Using the right tools can be a key factor in keeping your kids' schedules organized. There's the big calendar, for example, which you learned about on the previous page. These calendars are usually cheap, easy to use and incredibly efficient -- if you're diligent about using them. The calendar system does require a certain amount of cooperation from everyone, but once your kids see that it makes their lives easier as well, they'll probably be more willing to contribute.
If you want to take things a step further, you could also use a contract or a form that your kids have to fill out in order to participate in an activity or go to a specific event. Not only can this help keep you meticulously organized, but it will teach your kids about responsibility as well.
One child advocacy group, the Children's Rights Council, has developed a form that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. It is aptly titled the Activity Schedule for Kids -- or "ASK" -- form. The way it works is simple. When your kids want to participate in an activity, they fill out the form completely, including the date of the event, the time and a short description, as well whether or not you will need to provide transportation. The form also includes a spot to list the cost of the activity and a section for emergency contact information, so you'll always have a way to get in touch with your child. Try filing the completed forms according to date, so that you can easily reference them when planning out the week's schedule [source: Children's Rights Council].
One benefit of keeping your family's schedules organized can involve meals. Everyone needs to eat, and it's nice when you can find time to do it together -- but sometimes you need the right tools to make this happen, too. For example, you can make eating together efficient by planning out the week's meals in advance and separating all the ingredients you'll need for each meal in a labeled container. Then when it comes time to cook, you won't have to spend time looking for things [source: Woman's Day]. You can use the time you saved by pre-planning to spend more time with your kids.
For those who consider themselves computer savvy, you can take organization to the next level by using computer software to keep track of your kids' schedules. Keep reading to find out what programs work best.