Family calendars, to dos

Last week, I discovered BackpackIt, a nifty web utility that lets you share lists, files, and notes.  The lists include check-off boxes, which means that this might be a solution to the endless problem of how do two (or more) people share a to-do list.  T. and I are giving it a try, and we’ll see how it goes.  I think the free level is plenty for us, but if someone would develop a way to sync the lists with HandyShopper, I’d be willing to pay for it. 

For sharing calendars, we use the low-tech solution of a whiteboard hanging in the kitchen, which we try to update every Sunday night.  It’s not perfect — T. totally forgot about a dentist appointment a few weeks ago, in spite of the fact that it was written in clear letters — but it serves the main purpose of making sure that we don’t both plan on doing kid-free activities at the same time.

For such a basic set of issues, faced by pretty much every family, you’d think there would be a better solution.  But we haven’t found it yet.  Recommendations are welcome.

7 Responses to “Family calendars, to dos”

  1. Fred Vincy Says:

    Palm Pilots are pretty good at making and sharing calendars and to do lists, but both people have to like the interface. I’m a Palm nut, but Mary prefers her to do lists in Excel, so we end up being a bit ad hoc about coordinating. And I missed an appointment recently, because even the Palm does not solve the problem T. had of _not looking at the calendar_. (Actually, it does, if you set the alarm and keep it with you, but I don’t really like that idea, so I just try to remember to check it every morning.)

  2. Scrivener Says:

    If you’ve got a Mac and a .Mac acct, you can keep your calendars (and other stuff too) all automatically synched. I’ve never actually done this, mind you, because right now my laptop is the only Mac in the family. But next year I’ll have a Mac desktop in the office, and I plan to try it out.

  3. Mer Says:

    We both work and have Outlook calendars that we use. We’ve gotten in the habit of sending each other emails titled, “CALENDAR ITEM” and then setting reminders as needed. Also, we try to keep a regular paper calendar at home in the kitchen for big family events, etc. And we always try to spend a few minutes on Sunday talking about what the week has in store, schedulewise. Perfect? No way. But we haven’t had a calamity in quite a while…

  4. Jennifer Says:

    We both use outlook as well – me at work and Evan at home. It depends on your setup, but Evan can invite me to meetings in his calendar, and they will automatically go into my calendar when I accept them (unfortunately doesn’t work the other way around).
    We also had a big calendar on the fridge, but we never use it, I think we’re too geeky.

  5. vix Says:

    I read about someting in Working Mom magazine for divorced parents to keep calendars, etc. straight — think it was this one:
    I’m going to check it out as the to-do list just grows and grows……!

  6. academom Says:


    More talk of daily planning and organizing:Elizabeth at Half-changed World, via Laura at 11D. The best I can do is have a calendar hanging on the wall in the kitchen. When the kids bring home announcements about field trips (requiring…

  7. Academic Coach Says:

    Here are some of my thoughts on the topic:
    Have you ever seen the site/read the book by
    Flylady? The ultimate mom’s organization/housework guide.
    somewhat politically conservative (in a subtle, un-feminist, back to the ’50s sort of way) but still excellent in terms of concrete tips and tactics.

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