Keeping Up With the Family

Anoth­er his­tor­i­cal arti­cle, writ­ten some­time before 2005. This is so much eas­i­er now with smart­phones and shared calendars!

Keep­ing up with where every­one in our fam­i­ly was at any giv­en time, much less when things need to hap­pen, was not a triv­ial task. All of us had PDAs, thank­ful­ly, and we made exten­sive use of them and an online cal­en­dar that could be accessed from any com­put­er with inter­net access. Every­thing that’s sched­uled for the fam­i­ly had to be entered into the cal­en­dar or we won’t remem­ber it. Dance lessons, fam­i­ly gath­er­ings, appoint­ments, games, Girl Scout meet­ings, teacher con­fer­ences, the day the trash was picked up—absolutely everything.

The catch is that I had to remem­ber to look at the cal­en­dar and my to-do list, though, whether online or on my PDA. I also had to remem­ber to syn­chro­nize the PDA. I was pret­ty good on that part but had to nag the rest of the fam­i­ly to do it. I nev­er came up with a solu­tion to get­ting every­one else to sync their PDAs regularly.

Beyond the tech­ni­cal solu­tions, we have a white­board in the kitchen. Imme­di­ate reminders, like “take the out­go­ing mail with you when you leave,” or “the gar­den must be watered today!” went there. All of us got pret­ty good about look­ing at the white­board. Katie had her own small board on her bed­room door, where we not­ed things like, “Do not dis­turb: MIGRAINE!” Sam had his own white­board next to his desk where he put reminders for him­self. When I had a desk, I had one of my own.

There was a gro­cery list on the refrig­er­a­tor where we were all sup­posed to list things as we used them up or as the need for them arose. That was for non-urgent items, as we only grabbed it when we were mak­ing a “real” gro­cery run. Any­thing urgent had to be ver­bal­ly request­ed from who­ev­er was out and about (thank $deity for cell phones).

Still, I longed for fam­i­ly group­ware. Yes, I’m serious—groupware designed for fam­i­ly, instead of busi­ness, use. So I wrote about it over here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top