The 6 Best Family Calendars!

*I have an updated list for 2015 which you can check out here: The 7 Best Calendars That Work for Families

On Monday I wrote a post that showed you 5 ways that using a family calendar can really improve your life, and I am hoping that I have inspired you to commit to using a family calendar as a way to become more organized. And that you are willing to dedicate yourself to faithfully maintain all of your appointments and family commitments in one place- so you will always know where to go to be prepared for the day, week, and month ahead. But in order to do this, you have to right tool for the job…. so today I am sharing this list of the 6 Best Family Calendars!

Best Family Electronic Calendars:

#1. Cozi

Cozi is one of the most popular free software programs designed with families in mind. It features the ability to keep multiple calendars, allows you to make to-do lists and grocery lists, provides several options for printing the calendar (which is a great feature), and even gives you a place to keep a family journal.

Here’s a video to show you more…

You can check it out at: www.cozi.com

#2. PlumLife (update: no longer available)

Plum Life is a free app for your computer that allows you to create your family calendar and share it with multiple users. The cool thing about PlumLife is that it is designed to be a collaboration calendar. For example, you can add an appointment for a date night with your husband, and have it send him the information. It also allows you to schedule the babysitter right within Plumlife, triggering an email to the sitter with a requested arrival time, and then PlumLife flags that event as pending until your sitter responds with confirmation. Cool, right? PlumLife allows you to import existing calendars from Google and iCal, but I believe that this is meant to be a one-time import, and not an on-going sync feature.

#3. Google Calendar

Google calendar is probably one of the most widely used family calendars because most people are quite familiar with Google, it is free with your Google account and already handily displays on the menu bar if you are using Gmail. It also syncs nicely with other calendars that you or your signifiant other might be using at the office such as Microsoft Outlook. While it is not the most feature-laden calendar in terms of being designed with a family in mind, and does not offer collaboration with babysitters and carpool drivers… it has all of the main functionality that you need to make it work well for your family.

Here is a tutorial on how to get started with Google calendar.

You can find it at http://www.google.com/googlecalendar/about.html.

#4. iCal

I have declared here on Momof6 many times that Apple’s iCal is my favorite family calendar tool… it has been for several years now, and I still think it is a fantastic system. I think if you are a Mac user it is the best way to go… the software comes preloaded with your operating system, and syncs to other apple devices seamlessly (your iPhone, your iPad, etc). I am able to easily share our family calendar with my husband by syncing it to Google calendar, and iCal comes with several nice printable views that work well for how I like to manage our life.

Best Family Paper Calendars

I know that some of you still prefer the paper-based calendar that you can tuck into your handbag and carry with you throughout the day. Or to hang on a wall for everyone in the home to see. Here are two of the best paper family calendars.

#5. MomAgenda

This systems comes encased in a lovely notebook and features different sections for you to include all of your important information- such as a monthly calendar or a weekly calendar, a to-do list section, a place to keep address and contact information, and even planning pages. The MomAgendas are beautiful, but they are not inexpensive… the 2012 personal folio with a faux-leather cover sells for $75. However if you are a loyal MomAgenda user, but are feeling ready to try to “go techy”… MomAgenda now also offers an iPad App for $4.99.

www.momagenda.com

#6. Family Plan-It Plus Calendar

This is a great wall calendar that features five lines for each date so you can record one person’s information on their own line (or you might have to double up if you have lots of kids!). It is a nice-looing calendar without being overly-cutesy as so many family wall calendars are.

You can find this one at Amazon.

If you would like to learn more about using family calendars, please see:

5 Ways That Using a Family Calendar Can Improve Your Life!

Building a Family Calendar: Choosing Paper or Electronic

Building a Family Calendar: Setting it Up and the “Weekly Planning Ritual”

Building a Family Calendar: My Favorite Tool- iCal

I would love to hear from you now… how successful are you in using a family calendar to keep track of all of your family’s appointments and commitments in one spot? Do you have a system that you love, or are you still searching for the one that is right for you? Did this list help you to do that? Please leave a comment and tell us!

 

Comments

  1. says

    Great post Sharon. There is definitely a method of calendaring for everyone.
    We’d love for you to check out our site – it launched in 2011 (android app is out and iPhone app will be out next month). We offer a family calendar that is shareable not only with just your family account, but also with other members on different levels of sharing. So, you can opt to let grandparents or aunts and uncles see the kids sports events. Or you can give an au pair viewing rights to your calendar until they go back home. We built our site as a family management dashboard so that there is a lot more than just the calendar. But we’d love for you to check it out – and like the other online calendars here – it’s Free!

    • says

      Thanks for telling me about this Kirsten! I will definitely check it out! A few people have contacted me about family calendar system that either they have helped to create or that they feel strongly about. I can’t wait to research them all, and then perhaps expand my top 6 list to a top 10 list!

