August signals a change in seasons but really it signals a change in pace. Businesses are simultaneously closing out Q2, while preparing for Q3. Many families are getting their last summer fun in, while also preparing for the fall as school starts. Meanwhile, another portion of the population is just patiently waiting for the cooler weather of fall! Whichever categories you fall into, we’re sharing some tips to manage your changing schedule- and get you back on track after summer!
The truth is that calendar and scheduling apps are a dime a dozen in your smart phone’s app store. Our suggestion for families is that you look for an application which has features similar to project management applications, therefore, the recommendations we are making can also be used for small teams/business as well. The top features that we recommend you consider, when choosing a shared calendar app are:
- Color coding: You want to choose an app that allows you to color code users activities differently. This allows you to see on the go, who is busy at which times, without necessarily reading.
- Multiple users: Modern day problems, call for modern day solutions. You want your calendar to be accessible for more than just you. Your spouse and your children – or your team members if using for a business- should also have the ability to access the calendar and edit their own activities as necessary.
- Easy sharing: Of course, the benefit of all this technology is to easily share your schedule with your family/team. You should make sure that this is a feature and read the reviews of this before you choose – especially if your crew uses different operating systems, i.e. Mac, Android, Microsoft, Linux, etc.
The Gregorian calendar we all know and love gets a major facelift thanks to technology. We read many reviews of calendar apps by many technology savvy blogs. Here’s the breakdown of the best apps in 2019.
Any.do Best calendar app all-around (Android, iOS, Web)
Lightning Best personal calendar app for combining with email and tasks (Linux, macOS, Windows)
Time management: as the parents or as the boss. Keeping yourself well organized and managing your time wisely is the foothold of a good team schedule. It’s not enough to download an app on your phone, unfortunately. In addition to creating a new habit of using the app and encouraging your team/family to do so as well, here are a few ideas for helping manage your time:
Lists: Lists are an excellent way of keeping organized. One idea is to keep a to-do list for yourself, in addition to your calendar. Starting each day with fresh list of the things you must do, helps you stay on track with tasks that might not be time-restricted or scheduled. Of course, lists can also be helpful for grocery shopping. There are also apps for this, but on an iPhone you could simply create a note and share it with another iOS user and the same is true for Android smartphones.
Organizing workspaces: No matter where your workspace is, home office, your desk at your business, your desk at school as a student, etc.- it’s important that you start your week with an organized workspace. Setting aside just a few minutes each day to ensure that your workspace is clean and put back together can set you up for success the following day. Taking the time to sort paperwork and remove excess can help you to keep your space free of clutter and likely help you focus on the tasks ahead.
Communications: We’ve discussed making the best use of apps, and the importance of keeping your workspace organized. Our next piece of advice for both business and family is taking time to sit down and discuss schedules once a week. Having a weekly productivity meeting or family pow-wow, not only provides a space for individuals to share their schedules and recent happenings- it also increases communication amongst team members/family members.
Scheduling Downtime: Our final piece of advice on time management, is making sure to schedule downtime to prevent burnout. By scheduling downtime, you make sure that time to rest is built into your schedule. You also prevent procrastination of important tasks at times when you want to rest but have other obligations. Downtime can have two meanings: make sure that some of it is free time with nothing scheduled but consider scheduling an hour or two each month to dedicate to team building/family bonding. This can help your unit come together, further improving your productivity and communication as a team- whether a business or family.
We’ve shared information about the best apps for sharing calendars and scheduling for small teams and families. We have also shared several tips to help you get started on the right foot with time management this fall. The truth is, August is sort of like a mid-year reset. You can choose to enlist new habits and time management skills to help you lead your team/family- and there’s no time like the present!