I love the idea of having a homemakers binder – it makes sense – to have everything in one place.  Over the years my binder (which became very heavy) has moved over to my phone and/or my ipad.  I like my digital binder because it is much lighter to carry which means I tend to keep it with me, it is also quicker to update, and easier to keep all family members up to date.  My homemaker’s binder organises my time, my responsibilities, my money, my projects, my social life, my blogging life, my homeschool plans … every aspect of my life.

 

Although I love apps – and you can find an app for everything – I have found Google Calendar to be a big part of my digital solution for a homemakers binder.  Google Calendar organises my time and commitments, it records my menu, my blogging plan and my homeschool plan.  Let me show you how Google calendar is more than a Calendar.

 

[Tweet “Google Calendar is more than a calendar – it is the basis for my homemakers binder.”]

Benefits of Google Calendar

The biggest benefit of Google Calendar is that you can have more than one calendar.  So I have a calendar for my time commitments, I have a calendar for my menu planning and cleaning, my writing/blogging schedule and my homeschooling plans.   You can switch your view from calendar to calendar so you only look at one aspect of your life, or you can see them all at once.

The second benefit is that you can share your calendar with someone else which means they can see your calendar and you can see theirs.  Peter and I share our calendars with each other which simply means he can see what I’ve got on in my day by a click of a button – and I can see his commitments. Because Peter’s work comes and goes from home this helps me greatly as I plan our family or social time.

Sharing calendars is also a great tool to help your children be responsible for their time.  Google Calendar is available on browser so your children don’t need to have a device to be a part of this system.  If each child has a calendar they are learning to see how to prioritise their time, and balance their day – but by sharing the calendar you as parent can add or remove commitments.

With my children being older they don’t share their calendar with me but we do share particular events with each other keeping each other informed of our movements when they affect each other.  For example – when I have accepted a dinner out invite for the whole family I add them to my event. This sends them a note which when they accept the event gets added to their calendar.  Of course we still talk to each other but it is an easy way of making sure everyone’s calendars are up to date.

Another way we have used the calendar with our older kids is when either of us have travelled we have opened a new calendar for that trip, we record our activities then share the calendar.  That way everyone knows where the person is and what they are doing.

It is also possible to add a to-do list to the side of your calendar.  I’m just playing around with this aspect.

 

Setting up my Homemaker’s Binder

Obviously using a calendar is first and foremost for managing our time and Google Calendar does this well.  I like to block out my expected days – my routine.  This way I know that if all goes according to plan I can fit everything in.  Reality is though I tweak nearly every day.  The benefit of blocking out time even though it isn’t a confirmed commitment is that I know if I say yes to something new I know what I’m saying no to.

weekly calendar google
You may have to click on the image to see the details…

But here you can see the general overview of my week.  I use different colours so that I can see certain things at a glance.  I try and not get too bogged down with this detail.

But like I’ve said – I use Google Calendar for other things other than my time management.

 

Menu Planning:  I have a calendar called “Menu”.  When I plan our weekly menu I put each day’s evening meal (and lunch on the weekend) as an event.  I use the ‘all day’ setting; this way I get to see it as a note at the top of my calendars, instead of at dinner time.  This is helpful because if it is recorded at 6.00pm then I can tend to forget all about it until 6.00pm – which isn’t helpful if it needs 2 hours to cook!  Which is why I use the all day setting.  I also record where to find the recipe – which recipe book, or website – in the description section.  And because my children help with the cooking, I add them as a guest on their cook day.  They accept the invite – which means the event gets added to their calendar, making a reminder for them – but it also tells them what to cook, and where to find the recipe.

You may have to click on the image to see the details…

You can see that my menu for the week is in green – the colour I selected for this calendar.  You can also see that I’ve used the all-day function as the details for every day is in the top section of the calendar.

