Are you tired of reminding your kids over and over about the music lessons they have after school? Tired of your spouse or partner asking when their next dentist appointment is? Do you keep forgetting birthday parties, car servicing, or library due dates? You need a family calendar!
A family calendar is a fantastic method for keeping track of the small – and big! – details lost in the chaos of everyday life. If it’s written on the calendar, it happens. If someone in the family needs to remember something, it goes on the calendar. If mom needs peace of mind, it goes on the calendar. It’s the epicenter of family life!
Here are some of the best family calendars on the market. From magnets to pockets to apps and iPhones, this list can help you to determine which option is best for your busy family.
1. Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer
Perhaps the most unique and beloved feature of this fantastic wall calendar is that it starts in August, following the school year instead of a typical chronological calendar. Perfect for moms looking to get organized for the upcoming school season. Another a great feature is the seven lines in each date block, offering plenty of room for writing each family member’s schedule. Whether you have two kids or four, there is room for everyone, even a fur child or two!
This product has a clean looking, simple design, making it a perfect addition to an already well-decorated home space. While it has many features, including a “Projects” section, a daily “dinner menu” space, and pages at the back for recording emergency phone numbers, a chore chart, and tons of stickers. The stickers mean that you can dress up this cleanly spread calendar and personalize it in any way you like. Although some have complained that there aren’t enough of certain stickers and too many of others, the latest version seems to have addressed this and included more relevant ones like “Girl’s Nite,” “Rehearsal,” and “Volunteer.”
- Big grids, lots of space for writing on each day
- Clean looking – No cheesy themed graphics
- Follows the school year, not calendar year
- No color coding
- Only one hole at the top for hanging, and it’s way too heavy for this
2. MotherWord Ultimate Family Calendar Deluxe
With its strong magnets attached to the back, this calendar is a great option for either attaching to a fridge (or other magnetic surface, like a memo board), to a cork board, to a wall, or pretty much anywhere! It’s also one of the largest calendars on the market at 18 by 13.5 inches, which means there is plenty of space for corralling your family’s hectic schedules. And with roughly 660 stickers to choose from – including “dentist,” “lessons,” “hot lunch,” and “carpool” – your family’s life will be more organized and more animated than ever. There are also some very handy tabs on the bottom so you can flip forward or backward to whichever month you need.
Motherword isn’t just a calendar either. It also includes a very handy chore chart to help get your kiddos to pitch in and help with maintaining your home, and also a super cute growth chart. The growth chart is a new addition to the package, but the chore chart, stickers, storage pocket, phone directory, and anniversary and birthstone charts have been beloved features of this family calendar for a long time. The makers of this family calendar really have thought of everything!
Since the one-page format means you rip the month off and toss it when it’s over, it can be frustrating if you need to flip back to previous months since they won’t be there. And even though there are a ton of stickers included, many moms find that they’re not always the right stickers – there are too many stickers for uncommon events or activities and not enough for common ones.
- Magnetic hanging is very convenient
- One month per page, not half on top or half on bottom
- Tabs on the bottom for easy navigating
- Page-by-page means you can’t flip back to check previous months
- Lots of stickers for uncommon things (no school) but not enough for common things (recycling)
- Cartoon graphics can seem juvenile
3. Mom’s Manager
Unlike many other family calendars, Mom’s Manager doesn’t have any cartoon characters or cutesy designs. Instead, each year the calendar features on-trend graphics like bold florals, stripes, and bright geometric patterns. It’s also made with premium matte paper so there is frustrating bleeding through to other pages. Many moms love this calendar as it can feel like more of a stylish addition to the room than simply another necessary pile of papers.
Although it’s one of the smaller calendars on our list, measuring a standard 12 by 12 inches, each date block has seven lines/spaces, making it perfect for big families. Whether you have several kids and choose to assign one line for one family member, or only have a small family but lots of appointments to record, these extra lines can come in very handy. It also comes with very handy stickers to designate lessons, chores, etc. Some users have been disappointed in the number of stickers, though. It doesn’t include as many as other family calendars do.
For all its style and attractive features, this wall calendar is often reported to fall off the wall. It has only one small thumbtack hole at the top to hold it in place – not enough! Adding more holes, using clamp-style paperclips, or other methods will likely be required to keep this beauty on the wall.
- Easy to assign one line for one person – you can write names on the side once and use it the whole year
- Pretty florals, colors, and patterns to complement your stylish home
- TF Publishing is an eco-conscious company who uses wind turbine power, reduces plastic in packaging, and is committed to recycling and composting
- Single hole for hanging isn’t strong enough
- Some years the designs have been outdated
- Not very many stickers
4. Do It All Magnetic Wall Calendar
Here is another one that can be stuck to the refrigerator or hung on the wall. The Do It All Mom Calendar has a great magnetic backing that sticks firmly to the fridge, and also a sturdy plastic tab specifically for wall hanging – both all but guarantee that it won’t fall! This calendar has a bunch of other fantastic features too: a page holder to make sure everything stays flat, a foldout wing for writing down family member names, a large pocket for storing things like receipts or tickets… the list goes on.
