As a parent blogger, I have shared the ups and downs of raising a tribe. Today I am proud to say I have 4 (yes 4) teenagers age 13-17 and some days I long for the toddler years when life was simple. Recently, I am embarrassed to say, I had a complete meltdown. No matter how hard I tried I was unable to juggle our life schedules. Somewhere between sports, drama, girl scouts, field trips, driving school, PTA, jobs, pets I lost track of where I was going. I hit burnout BIG TIME. In this moment of crisis, my techno savvy 17 year old came to me with a "new idea."
Peter (my little Bill Gates) suggested we sign up for a free 30 day trial of the software, Booksteam. Booksteam is an online appointment scheduling software, generally used for small businesses that have a busy schedule. Pete thought, if it works for them, maybe it would work for us. I rolled my eyes and said, "Go for it." At this point, it couldn't get worse.
Truth is, my world instantly got a whole lot better. My family is now on its 4th month of using Booksteam with raving success. Here's how it works. Peter signed our family up and set up the initial calendar with all of our regular, weekly activities. From then on, each member of our family is responsible to login and set up their personal appointments, activities or upcoming meetings via their computer or smartphone. Everything ends up in one master calendar that I can view online. I know exactly who is doing what, and when I am expected to be where.
Next, we set up the automated reminder system. Each family member sets up a reminder for their scheduled appointments. A couple of the kids chose to be reminded via email. I chose the same thing. Suddenly, we knew where we were supposed to be and when. Each kid is responsible to add their own schedule into Booksteam. If there is a conflict of times or dates, they see it immediately, and are able to talk to me about the issue. Our little online group scheduling works very well for us.
Overall, this has been a simple, quick, parenting miracle. I am a big fan of Booksteam. It's affordable, easy to use and it keeps me sane. My suggestions? Try it!