Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bringing Order to Chaos

My family's schedule can best be compared to an evacuation. A lot is going on all at the same time, no one seems to know exactly what they're supposed to be doing, but everyone has a feeling that something has been left behind. In other words, we're pretty busy, and often find ourselves with conflicting schedules.

Of course, we're only a family of three at the moment. Imagine how much harder it will be when there are four of us, and these two little ones start needing rides to piano lessons and soccer practice.

So when I was asked to try out the newest product from BusyBodyBook, I was excited. I've tried keeping my life organized with a purse-sized calendar, but without my husband's input, I was only showing half of the story. Besides, my purse is a black hole, sucking objects to the bottom to never see the light of day again.

Joan sent me a Fridge Grid Pad to try out. It's very similar to the popular BusyBodyBook, with several columns for each day of the week, so each family member can have their own column to keep track of their activities, or an individual activity can have its own column. Unlike the day planner version, however, the Fridge Grid Pad is a large undated calendar with a magnetic strip on the back, perfect for sticking to the fridge or some other heavily visited part of the house.

Each page is one week long, and there is plenty of room for writing in all appointments, meetings, or events that need to be remembered. Having the columns for each family member is very useful, too. It's easy for me to see when my husband will be busy, so I can make sure not to plan anything for myself that day without a babysitter on hand or at least the knowledge that I'm going it alone. I also use a column to keep track of blogging activities, reminding myself of what I wanted to write about that week, like this post, for example.

Like any calendar, it's only as good as the people who update it. You still must remember to write in each appointment or change to the daily routine, but once that is done, it's so much easier to review each day's activities while preparing breakfast. It's also undated, which is useful when you have a slow week, or forgot to write anything for a week (guilty!), and don't want to waste paper. Just add the dates for the next week and keep going.

If you like having one centralized calendar for the entire family, with plenty of room for everyone's activities, give the Fridge Grid Pad a look. It sure beats the alternative of calling your babysitter from work at the last minute, begging her to watch your child longer because your husband had a meeting in the evening that he didn't tell you about.

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