How to Create a Paperless Family Calendar System

News flash. I do not use paper planners or calendars.  While I think they are super-cute, with all of their pretty fonts and graphics, my aversion to paper clutter keeps me from using them.  Instead of paper planners, I use a super simple, budget friendly paperless family calendar system in order to keep my family’s (sometimes crazy) schedule under control. Without my paperless family calendar system, I’d be even more of a hot mess than I am now. And that, my friends, would not be a pretty sight.

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How to Create a Paperless Family Calendar System

How to Create a Paperless Family Calendar System

Step 1

Buy a dry erase calendar. Like this one which can be mounted on a wall.

Or this one, which is magnetic.

Also, pick up some dry erase markers in multiple colors.

Step 2

Install your calendar in a central location so every member of your family will have access to it. I have mine on the refrigerator, because, with three boys, you know they won’t miss it!

Here’s our family’s dry erase calendar. As you can see, it’s nothing fancy.

How to Create a Paperless Family Calendar System

Step 3

Assign each member of the family a color and fill out the monthly schedule using that color. Add events to the calendar as they come up. Do this as soon as you receive a paper reminder and discard the paper immediately in order to avoid paper clutter.

Step 4

As you complete days, erase them. Midway through the month, start the next month’s calendar. This way, you won’t be taken by surprise by an upcoming event.

Step 5

Use the “notes” section of the calendar for your weekly menu plan or daily to-do lists.

Step 6

Once you’ve set up a home command center with your family’s (color coded) monthly activities, you can take the process a step further by adding in a digital version of your family calendar.

How to Create A digital Paperless family calendar

There are several family calendar apps and programs available which can help you go paperless and keep your family organized at the same time.

I recently purchased a comprehensive course called The Paperless Home: How to Use Evernote to Organize your Life by Abby Lawson of Just A Girl and Her Blog. Abby and her husband have gone completely paperless in their home AND businesses! My hope is that this course will help me take my {almost} paperless home to an entirely paperless home. So far, I am loving the step-by-step video tutorials included in her course.

I use the Apple calendar app on iCloud.com.  My entire family uses Apple products, so it’s easy for us to sync all of our events. The Apple calendar has an option to add multiple, color-coded calendars. I have created a calendar for each member of my family as well as a calendar for activities which the entire family participates in. And, if my kids were even remotely organized, they could create their own calendars on their phones and share them with me over the cloud. But, of course, they are not so they don’t.

I love that with the Apple calendar, all of the information is synced across all of our Apple devices. Plus, if I ever needed to, I can print a calendar at any time. Which I won’t because…paper clutter.

If you do not have Apple devices, don’t fret! There are many similar apps/programs available for various devices. For example, if you have Windows devices, you can use Microsoft Outlook to coordinate your family’s activities.

Additionally, you can create a paperless family calendar with Google Calendar (a very popular option) or Cozi. In case you’ve never heard of the Cozi Family Organizer, it’s a free app which is available for iPhones, Windows phones, Andriod devices, as well as web browsers. Which is great if your family utilizes a variety of electronic devices. The Cozi app not only allows for color-coded calendars, but it also has options for creating shopping and to-do lists. It even has a built-in meal planner and family journal.

If I wasn’t already so immersed in all things Apple, I would definitely use Cozi.

That’s it. Now you know how I manage to keep my family of 5 {fairly} organized. My method is not only super simple (which is the only way I roll), but it is also budget friendly. No expensive planners, calendars or programs here! You can use my paperless family calendar method to get your family’s various activities under control once and for all.

No more random pieces of paper lost in the bottomless pit of your purse. Get your family's schedules organized in one place.

 

 

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About Cheryl Lemily

A wife, mom of 3 boys & 2 dogs. A minimalist raising a minimalist(ish) family. Living a small, slow, simple life. Helping others declutter & simplify.

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