Late August into early September feels like the busiest time of year for families. It’s back to school, which also means back to a full event schedule. While it can feel good to build routine, the hectic schedule can be hard to keep track of. My family has adopted two tools for keeping organized this fall – and they’re saving us!
The Weekly Check-In
This is a practice we learned from being a Fair Play family. The weekly check-in is usually a 45 minute to 1 hour meeting with each other. During this time we discuss the upcoming week. We look at our schedule and call out any disruption like travel, visitors, a one-off event or work commitment that will shift how we are distributing household responsibilities. During this meeting we discuss who owns everything that needs to be handled that week. This usually includes: Daycare drop off and pickup, walking our dog, laundry, weeknight meals, dishes, etc.
Things are constantly shifting this fall, so we know the weekly check-in is going to be extremely important. It’s also a chance for us to check in with each other to make sure we’re feeling okay and supporting each other properly.
This is also when we plan out our upcoming date nights. It’s our goal to prioritize two date nights a month (usually every other week). Without this weekly check in, something always slips through the cracks. This busy fall season that won’t be happening since we have adopted these two tools to keep our family organized.
This summer we adopted a new software tool to keep track of our family schedule, Agenda Hero. Agenda Hero is the central hub for everything our family has going on. It’s also our new best friend because it texts us reminders. In advance we set up custom text messages that arrive precisely when we need them. We’ve set up reminders for trash day, our daughters routine doctors appointments, submitting payment to our nanny and so much more. We submit payment to our nanny on Fridays and before we started using Agenda Hero I can’t tell you how many times I’d wake up on Saturday morning remembering that I didn’t pay her which is never a good feeling. Now, we never miss a payment.
By pre-scheduling the texts we can let go of feeling like we need to remember everything (the mental load) and feel confident we’ll be reminded when we need to be.
We are using Agenda Hero for all of the events our family has, but also to keep track of household responsibilities. As I mentioned, we are a Fair Play family, which means we use a method to distribute household tasks. My partner and I recently realized we’ve been putting off a lot of non-essential tasks, like organizing our junk drawer, deep cleaning the stove, decluttering the office and more. We had our daughter ten months ago and everything paused except for caring for her. We’re now in a place where we can start to take care of some of the things that have piled up. Agenda Hero is an amazing way for us to keep track of this and assign a task owner, date and time to it. Here’s an example of the schedule we created. The best part about it, it’s free for families to try!