The last day of school here in Colorado is May 21st. Which is coming up fast. (Too fast!) My five oldest kids attend 3 different schools and the calendar between now and the last day of school is comically packed. Seriously, I keep laughing when I look at the calendar because it is ridiculously full. There are end of year celebrations for each child. Final class field trips and outdoor field days. Recitals and performances for band and theater. Gymnastics meets and ice skating expos. Oscar will be graduating from preschool. Maude will be graduating from elementary school. (Do we really call it graduating? Moving on, maybe?)

I know I’m not the only one. The end of the school year just gets crazy for everybody. There’s no way around it. This is modern American family life. (And I fully embrace it.)

In an effort to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, Ben Blair and I spent the morning syncing our work calendars and to-do lists with the family calendar. We use a combination of iCal, Outlook, Google docs and a big family calendar made of post-it notes to manage everything. We’re always looking for ways to simplify how we track information and are pretty aggressive about adopting new technologies we think might help. The next thing we’d like to experiment with is one unified calendar (we’re thinking a Google calendar) that everyone in the house can access and edit from whatever computer they’re using. Which I think could be fantastic.

But even if one unified calendar turns out to be wonderful, I don’t think I’m ready to give up the big family calendar made of post-its — where the kids can draw happy faces on the last-day-of-school square. I think my family is happiest when we use a combo of hi-tech and low-tech to make things work.

How do you keep track of everything? Do you have a set time that you calendar with your family? Do you use a paper calendar or a digital one? Did you ever use a Franklin planner? I was addicted to them for years…

PS — Can I just say this is a totally awkward time to add a new baby to the mix? Do I have the worst timing or what? Hah!

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Dodge Caravan asked about my thoughts on technology — how it allows me to find some semblance of work/life balance, while raising a big family and working as well. I responded, “How much time do you have?”  Then I told them I’d write up a series of 4 posts on the topic. This is post number one.

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