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Back-to-School Scheduling Tips for Busy Parents

Parenting / September 6, 2016

Kids can dread going back to school for the new challenges, homework, and loss of lazier Summer days. Busy parents can dread the new school year for different reasons, namely: how are we going to handle everything and get it all done? Just scheduling the day-to-day can be overwhelming. The good news? It doesn’t have to be.

By cultivating a few new scheduling habits, here are five tips for busy parents that can make the back-to-school transition much smoother and less stressful on everyone.

Scheduling Tip #1:  Make your calendar easy to update

As schedules can change quickly, make it easy for your calendar to keep up. Parent/teacher conference gets moved? Need to switch carpool days? No problem. Keep your calendar within easy reach so you can make changes immediately, without having to remind yourself to do it later. Digital calendars on your phone allow you to do this within seconds from anywhere at anytime and sync instantaneously.

Scheduling Tip #2:  Upgrade your reminders

If your reminders are jotted notes—lacking the detail or relevant data you need to get things done right—they’re likely to add to your stress, rather than relieve it. Make sure every reminder you create includes specific details that relate to time, place, and what needs to be done. Need to bring snacks for your kid’s soccer game? Note where you need to shop and when, any dietary restrictions, and the location of the game so you can come through for the team without breaking a sweat.

Scheduling Tip #3:  Keep your notes in one place

It can be quite tempting to grab whatever’s closest to you to write down notes, or even to just open up your Notes app on your phone. The challenge is that when your notes are in various places, you are less likely to see them and have to take more steps to access them. The difference between knowing exactly what school supplies are needed on the first day of school and multiple trips to the supply store can be as simple as an easily accessible list. Keeping your notes in one place one your phone can save time and frustration.

Scheduling Tip #4:  Let others support you

In Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before, she highlights a significant portion of the population she calls Obligers. These are people who excel at meeting the expectations of others: If they tell someone else they’re going to do something, they are much more likely to do it than if they were to just tell themselves. If this sounds familiar, tell one or two people you see often about the most important things you need to get done or remember. Need to help your kid prep for the school play? Ask a family friend who loves Broadway to witness their monologue over FaceTime. Just inviting another person to support you or asking them to remind you can be enough to ensure something gets done well.

Scheduling Tip #5:  Use as few tools as possible

The modern pace of life doesn’t support much patience when it comes to getting things done. Minutes count. Even seconds count, when you’re trying to squeeze in a task while you’re waiting or on the move. Using lots of apps or scheduling tools, where you have to jump from one to another just makes doing simple things harder. Be selective with the apps you use, that way you can get things done more efficiently even while parked in the queue to pick up the kids.

Heading into a new school year often brings lots of new opportunities and challenges. That’s a good thing. Utilizing the right tools at the right time can make the difference between excitement and overwhelm. Thankfully, the technology is available at your fingertips to help you simplify and streamline scheduling. Use it to your advantage! Prioritizing and practicing these useful habits not only makes life easier and less stressful—it’s also a great skill to model for your kids. You are their greatest teacher.

About the Author


Johan Gunnars is an entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of
Simpliday—Meetings, Reminders & Email in One, a new iPhone calendar app allowing users to achieve a more organized and efficient life by bringing together meetings, reminders and email in one customizable, beautiful, user-friendly app. Gunnars experience in productivity, software, e-commerce, consumer electronics, among others, leads him to focus on how companies and products can make a difference while connecting to the overall vision and strategy. Gunnars is based in Malmo, Sweden. For more information about Gunnars and Simpliday, visit Simpliday.


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15 Comments

on September 16, 2016

I am meticulous about my schedule. My friends laugh about my color coded Google calendar but it keeps me organized and punctual.

on September 16, 2016

These are really great tips. Life seems so hectic when my kids go back to school. Using too many kinds of calendars ( paper and phone) definitely increases the stress. Thanks for sharing.

    on September 16, 2016

    That’s so true. You have to chose one that works best for you…only one.

on September 17, 2016

It does get hectic when it’s time for the kids to go back to school. Between that and sports and school events I’m exhausted sometimes. I personally keep all the info on my calendar in my phone so I can stay on top of things.

on September 17, 2016

Great tips, we are almost a month into the school year. I swear by my Google calendar, that is what I use to stay on top of things. Babe and I use it to manage our home and work it accordingly, I would be lost without it.

on September 18, 2016

These can be applied for busy people in general. I just got The Happy Planner and it is helping me so much in getting my life with blog posts, videos and every day tasks.

on September 18, 2016

Dont have children but these are great tips on being organized! I don’t use calender’s but think they are useful. Tip #4 is great, some people are used to doing things on there own and don’t like to ask for help. We should remember we all need help at some point in time.

on September 19, 2016

I definitely need to keep these tips in mind. I get so busy with my own life that I don’t always follow through with my kids appointments.

on September 19, 2016

Yea my synced google calendar with the old man is what keeps me walking in a straight line. Lol. Great tips!

on September 20, 2016

I’m an educator, so while I don’t have kids, I have 400 (lol) and need to be organized. Even though I love my apps, I am a true pen-to-paper planner girl. I have found that I always hit “ignore” when reminders pop up on my phone (oops) but if I write it down, I remember it better. The great thing is we have so many options that everyone should be able to find a system that works for them!

    on September 20, 2016

    Right. That’s the cool part…options. Just have to decide what works best for you

on September 20, 2016

I needed these tips. My life with a kindergartener is crazy.

on September 26, 2016

No kids yet but these are help tip for parents with school age children. Glad there are easy ways to stay organized!



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