Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Coordinate schedules with a whiteboard

Now that school is going again, the challenges of communication regarding schedules is a challenge for our family. With my travel; the scouting involvement of me, my wife, and all the kids; school commitments; sports commitments; and all sorts of other things it can get crazy very quickly.

My wife started something a few years ago that seems to work pretty well for us. FridgecalShe bought two dry-erase calendars that we attach to our refrigerator magnetically. The top one always represents the current month, the bottom one is next month.

At the beginning of each month, we:

  • Move the new month to the top
  • Erase last month's calendar
  • Fill in the dates for next month
  • Fill in any commitments we know about
  • Put next month's calendar at the bottom on the fridge

As we go through the month, we can easily deal with adds, removes, and changes to our schedules.
While not perfect, this has been a very effective means of doing a sort of air traffic control over our busy schedules.
By the way - we have another dry-erase board on the front of the fridge which is a sort of "inbox" for what we need at the grocery store. When you notice we're low on milk, it's your job to write "Milk" on the grocery board.


A couple of comments from the old site:

by Bren:

It's so weird how alike we are...we've been doing pretty much the same thing for a little over a year. We only use one whiteboard, but the idea is the same. Schedules (ours is only a week out), grocery lists...we also keep a half dozen frequently called phone numbers there, both for us (well, me and my lousy memory) and for babysitters.


by Rosa Say:

Bren, I was thinking the same thing :-) Dwayne, in our case we use good old fashioned paper calendars with huge blocks to write in, so we can jump months ahead if need be, but also because I like to rip off the pages and keep the record. They're helpful for all sorts of things in estimating future trace dates/recurrences that I should make digital reminders of in Outlook, and at tax time they really help for the mileage stuff I missed ... need every deduction we can get with the absurdity of Hawaii's taxes.
A hui hou, Rosa


by memorykeeper:

I have a similar system, but not whiteboard based. I work week to week using Mozilla's Calendar application - Sunbird, which color codes entries for each 'user'. Since the events are entered into the calendar, printing out this week and the next week is not a problem.

Any changes are then 'markered' or 'pencilled in'.

Whiteboard scores over my method there.

A great share. Thanks