The Family Notebook

We at CE on Time hope the tips and motivation we have shared with you this past year have helped you have a more productive and organized year in 2007.

With 2008 right around the corner you may be assessing how you can extend your organized approach to life and work to other members of your family.  One of the most important things parents can do for children in the area of life skills is teach them how to manage time, how to set goals and break them down into actionable steps, and how to keep track of their responsibilities — from chores to appointments.

Like us, children are busy, and like our lives, theirs are complex.  Teaching children to capture everything — music lessons, school assignment due dates, party commitments, sports practices, etc – does for them what ubiquitous capture does for us: it frees their minds, gives them more confidence and less worry, and prevents "emergencies" with the accompanying family stress.

But for the children, there is another element.  Usually their ability to get where they need to be and do what they need to do is dependent — upon YOU!  That means that you need to keep track of their schedule along with their own. So what is the best way to accomplish the dual goal of you keeping track and training them to keep track? For many families the family notebook is just the right tool.  The family notebook is a family organizer that is kept in sync with all the individual organizers of all members of the family. Depending on the ages of the children, they may be given the responsibility of seeing to it that their own schedule is put into the family organizer in such a manner that the family members (older siblings or parents) on whom they are dependent for transportation are given plenty of notice of their needs. That means for example that 13 year-old Julie does not merely pencil in the birthday party at the skating rink, but that she gives Mom a two-week notice about her need to go shopping for a gift.  It means that Jack does not merely pencil in the youth group's fundraising bake sale, but that he coordinates a time to help Mom with baking.  The family notebook helps family members coordinate transportation, care for very young or elderly members of the family, family outings, etc.

If you would like to take your organization to the next level and get the entire family functioning like a well-oiled machine check out these sites for family notebook ideas and downloadable planner pages.

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