Moms love the thick mate paper and the roughly 380 stickers that accompany this family organizer. They love the extra-large grids and the convenient side column for taking notes, making lists, or maybe just for doodles. And speaking of doodles, this calendar’s artwork is complemented nicely by the many mom-related quotes found throughout. It’s also great to know that Orange Circle is an environmentally responsible company that prints all their products on FSC certified paper with soy-based inks, and all the calendars are recyclable.
Back to that artwork, though. It does seem strange that there are no visuals that include dads anywhere on this calendar. There are plenty of drawings depicting moms spending time with their kids, but dads are nowhere to be seen. This is quite an eye-raising oversight.
- Plastic holder for wall hanging, also strong magnets for fridge use
- Fold out wing for writing family names
- Printed on FSC certified paper with soy-based ink
- Artwork takes up some of the writing space
- Rather sexist – no dads anywhere in the artwork
Tired of wasting paper? Tired of using wall space for calendars that nobody takes the time to look at? Tired of yelling at your kids to get off their phones and listen when you’re trying to tell them what they have to do today? You’re not alone. The answer to all of these problems can be as simple as downloading the Cozi app. It works with both iPhones and Androids, and also can be accessed from other devices like tablets, home computers, etc. Perfect for families that run on technology.
Cozi is a very popular calendar app that color codes its entries for each family member. Setting up recurring events is a breeze, making to-do lists is simple, and you can easily link to other virtual calendars such as Google, Outlook, etc. Moms will love the tab for creating grocery lists, shopping lists, etc., and the ability to store recipes and meal ideas by using the “meals” tab. There’s even a feature for keeping a family journal.
Obviously, not everyone prefers to go the technological route. Even a concept as simple as a calendar can prove difficult for those who aren’t technologically inclined. Some specific frustrations users have experienced include the limited options for printing the calendar and the fact that reminders can’t be sent via text. This can be especially annoying for a mom who lives with a house full of teenagers who are addicted to texting.
- Accessible from phones as well as tablets, computers, etc.
- Can share other virtual calendars with it, like Google calendar, outlook etc.
- Can view the entire calendar or filter by individual
- Limited options for printing out your calendar
- Advertisements – only paying for Cozi gold eliminates these
- Can only send reminders via email, not text
Many, many moms – as well as all other humans – will tell you that they couldn’t possibly get through their day-to-day lives without the help of a calendar. Whether it’s an academic agenda, a detailed Filofax, a bullet journal, or a basic wall calendar, having a place to record all the details of daily life can make things flow so much more smoothly. This video gives some basic tips for how to keep a calendar and how it can be beneficial for everyone.
Some people find that using a planner or calendar with specific times allotted on each day can help keep things organized. Particularly busy people need to write down what’s happening each hour of each day. Some even find that writing down specific tasks at specific times helps to make sure those tasks really do get accomplished.
Gretchen Rubin is an internationally acclaimed author who researches and writes about topics like happiness, habits, and organization. Her book Better Than Before discusses how to make and break habits to better your life and make you happier. In her list of “Secrets of Adulthood” she says that “If I need to remember something, I write it down.” On a related note, in Outer Order, Inner Calm Rubin says, “Something that can be done at any time is often done at no time.”
With these wise words in mind, it’s no wonder that moms choose to write “laundry” in the 2 pm time slot on Wednesday, or “call for dentist appointment” at 4:30 on Friday, etc. Scheduling everyday tasks makes them much more likely to get accomplished.
Even if you’re one of those brilliantly organized individuals who never forget a chore or appointment, having a family calendar or planner can be helpful for the rest of the family members. Just because mom knows that little Joey’s soccer game was rescheduled from Tuesday night to Sunday afternoon doesn’t mean that dad or Joey know, and they might try to schedule a fishing trip instead. Write it down and keep it in a place where everyone can see it!
There are a few details to consider when looking for a wall calendar to fit your family’s needs.
Do you have wall space for a big calendar? Would you prefer a magnetic option to attach to the fridge? How much space do you need for each day? Do you want a line per day that can be dedicated to each individual child? Is a bright, colorful calendar more your style, or one that’s simple and clean looking.
The first thing to consider is where you’ll hang or attach your family calendar. Is there a spot on the wall near the kitchen? How about in the office or family room? Find a spot that is central and highly visible so everyone can see the calendar and easily check their individual schedules and add necessary items. Once you’ve established the best place for the item, consider the size of the space. If you need an especially large calendar, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough wall space to accommodate. Or if you’d prefer to attach it to the refrigerator, measure the available surface space to be sure a calendar will fit.
