates from all members to a calendar, so everyone can see changes to the calendar as they happen.
Our favorite schedule apps:
Google Calendar was a game changer when it came out. With live-syncing for all users, invitation options, and color coding capabilities, it is the easiest and most accessible platform for Gmail users to manage schedules. In addition, Google’s reminders are a great way to get a to-do list out of the way during your day.
With its Google calendar syncing option, there is no reason NOT to try Cozi. This app was developed by and for busy families and is a wonderful upgrade from the simplicity of Google Calendar. Even if other families and staff members aren’t using it, they can synchronize their calendars with the app and view your Cozi updates accordingly. Some of the ways it outperforms Google’s version are its printable weekly schedules, summer planning worksheets, and interactive to-do lists. Exercise classes, book clubs, and team sports schedules can also be synced with Cozi. One of our favorite additions is the instant recipe and meal-planning option, where you can create shopping lists to share with staff that includes recipes you’d like them to try. These can come from any external recipe site and have an interactive shopping function that you or your staff can use in-store. We would be lost without Cozi!
2. Email Tagging
Tagging incoming emails is an underused feature for managing schedules. Just go to the settings section of your account, and insert the tags that work for you.
Anytime someone has a question regarding a schedule change, we suggest asking that the word “schedule” is put in the title and that it is set up to be filtered automatically with a “PRIORITY” tag to ensure it doesn’t get overlooked or fall through the cracks.
3. Friday Night Schedule Reviews
We recommend touching base with all staff and family members regarding scheduling as often as possible. An end-of week review can make a world of difference when it comes to peace of mind. These check-in’s often eliminate surprises and last minute additions throughout the week. They can be done via email for simplicity’s sake. We suggest requiring each staff and family member to respond to the schedule thread and confirm they’ve read and approved of the plan for the week ahead.
The secret to juggling multiple schedules is to figure out what communication style works for your team. Whether you’ve got an old-school kitchen calendar system or an app helping you run the show, having any system in place will eliminate a great deal of stress. If you have schedule management tricks we didn’t share, please send them our way!
To hire a personal assistant, household manager, or nanny to help manage this all, get in touch!