  2. says

    Thanks so much for including PlumLife in your overview of family calenders. I hope your readers will come give it a try. It’s FREE, easy to get started and simple to use.

    PlumLife is different than all of the others in a couple of key ways. We understand that keeping separate calendars for each family member is great, but most families have lots of events which include multiple members. So, PlumLife allows a single event to be displayed on multiple calendars and only requires that you enter the data one time. The other way that we are very different is that without leaving the calendar, you can communicate with everyone who needs to know something about the event whether they are family members or not.

    We are VERY interested in our customer’s suggestions and are continuously making modifications in response. So, I hope your readers who are seeking a solution for their busy families will give it a try and let us know their thoughts.

    The PlumLife Team

  3. Erica Filpi says

    Admittedly I run a small home based business, so I mix family with business on my calendar. I found free print sheets (I shall remain nameless unless given permission) that I printed for several months. I grabbed a three ring binder and some dividers. I have my calendar in the very front, with business behind. HOWEVER, it could be modified for any home. Place the calendar in front, absentee notes next, late notes third, to do list forth, etc. Having six kids, I preprinted absentee/late notes that have their names and general reasons. All I have to do is write the date, circle the name, circle the reason, sign my name. It saves time and believe it or not it is awesome, not lazy *L*. I started doing this five years ago when I had a foreign exchange student living here as well.

    • says

      I do the same thing with early dismissal notes – I pre filled them out and then copied them so all I had to do is to fill in the last of the details. Every little bit helps!

  4. Karen says

    Sharon – If you find a really good grocery list program let me know. I started using the Cozi one and was excited about how you can make many different lists (for the 4 different stores we go to). However, it does not organize the items into sections, ie; fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc. It is just one big list down the left side of the paper and what a waste of trees to print that out! Anyhoo, love your site and your research and suggestions. You are my hero for being so organized with 6 kids! Wow!

    • says

      Aww… thanks Karen! I really like using my Excel spreadsheet list that I created and organized by areas of the store…. and I just keep it on a clipboard in my kitchen and add to it as we run out of things. So far I have not found any program or app that I like better than this method.

      • Karen says

        Yes, that probably is the best program for grocery lists. I’m not super proficient at Excel but I guess with enough practice I’ll get good at it! :)

  5. Lisa says

    I have been trying to love Cozi since Aug. However, I cannot believe how slow the server is. I can’t update or catchup on things that I’ve finished because I have to “retry” on almost every entry. I’ve contacted support and they are very nice but the problem is making me find something else. I’m so frustrated wasting time trying to enter. Also, you can’t search any text. The list’s don’t have a date option or order of importance…… i wanted to love it, I’m obsessed w/calendars & organization but I’m moving on.

  6. jewel70 says

    We are a Mac /Apple family all the way around BUT i found that Cozi is much more appealing to me than iCal after many years of iCal. Cozi does allow syncing across all platforms including my boys’ phones/ ipods, and you can have a shortcut in your Bookmark Bar at the top of the browser screen.
    I also like still use a wall calendar, which makes one extra thing I have to do to keep it updated as well, but still can’t cut that cord ;-) Maybe I’ll start to print out the Cozi calendar every week but until then I use the Flylady Calendar for the kitchen wall.

  7. Kerry says

    Great ideas….I am curious about finding an online calendar that works with families that are d invoiced. This way the two homes can both have their children’s schedule and both add to it. They however cant see each others personal schedule. Would love any suggestions to help manage two schedules for two homes!!!!!

    • says

      Great question. In either Google calendar or iCal, you can set up specific calendars- so you can add one and call it “Kids Schedule”. You can then share that calendar with your ex, and allow him to contribute to it as well, and it can sync back to your calendar. When you go to add personal items to Google Calendar or iCal, be sure you are adding them to the “Personal Calendar” section and not to the “Kids Schedule” section. As long as your Personal Calendar is kept private and it not set to sync, your ex will not see anything on that calendar.

      My husband and I use calendars in this manner- I share our family calendar with him, but keep my blogging calendar separate.

  8. Helene Roussi says

    Your link for PlumLife calendar takes me to a site about controlling my home electronics remotely, not a link to the calendar app

  9. Cheryl says

    I’ve been using this calendar from calendarsandchores on the easy store for several years now and have never looked back. Hands down best calendar ever! Super attractive and nice heave quality. I keep it in my kitchen where all the family members can see it. Electronic calendars are nice, but there’s nothing like something that is physically present and right in front of the whole family. Every member gets a different color and is responsible for keeping their own items up to date. It’s been a great tool to use train my teenage children about scheduling and time management. The real genius is the rotating weeks that are detached from each other.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/calendarsandchores

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