Great Family Calendars (Part 2 - Family Tools)
Lisa - April 20, 2022
It’s time for more tips on having a better calendar, specifically how Family Tools can help you do so. If you read Part 1, you should have some great ideas on improving your family’s schedule system. Now, here’s how Family Tools helps provide each of the solutions mentioned in the first article—getting on the same calendar, distinguishing events, and simplifying the view for kids.
Everyone on the family account sees the same calendar, which is designed to be straightforward for all ages. If you have children that are too young to use a computer, simply make them each a non-email account to help distinguish their events. Kids without a device can look at the web version (www.familytools.app) or check the family tablet using the PIN system. By using this digital calendar that updates instantly, you can see and resolve conflicts without even being in the same place, which helps everyone be better prepared for each day. This is especially true as you add events in advance or make certain ones repeat, which are both easy to do as well.
Not only is the calendar visible to everyone, but it’s extremely accessible. As soon as you open the app, the dashboard will show the day’s events, so family members can see what’s going on almost instantly. For a quick view of tomorrow’s events or upcoming events, just tap the clock icon in the corner. The view for upcoming events also has a “More” button, which lets you see even further ahead without ever leaving the dashboard.
Because everyone has a personal icon and color scheme, the Family Tools calendar automatically makes distinction between each person’s events. The family also has its own icon and color, which will accompany every event assigned to “Family” or to more than one person. The latter will also include the names and icons of each assigned member below the event’s names, so there’s no question who’s involved in what. For example, you’ll know that every event marked with a pirate flag is your son’s, the sun belongs to the whole family, and events with the sun that show the pirate flag below are assigned to him and at least one other person.
You also might notice that the month calendar has simple distinctions of its own. Different colored dots show whether a day has a personal event, a family event, or an event not attached to you. The colors are based on the color scheme you’ve selected, so they’re different for everyone. (Events attached to you use your primary color, family events use your success color, and events that aren’t yours use your color for error messages.)
Does the week still look too cluttered? Use the filter on the right to only see one person at a time, or only the events assigned to the family. This is great for kids that don’t need to see their older brother’s daily football practice or Dad’s weekly volunteer hours. Since it’s a digital calendar, you can also use emoji to separate certain events and help kids who don’t read as well. For example, put a chess piece next to your son’s board game club meetings or a plate next to Grandma’s dinner party.
What if someone prefers to use their own calendar for events like school classes and work schedules? That’s just fine. They can still participate in family organization by importing Family Tools events into their Google or Apple calendar. This keeps their full schedule from filling the family calendar, but lets them stay up-to-date on family events. You’ll get the best of both apps.
Remember, good communication is still vital. The Family Tools Calendar is a tool that can provide flexibilty, clarity, and greater unity when families use it together.