Many family calendars, especially those with lined blocks for each day of the month, are usually quite large and will require a significant wall or fridge space. In fact, most calendars that are specifically marketed for the family are often 14 or 18 inches wide, whereas the average wall calendar is only 12 by 12 inches. Chances are good that you’ll need significant space!
One of the biggest complaints with any type of wall calendar is that they don’t stay well attached. Some only have one tiny hole for a single thumbtack that simply can’t handle the calendar’s weight. Some have inferior glue holding all the pages together, so it eventually droops and falls. Others have weak magnets that aren’t built to hold the weight of a 12- or 18-month calendar. When deciding on a calendar for your family, be sure to choose a sturdy option, or at least consider alternative hanging methods. Some helpful options can include a few extra magnets (extra strong ones), using more than one nail or thumbtack at the top of the calendar, or maybe attaching a few large paper clips (clamp style) to the top and using nails or thumbtacks with those instead of the hole/holes provided. Be prepared!
Whichever size and style of wall calendar you choose, be sure to consider your family’s individual needs before purchasing. Although a calendar may not be a huge financial investment, wasting time and effort on using the wrong one can be frustrating. Plan ahead for your family’s planner!
Now one of the world’s largest paper, pulp, and lumber manufacturers, the Mead Corporation began in 1846 as Ellis, Chafflin, & Company. And although they found themselves dangerously close to financial collapse in 1905, they now make approximately $4.71 billion in sales each year. Mead is now part of the ACCO Brands family which includes other well-known names like Hilroy, Trapper Keeper, and Five Star.
Dominique Raccah is the woman behind Sourcebooks, a publishing company that was #2 on Publishers Weekly’s list of 1999’s ten fastest-growing small publishers in the country. Similar accolades followed, acquisitions were made (including the famous 1-2-3 Magic in 2016), and several imprints were established. Today the company has over 150 employees and is worth approximately $9.5 million.
Peter Workman founded Workman Publishing in 1968 and it has since grown to be America’s largest independently owned trade book publisher. Although they started with non-fiction books, their product line has grown several different genres (and several imprint publishers) and they create one of the most popular lines of calendars in the country, including all Sandra Boynton calendars.
What began as a basement startup in 1996 has grown into a company that supplies stationery products around the world. They are Hallmark’s exclusive Calendar/Planner licensee and they publish numerous styles of calendars, planners, journals, and social stationery for many other vendors. Their ultimate goal is to “create fun, inspiring, useful products – accessible around the world.”
Q: What is the best way to use a family calendar?
There are many different ways to use a family calendar, and it may take some trial and error to figure out which method is best for your family. One trick that many moms find useful is to assign a specific color for each family member and write all of their appointments, lessons, and other details in that color. You could also draw lines (if there aren’t any already) in each date block so that you have one line to use for each person; the top line is always for your eldest daughter, the middle line is for your husband, etc. Watch this video for more tips and tricks!
Q: Where should I put our family’s calendar?
The best place for a calendar to go is in a high traffic area, and this can be different in every home. Many homes find that the kitchen is the best place, since everyone gathers there at least once per day, usually more. Some might find an office or study might be a better place, or perhaps a playroom, or even a mudroom. Whichever spot you choose, be sure your family calendar is displayed in a place where it’s going to be highly visible and can’t be ignored.
Q: Who should be in charge of the family calendar?
Everyone should help to keep the family calendar up to date! Your toddlers may be a bit too young, but by the time your kids are in school they can certainly be taught to have some responsibility in this area. Even if they can’t write yet, they can help you find the days and time slots on the calendar for you to write in their scheduled events. And once they’re a bit older, especially in their teens, they can write in the necessary information themselves. Mom and dad should certainly be involved too!
Q: Is a paper calendar better than a dry erase or chalkboard calendar?
Really, any form of calendar is a great way to keep your family organized, but most users find that paper is the best format. Chalkboards and dry erase boards make it too easy to unintentionally smudge or erase information! Little hands are especially good at finding ways to “accidentally” mess up the system! If you do find that your family does best with a chalkboard or dry erase calendar, keep it hung up high where all forms of accidents are less likely to happen.
Q: How much do family calendars cost?
Calendars are not very costly at all! This is one of the reasons why it is such a highly recommended method for keeping your family organized. You can find simple calendars for as low as $4.00 on Amazon, and even the most popular ones are in the $15 to $20 range. It’s certainly not going to be a big investment and yet has a priceless value for today’s busy families.
All of the family calendars we’ve mentioned here are great options and very popular with moms and families alike. If you’re a big family with lots of people in the house, your best bet is probably the Mom’s Manager calendar since it has seven lines for each day. That particular option is only 12 by 12, though, so if you find you need something bigger and more visible, the MotherWord Ultimate Family Calendar is a better choice. On the other hand, if your family members are always on their phones and often need to access the family schedule when away from home, the Cozi app is perfect. Each family is different, but everyone can benefit from some organization.
So which option best fits your needs? Which family calendar will you choose?