It is hard to keep track of who is doing what with a busy family. You can’t show up on time and do what you are supposed to do if you don’t where you are supposed be.
My work calendar runs on an Exchange / Outlook platform, as does The Wife’s calendar. Now that The Son and The Daughter are getting their own activities, it is getting harder and harder to figure out who is supposed to be where.
The Wife and I could just copy each other for all of the events. But then our calendars would be mucked up with events that one of us is going to, but not the other. It’s also easy to lose track of the kids’ events.
We decided to use the Google Calendar application. It allows us to have separate calendars for me, The Wife, The Son and The Daughter. We even set up a separate calendar for family and friend birthdays.
The Google Calendar allows us to use a different color for each person so we can easily distinguish who belongs to a particular event. That’s a great visual clue and makes the mess of events easier to sort through.
On the settings for the calendar, you can assign different permissions: (1) make changes to events, (2) see all event details or (3) see only fee/busy. Even an unruly teenager should be able to be convinced into sharing their calendar if their parents couldn’t see the details.
When an event intrudes into the work day, we invite the work email to the event. Google Calendar plays nice with the Exchange/Outlook platform so the invitations from Google Calendar appear as calendar events at work and vice-versa. I try to keep the non-working hours events out of my office calendar.
By using separate Google calendars, each person can control their own calendar, while at the same time sharing the events with the whole family. It’s little or no extra effort and makes household management much easier.
Since the Google Calendar is web-based, I can use it at work and view the calendars on my blackberry or iPhone.
This post was based on a previous post from my old blog, KM Space: Calendars and Household Knowledge Management.