Menu planning on Google Calendar
Homeschool planning:  Once again I start a new calendar called Homeschool Plans.  Each aspect of our study schedule is a time slot.  For example:  8.00-10.00 is Daniel’s discipline studies.  Because he is independent I just list a sketch of what he is supposed to do.  But when my kids where younger I would have a time slot for each lesson – math, writing, typing, etc.  In the note section I’d add the lesson plan – or at least the outline of where to find the lesson plan.  For example in the event I’d have “FIAR – Madeline / germs” and then in the description/note I’d have: “Discuss why we need to use soap – do handwashing experiment.  Pg. #…”
homeschool google calendar showing our routine
Use the description box to add your notes

You may have to click on the image to see the details …

In the top image you can see that I have Daniel’s homeschool schedule marked out.  The benefit of having this on your calendar set up is that if you have to tweak your own daily activity you can see what changes you may need to make in your homeschool as well.  For example – if I wanted to go to town on Monday morning I’d have to tweak when I did Bible study with Daniel.

In the second image you can see that when I open the dialogue box there is a ‘description’ section where I add my notes. You can’t see this on the calendar but it is there if you open up the event.

 

Cleaning: I’ve tried a few different cleaning apps that are connected to programmes like Flylady.  Though I have used Flylady myself for many years the truth is her straight programme and plan doesn’t suit how my days unfold through the week.  So I tweak.  When you use an app but have to tweak it takes up time that could be used doing the task itself.  I like to be reminded – daily – what my cleaning tasks are for that day.  I have set up a cleaning calendar – and set an event for each cleaning activity I need to do.  For example:  On Monday I do a quick but thorough clean.  Flylady calls it Homebless.  So on my Monday calendar I have a reoccurring event at 8.00-10.00 where I do a quick pickup declutter, dust/fingerprints, change my sheets, clean my ensuite, vacuum and mop my floor.   Every Monday I am reminded to do this at 8.00!  I am also reminded, thanks to my calendar, to stop doing whatever I’m doing and start turning my attention towards the house and preparing for family time (dinner) at 4.30pm.  Each day I have a different focus (as does Flylady) so my calendar is set up to remind me of those tasks.  This way I can do what my house needs regularly.
You may have to click on the image to see the details …

In this image you can see that I write the  actual tasks I want to complete in this time block.  When I write that type of details in the name of the event it shows up on the calendar.

Using Google calehndar to outline my cleaning routine
Birthdays:  This is a calendar Google has automatically and I have been working at getting it current for my family and friends.  Once again the reminder sits as an all-day event, so it sits at the top of the calendar and doesn’t interfere with your daily activities.  You can turn a calendar on and off so you see only what you want to see.  I usually turn the Birthday calendar off except for when I’m planning my week I turn it on and have a quick look at the few weeks ahead so I can be prepared to celebrate with family and friends.

 

Blogging – This would work the same for any project plan you were working on.  Once again, I created a calendar for my writing and blogging.  I have used the all-day event for planning long term goals or repeated tasks and the daily events for specifics.

 

This is a lot of information to keep on a calendar – which is why it is important to have different calendars for different purposes.  I don’t need to see my blogging plan or birthdays or even cleaning when I’m planning our menu.  But it is helpful to see the family activities and commitments.  I don’t need to see the family activities when I have my blogging hat on.  So by a simple click I can create the combination that is helpful for the planning I’m doing at any time.

 

The idea of having a homemakers binder is to have all your plans and goals and reminders in one place.  I find a digital solution works best for me.

Over to you:

How do you keep on track of your homemaking responsibilities?

10 Comments

  1. Helene

    You are super organized! I have a come and go husband too and we rely on Google calendar to know when we are both free but I never thought of using it as a menu or homeschool planner.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      I have learnt to be organised – it doesn’t come naturally – and believe me the first thing to go when I’m overwhelmed is my organisation – just when I need it the most!!

      My husband also works away from home a lot and last year we started to both use Google Calendar for his business bookings as well as his personal calendar. It has helped so much. I wish we had moved over a lot earlier!

      Reply
  2. Regina

    Thank you for this post!! Me and day planners don’t really get along that well. I love the idea of using my phone’s Google calendar and not a million and one apps to organize my life.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      I’m glad you like the idea – give it a shot – and see how you go. Love to hear how it worked out for you.

      Reply
  3. Brenda Nicholson

    Bravo on your organization! I’m not sure I could manage all this, but I think I will at least try. I’m trying to get as much off of paper and on an app as I can. Thanks for the ideas!

    Reply
  4. Melinda

    I love this idea and have tried using a similar schedule in Google calendar, but I find it’s lacking the ability to check things off. With all the distractions, I can easily loose track of where I am in a day and what things got done and what is still pending. How do you handle this?

