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What’s your calendar style?

As summer winds down and the calendar turns to September, let’s take a look at what kind of calendar you’re turning.

In an over-scheduled world, a calendar is a necessity for staying organized—especially if you’re juggling work and household schedules. But there are so many types available that the choices can be overwhelming. That’s why we have a roundup of the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular types of calendars.

Calendar apps/online calendars

Advantages:

  • Everything’s digital—no messy markers, no erasing and rewriting, no appointment cards to lose

  • Perfect for those on the go; your phone’s always with you

  • Easy to share your calendar with spouse/partner/kids/friends

  • Easy to add notes and information as needed

  • Easy to schedule recurring events like birthdays, sports practices, or events from online invitations

  • Endless range of choices to suit your style

  • Cloud backups protect information

Disadvantages:

  • Security vulnerabilities

  • Hard to disconnect when everything you need is in your device

  • Constant notifications and alerts can be wearing

  • Internet outages or weak cellular signals can block access

  • There’s a learning curve to use the app/site

Popular options for work and/or home:

  • Google Calendar

  • Apple Calendar (aka: iCal)

  • Microsoft Outlook

  • Cozi Family Organizer

  • Calendar.com

  • Calendly

  • Trello

Physical calendars

Advantages:

  • Easy to use; can be faster to jot things down over entering information digitally

  • Physically writing down an appointment or task can help the brain remember better

  • No need for special technology

  • Good for seeing the big picture all at once

  • Can be displayed in a centralized area (e.g., refrigerator) for the entire family

  • Can get creative with pictures, stickers and colors

  • Can be a fun way to teach kids how to be organized

Disadvantages:

  • Not easy to share with others

  • Limited physical space

  • Everything needs to be entered by hand

  • May need to replace every year depending on format

  • May not always carry the physical calendar with you

Popular options for work and/or home:

  • 12- or 18-month multi-page wall calendars

  • Daily, weekly or monthly planners

  • Dry erase calendars

You may want to maintain your calendar using a combination of the types listed above. For instance, use your Google Calendar to enter and view appointments on the go, and then transfer those details on a weekly (or monthly) basis to a physical calendar in a central location. Or you could use a monthly calendar and assign each household member a different color for tracking their specific schedules.

The best way to find what works for you is through trial and error. Choose a system that will be easy to use not only for yourself, but your entire household.