Calendars. Do they make you happy? Do you feel more organized just thinking about them? Can you even imagine a world without them? Well, then this post is for you!
We manage our lives around here with a series of shared Google Calendars. We have a family calendar, I have a personal calendar, the teen girls each have a social calendar, and we have a sports and performances calendar that is shared with relatives. I also have a “Pick Up Calendar” that has the times I’m supposed to be somewhere to pick up someone. For instance, it includes the different times I need to pick up people from school or from some other event that would not be on the calendar. The goal of the “Pick Up Calendar” is 1) to provide assurance that every time-sensitive task I have is documented and does not need to be remembered solely in my mind and 2) provide reminders and alerts, but be hideable so that when I print out calendars it doesn’t show up.
We have a range of ages around here, and two of our five kids actually have our calendars on their phones, but the other three wander the house aimlessly wondering what the day and week hold. Then they ask me. “What do we have today?” “What time is my game?” “What are we doing this weekend?” “Are we free tomorrow?”
So. Many. Questions. Sweet things. I get it. They just want to get some bearings in this whirlwind that is our life.
I initially fixed this problem by printing out our combined Google calendar and posting it on the refrigerator. The problem with this is that with 5 children, 5 sports, 3 schools and countless other variables, our calendar changes on the daily. And let me tell you the frustration that an incorrect calendar causes. It is far worse than a child not knowing the plan because now they think they know the plan, but the plan has changed. This is. The. Worst.
So, what is the perfect fix for this? A digital calendar, of course. Well, I went on the hunt, and I did find a product that markets itself as a digital calendar. It is essentially a digital picture frame with some software that allows you to display a calendar. It is pretty cool. The problem is that it isn’t very big. We have a ton of events on our calendar – sometimes 8 events in a day. It doesn’t help anyone if only a few of our events show up on the calendar.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I came across the perfect fix! You can turn your TV into a huge digital wall calendar! Talk about a dream come true! Look at it in all of its glory!
How Do I Get My Own Digital Wall Calendar?
It’s super easy! All you need to do is create an account at Mango Display and decide which method you are going to use to display your calendar. I wanted to display our calendar on our living room TV, so the easiest and most cost effective way for me to accomplish this was to purchase an Amazon Fire Stick for $19.99 and download the free Mango app. Mango Display outlines instructions for setting up your calendar on their website, and they are really detailed and easy to follow.
There you have it! The stuff dreams are made of!
An interesting byproduct of our new, visible-all-the-time, family calendar is a noticeably increased level of calm amongst the kids. Knowing what the day looks like, and that an event isn’t going to pop up out of thin air (usually), seems to have provided a new level of security for several of our children. You’ve got to love when technology actually helps us out with family issues.
Are you in a spot where technology is just causing your family trouble? Check out some of my other posts about managing technology in your family.