    Reply
    • Belinda

      Good question. I think I would use Google calendar/s as my planning not so much my to-do list. This is much like the Homemaker Binder lists – it outlines the plan.

      But two things I do to help with keeping track of what did get done and what is still to happen…

      I have my plan (my ideal to-do list – for example, on Mondays I plan/hope to do a ‘home blessing’ aka Flylady – a quick basic clean of the house) and I have those tasks listed there in my calendar – but if I don’t get them done, I very rarely do them on Tuesday. This is something I learnt from Emily Barnes as a young homemaker – schedule it in but don’t roll it over. So if the dusting doesn’t get done this week on Monday- it happens as a priority next week on Monday (or not! LOL). This way repeated tasks, don’t pile up cramming up your to-do or expectations.

      The 2nd thing is – I do have another app for my to-do list that I want to check off and manage a bit more specifically. I like Remember the Milk as it syncs with all my devices – but I also play around with Google Keep which has a great ticklist capacity and can sit side by side with Google Calendar. I’ve tried the Google Tasks (Which sits with your calendar) but I found it clunky for the amount of tasks I wanted to use it for.

      Hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Danielle

    We use an app called timetree and we share calendars. My husband is actually using it which is great.
    The different calendars for different things works perfectly and timetree notifies you if an event is added..

    Reply
  6. Jelaine s Aprile

    Have you tried using Evernote to integrate tasks with Google calendar? I’m new to all of these options. Evernote appears to be the most comprehensive note taking service I’ve come across and it can link with Google calendar.

    Reply
    • Belinda

      I have played around with Evernote – I personally prefer OneNote or even Google Docs. There are so many options that integrate now.

      Reply

Let me know your thoughts...

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

I have discovered Google Calendar as a way to make a digital homemaker's binder - no more heavy binder to carry, and no more pieces of paper to print off!
Create a digital homemakers binder for free

Do you need help in your Family?

Hi! I’m Belinda

About Me

Belinda and her husband, Peter, live in the far north-west of Australia on a small farm. They have four adult children whom they homeschooled from prep-year 12. Over this time Belinda has taught and supported women both face to face and online. Her heart is to encourage families to be intentional, relational and heart focused in all areas of family living. She continues to do this in her new season of life – as her kids leave home one by one leaving her with more time.

Certified Life Coach
Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

The download link is on it's way.

Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Download your Cheat Sheet

 

A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on its way.

Be Intentional

 

To be an intentional parent means you need to know what you want for your family, and think about how you are going to get there. 

Sign up for weekly emails that help you reach your goals for your family.

You have now subscribed and will begin to receive weekly emails.

Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

I'm excited to share this download with you. Watch your inbox.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

Your download will arrive in your inbox shortly. 

Print it out and use to teach the hearts of your kids.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

Email Course

Daily emails  (6 days) to help you walk towards being a heart focused homeschool family!

You have joined the email course. Watch your email inbox!

Find ways to Re-engage your Student

Download this checklist and stir your child's curiosity

Watch your Inbox - the Checklist is on it's way!

Stay Heart Focused

 

When you parent the heart, the tone of your family will change. 


Weekly Heart Boost emails with practical and encouraging ideas to be heart focused in all areas of family life.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your family journey. I'll be in touch.

FREE Parenting Worksheet

This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Parenting Support Library

Join now for extra and regular heart focus family living support.
Weekly emails and bonus content straight to your email inbox.

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Become a Better Parent

Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

 

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Devotion Response Kit cover

Download your Devotion Response Kit

5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

Free email course

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your copy

Download your copy

Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Raising Kids with Character

ATTEND LIVE : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Live Session:  5th May 2021, 6.30pm AWST

Replay available until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

REPLAY OPTION : FREE PARENTING WORKSHOP

A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

Replay available from 6th May until 16th May 2021

 

I'm so excited about this workshop - thanks for joining me!

Raising Kids with Character

WAITLIST

 

The Raising Kids with Character parenting workshop will be offered again this year - details yet to be confirmed.  Join the waitlist so you don't miss out. 

I will keep in you in the loop as soon as decisions have been made!

Join Heart Boost and gain access to de•vot•ed free for 1 month

 

Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

Thanks for being here! Your download link is on it's way.

%d bloggers like this: