I have a friend who’s a doctor. She has three kids. Her husband’s commute is about 45 minutes, hers is about 20. One day a few years ago, I was in her kitchen and she asked me to look something up in her in-box. “It’ll be in the “Thomas” folder,” she sang out from the stove. I opened her inbox and there it was: a huge, elaborate email folder tree with branches for each child, for work, for shopping, for play dates, for library books.
It was this friend that I thought of when I read about how parents can use apps to manage their lives. For example, there’s an app with a shared calendar and to-do lists. You can use it to smooth out the complications of the family schedule, including but limited to: cleaning the house, getting children to school and activities, working, and both eating and shopping for food.
Here’s how it works: a parent (in the story it was the mom-shocking!), puts everything the family has to do for the week into the online calendar system, including chores. She’s also put in contacts that anyone might need to help make their family work- babysitter, neighbors, family members. Family members have a to-do list. When someone’s on the calendar, he gets an email reminder and the mom gets notification of his response. Genius!
Of course I myself would have a very hard time with this system because it seems to me that to really embrace it, you’d have to be naturally organized like my friend the doctor. Me, I once bought a book called It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys, which I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, but now it’s lost.
But that’s just the fact of me. The dream I live is that were my life to get so complicated that I’d need an app for family time management, I’d be able to use it. How about you? Would you or do you use an app to send marching orders to partner, children and babysitters? Does it seem like it would solve problems or make work for you?