Family planning

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We just got an email from a newly-married Textagenda user who likes to keep track of her husband’s schedule in addition to her own, and who had some good ideas about a new planning format for families:

I would like to see a two-page-a-day format — the left-hand page with an expanded version of the [Textagenda’s] hourly breakdown (but with at least two separate columns so I could track my schedule and my husband’s side-by-side… probably 3-4 would be better for moms) and the right-hand page with the blank lined section for notes.

Personally, I tend to think of those big monthly wall calendars when I think of family planners, but I suppose they’re not very portable (or to everyone’s taste, for that matter). So I’ll throw the question out to our readers. Moms, dads, newlyweds! Would you be interested in an expanded family planner? What features would you like to see in it?

Image via jonny goldstein.

9 thoughts on “Family planning

  1. After looking through the Quo Vadis planners online, I realize the Septanote has many of the criteria I listed above:

    Academic year format to have one planner book for the entire school year;

    A timed daily column for my schedule plus a Notes box for family members’ events, for each day;

    Week to view with space on the weekly pages for notes (Phone/ Email/ Pay-Receive/ To Do, which of course could be re-labeled for any need);

    Portable size;

    Several notes pages in the back for carpool schedules, medical info etc.;

    A detachable address book for doctor/ dentist/ pharmacy contact info;

    And grown-up looking!

    Hmmm, the Septanote is a definite consideration for a busy parent/ family!

  2. Ditto everything Laurie said. Also, to consider with family planning, including pet planning, is follow-up doctor/vet appointments. With multiple kids, that could be difficult to keep up on. So, maybe some reminder column, such as: after Child finishes medication, schedule follow-up appointment. And, of course, a page for vacation planning would be helpful.

  3. Meant to add re the format: Ideally the timed daily column for me and the open space for my family’s events for each day would be side-by-side. That way I can see, for example, when I need to take Child to their sports practice. Having the family members’ space down at the bottom of the daily column (as in the Trinote format) makes it easier to fit on the page, but makes it harder to see when my schedule overlaps with my family’s. But, I do realize it makes it more difficult to fit the entire week on the 2 page spread with a column and a notes space side by side for all 7 days. Would make a very wide book! Something to think about.

  4. I would LOVE to see a family calendar/ planner from Quo Vadis!

    I second what Juli said: plenty of space for Saturday and Sunday. We are at least as busy, and sometimes more so, on the weekends as during the weekdays. Usually on the weekends we go somewhere and the kids have multiple activities or events. It would be nice to have room on the page somewhere to jot directions and notes. Week on two pages is a must so I can prepare for what’s coming up later in the week. Also within the planner there should be month on two pages calendars (days as squares) with space to write in each day so things like school projects or other major events don’t creep up and surprise me!

    Some family calendars have a square for each family member each day of the week. This is nice for a wall calendar, if you only need to write in one or two things per person per day. But for a weekly planner that I will carry around, I need enough space each day to write the details of my own day and also any events for my family. I don’t need an hour-by-hour breakdown of each person in my family every day, but I do for myself. So, maybe a timed column for me, and then a space to write in any events for everyone else, for each day. Not sure what this would look like. Something similar to the Trinote format’s timed column/ daily notes space comes to mind.

    Obviously it has to be portable in order to go everywhere in my purse, every day. 5 ½ by 8 inches seems to be a popular size for weekly planners.

    There are a lot of “Mom calendars” on the market (in daily, weekly and monthly formats) but many of them are too cutesy or “mom-ish” for me. Yes I’m a mother but I also do many other things. I need to be able to use ONE planner that encompasses my own and my family’s schedules, so I need a planner that I’m not embarrassed to use at work (as in, no cartooney characters or little-kid designs).

    I’ve looked at a lot of “mom planners” and one feature that I like that several of them have is pages for contact numbers that you might not keep in your phone like doctor, dentist, pharmacy etc. for reference. Also many have a page for each family member with medical information like prescriptions, allergies, special needs etc. Always handy for those unexpected ER visits!!

    Also there should be several lined pages in the back of the book to use for things like: gift lists, school contact information for each child, carpool schedules, and any other information you’ll need while out and about.

    And, it might work best if it were in an academic year format, so that the school-related information is the same all year (so you don’t have to change the teacher contact info/ sports practice schedule etc. mid-book).

    Obviously I have a lot to say about a family calendar/ planner! Feel free to email me if you want to hear more! LOL

  5. When I had three kids at home I used Polestar’s Family Calendar. You can see it’s layout and size here: To my mind, it was too big to carry around, but one of my co-workers buys two, one to leave by the phone at home and one to carry about. And I really, really wish there were more planners that didn’t assume nothing happens on Saturday and Sunday.

  6. Ditto for the equal space for weekends. Not everyone has those days off, whether for work or family.

    I immediately thought of my beloved trying to juggle his schedule and his mom’s. This could be a sanity saver!

  7. I’m not really a planner person, personally, I prefer just keeping a notebook and taking good notes, but I can’t say enough good stuff about this planner. My partner just got one and she loves it, and if I needed to get a planner for myself, the behance products are open-ended enough that i’m pretty sure I wouldn’t hate it.

    All of which is to say, I like planners that don’t dictate too much to me.

  8. Yes, and by all means don’t give Saturday and Sunday the short end of the stick. Those are the busiest days especially if you have a couple of kids and you are trying to keep games, practices and birthday parties, etc. all straight. A space for notes and grocery lists each week would be great as well. I prefer the whole week laid out in front of me on two pages. Plus it needs to fit in my purse so the Textagenda size is great for that. The fun colors with removable covers and refills are my favorite. A journal refill in that size would be great as well.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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