As you’re heading back to school this year, it’s a great time to revisit your systems for staying organized as a family. Digital tools might already have a place in your home. From video calls with faraway cousins to listening to streaming videos to watch together, you probably use technology in many different ways. Do digital tools help you and your family stay organized?
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at two tech-friendly tips for keeping your family organized in the upcoming months and throughout the school year.
Tech-Friendly Organizational Tips
When it comes to staying organized, it’s all about having a system and keeping up with routines. You might already have a few favorite ways to stay organized as a family. These routines could include a shared calendar with all of your upcoming events or sending voice memos with reminders to one another. On this list, I’ve included four of my favorite tech-friendly tips for staying organized. You can tailor each one to how your family uses technology or choose just one to try out at the beginning of the school year.
Create a color-coded calendar
Whichever calendar app you use, color-coding your events can come in handy. You can pick one color for each family member and one color for events your family will participate in altogether. As you add
events to your calendar, you can choose to mark them as blue, purple, green, or whatever color corresponds to a particular family member.
Instead of color-coding by a family member, you might instead decide to color-code the events on your digital calendar by the type of event. So if you have an extracurricular activity, family meet-up, or another common category of events, you might give each one a different color. To make sure this routine sticks, think of just three or four types you can color-code and one “grab bag” color for events that don’t take place frequently.
How can you keep up this routine? If you’ve found yourself forgetting to add colors or having a hard time staying consistent, set a reminder once a week to color code upcoming events. On Sunday afternoons, I look at the calendar for the upcoming week and double-check that all of my color-coding is correct.
Try out a new to-do list
Although I love a good sticky note, a to-do list app is a great option for keeping track of everything from a grocery list to a reminder to pick up a present for a birthday party. You might decide to start the school year with a new routine for to-do lists. There are many apps to choose from, but you might want to choose one that allows multiple collaborators so everyone in your family can contribute.
When creating a family to-do list, you might want to have specific items marked as time-sensitive with reminders for when things happen. Alternatively, you might have “running lists” with items that get added and removed throughout the week or the month. You might decide to have a few recurring reminders on your list for things you attend to multiple times throughout a set time frame.
How can you keep up this routine? Encourage your family members to place a reminder in the family to-do list app anytime they tell you something important. To build this behavior, you might decide to “think aloud” and share how you thought of something important and need to add it to the to-do list app your family is using.
If you have a helpful tip for staying organized as a family this year, consider sharing them in the LenovoEDU Community. This is a great space to share ideas, find inspiration, and connect with other families who are also working on upgrading their organizational routines this school year.
Monica Burns, Ed.D. is a curriculum and educational technology consultant, and founder of ClassTechTips.com. She hosts the Easy EdTech Podcast and is author of Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom.