There is just no doubt that using a family calendar can really improve your life and if you are willing to dedicate yourself to faithfully maintaining all of your appointments and family commitments in one place you will always know where to go to be prepared for the day, week, and month ahead. But in order to do this you have to right tool for the job- a great family calendar that will will help you get organized and stay organized throughout 2017!
Best Electronic Family Calendars:
1. Apple Calendar
If you are already an owner of an Apple device (or several!) all of the email, address book, and calendar software already comes preinstalled with that device and everything is designed to work together seamlessly right from the get-go. Apple Calendar is such a powerful calendar tool- I think it is truly the best family calendar available.
It has all of the important features of an electronic family calendar:
- It allows for multiple color-coded calendars. I have separate calendars set up for my family, my to-do lists (separate lists for personal and business), and business calendars. I can also subscribe to public digital calendars for each of my children's schools and have them appear here in a separate color.
- I can set up recurring events easily.
- I can notify people of any events that I wish to coordinate with them.
- It syncs to iCloud, all of my devices, and syncs well with Google Calendar too. This makes it easy to sync with my husband and kids devices so they can access our schedule.
But what I think really sets Apple Calendar apart from other electronic family calendars is the ability to print out your calendar multiple ways!
- I can print out a monthly view of just our family calendar and family to-dos and post it in my kitchen command center.
- And best of all I can print my weekly view as a list which I place on a clipboard and work from each week.
Note: Not an Apple user? The only way to access an Apple Calendar is with an Apple ID- making it rather inaccessible if you aren't using an Apple device of some kind. Windows has a similar calendar system (Microsoft Outlook) that works on Windows desktops/laptops and syncs nicely to Windows phones and tablets. It also syncs well to Google Calendar. But Outlook and Apple Calendar don't play well in the same sandbox- so be aware that it is not always easy to get them to sync with one another.
2. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is probably one of the most widely used family calendars because most people are quite familiar with Google. It is free with your Google account and already handily displays on the menu bar if you are using Gmail. It also syncs nicely with other calendars that you or your signifiant other might be using such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Calendar. You can notify others of events that you wish to schedule with them, and you can easily set up recurring appointments which makes adding in the season's soccer practices easy-peasy.
For me the big drawback with Google Calendar are the limited printing options. I just can't get that weekly list view that I love from Apple Calendar.
Cozi markets themselves as the “leading digital family organizer”. Cozi's system features the ability to keep multiple calendars (color coded by family member), allows you to make to-do lists and grocery lists, menu plan, provides several options for printing the calendar (which is a great feature), and even gives you a place to keep a family journal. It is all accessible from an app on your phone as well as on your other devices- and every family member can access it as well.
If you are looking for a calendar that is specifically designed with families in mind and works really well on a small screen (like a smartphone)- then Famjama might be just what you need. It's an app that multiple users can access and sync with. You can keep your family to-do lists and then assign items to various family members. You can add your shopping list to the app (and then send your husband out to buy everything on it!). You can send out message blasts to the family right from the app. It has a lot of bells and whistles that allows you to coordinate and manage your family's commitments and appointments.
If what you are looking for is a more collaborative-type of family calendar where all family members can share their own personal calendars, where group to-do lists can be made and items assigned to family members, as well as provide a private place to communicate (i.e.:”What's for Dinner?” “Pick up these items at the grocery store on your way home”, etc) then the Hub family calendar app might be more of what you are looking for.
6. Family Wall
Family Wall is a similar collaborative-style family sharing app- where family members can add appointments to the shared family wall calendar. But Family Wall also has a definite focus on being a place to share memories as well. You can add voice, texts, photos, and videos of your family moments to your wall- which are then shared privately with just your family members.
Best Wall Family Calendars
I know that some of you still prefer a calendar that hangs on a wall for everyone in the home to see. Here are three of the best wall family calendars.
7. Amy Knapp Big Wall Grid Calendar
If you are a die hard wall calendar person because you need to see everything posted in one place where the entire family can gaze at it over breakfast- then check out the Amy Knapp's Big Grid Family Organizer. With plenty of space on every date to fill in appointments, this calendar also provides a space for menu planning, and comes with a Monthly Projects section that is pre-loaded with such gems as “Talk to your kids about their Halloween costume” (in August!), and “Check in on your resolutions” (in February!). There are lots of color coded stickers you can use to call out special events such as birthdays and family vacations. This calendar is packed with good ideas that a family can really use.
8. Monthly Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar
If perhaps you keep your calendar in an agenda book, but want to be able to display a monthly view of that calendar on your refrigerator door for the entire family to see- then this magnetic dry erase calendar could be a perfect solution for you. Indeed it's a bit “old-school”- and you will spend time re-writing things that you've already written somewhere else (which drives me batty!)- but if it is the system you prefer- then then is a good option.
9. Organized Mom Weekly Wall Calendar
If you are looking for a weekly calendar view where the days of the week are listed across the top and then there are rows going down the page for each family member (up to 6)- this Organized Mom Weekly Wall Calendar might be the perfect wall calendar for you. It comes with a plastic overlay where you can write down recurring events (such as guitar lesson every Thursday at 4pm) which alleviates having to re-write the same thing week after week. There are cute stickers you can apply to the calendar which makes it visually appealing and perforated to-do lists. It is only 12″ square- so it is perfect if you don't have a lot of wall space.
Best Agenda Book
The Mom Agenda personal calendar system comes encased in a lovely notebook and features separate spaces for Mom and up to 4 kids. It has weekly and monthly sections, and a pull out planner to track birthdays and special occasions (that you can remove and re-use from year to year). Available in multiple colors.
Looking for more info on family calendars? Then check out these posts:
- 5 Ways Using a Family Calendar Can Improve Your Life!
- My Favorite Family Calendar System: iCal
- Why You Should Commit to an Electronic Calendar
- How to Set Up Your Family Calendar
I would love to hear from you now-Do you have a system that you love, or are you still searching for the one that is right for you? Did this list help you to do that? Please leave a comment and tell us!