The first thing I did was get all the calendars ready. Each of the kids has their own wall calendar in their bedroom. At the end of the year, we fill in the calendar for the next year with all the important birthdays & holidays. I only include the dates that are important to that child. They don't really need to know the birthday of a cousin they don't remember, who they haven't seen in 5 years, & who lives in another state. I include things that are important to them, holidays/celebrations they want/need to know about. There is also a calendar in the living room. This calendar has all the family birthdays that I know (I suck at birthdays & know I am missing several), all holidays important to anyone in our house, and any other important dates we need to remember. I also make notes on each month about things that need to be done some time that month ( clean gutters, change furnace filter, etc.). Whenever we set up an appointment, I write it on this calendar (sometimes someone else writes it, but I really hate when they do because they always write too big & sloppy). This one is where everyone can see it, and we refer to it almost daily. We also have an online calendar that sends us reminders for appointments. (Yes, I realize this is a lot of calendars, but I prefer the mix of paper & tech.) We use Cozi for its calendar. We did use it for the shopping list for awhile, but they changed it so it no longer sends your list to you as a text on your phone. So, now we only really use the calendar feature.
the family calendar
The kids & I also each have a day planner. These two belong to Jay & me (Dea has hers in her room):
I filled out the small calendar in the front with all dates important to that person:
It's kind of small, but there's a lot of writing there.
Each month is filled in with important info & dates:
This one is mine.
I even add in reminders to send people's birthday cards the week before their birthday, so I don't forget (I am seriously horrible with birthdays).
So far this year, the kids have been doing a pretty good job of using their calendars & day planners. I'm actually kind of impressed (usually, they would have completely forgotten about them by this point).
For us, this works. We have the online calendar to send us reminders. We have the wall calendars for us to look at daily, and we have the day planners which are portable & easy to write in. I also like that with this combo, the kids are getting to try out 3 different types of calendars. They get to see which one they prefer, what each is best used for, how to use each one, and how helpful each one is. That should help when they have to decide for themselves what organizational tools to include in their lives.