Managing Chaos With Online Calendars

With the adoption of Ethan in 2008, Joleen and I went from being a clergy couple to being a clergy couple with a child. In other words, the chaos only increased!

Shortly after bringing Ethan home from Korea, we set up online calendars using Google Calendar. The benefit is that either of us can access our shared calendars anytime so we don’t overbook days/times. And, with mobile technology, we have access to our calendars anywhere with a mobile device.

We have set up multiple calendars (each with their own color) that all appear on one calendar. At the moment, we have Randy’s Work, Joleen’s Work, Our Work, Family, School, and Special Days.

For time management, especially family time management and communication, this is the best thing we have done. We use our calendars to schedule appointments, activities, and remind us about special days.

Time management expert Laura Stack suggests calendaring everything …

I’m not sure if we calendar everything, but one area most people, including us, need to improve is learning to prioritize what goes on the schedule and what doesn’t. Some people, such as Michael Hyatt, suggest having a not-to-do list …

I’ve written a lot about time management over the years, including Task Management, Task Management 2.0, Time Management, Early Methodist View on Use of Time, and a post on the task management app, 2do (I still use the 2do app but the app is long overdue for an update, which the developers have been promising for a long time; I may write a new post on how I use 2do after the update). I’ve written a lot about time management, not because I have a lot to say about it, but because it will always be an area I want to improve!

How do you manage chaos, especially with others (families, teams)?

Marking Moments and Making Memories

We’ve always tried to mark moments and make memories by taking photos, especially with the kids. Over the last several years, the blog has given us a place to document part of the journey (much of which is in the category of adoption).

Another way we’ve tried to mark moments is by creating photo books through services such as Mixbook and Shutterfly. So far, we’ve created photo books telling each of the kids’ adoption stories. We created a photo book at the end of last summer with photos from the summer (including our trip to Maine). And, since we celebrated Christmas with family in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, we created a photo book for Christmas, as well.

For the last few years, we’ve created a photo calendar with photos from the previous year (i.e., photos for a given month normally include photos from that same month the previous year). The kids enjoy seeing the photos on the calendar posted in our kitchen.

I remember flipping through photo albums when I was a kid. In this age of digital photography we have to find creative ways to mark moments and make memories. I trust Ethan and Sarah will cherish the photo books and photo calendars we create.

What do you do to mark moments and make memories, especially with your family?