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Microsoft Outlook Saved My Marriage

Any of you out there in a relationship or married have probably had the following conversation.

Person 1 – “I have a long work day today and I won’t be home until late because I have a meeting with the bossman at 5:30 p.m.”

Person 2 – “What do you mean you won’t be home until late? Johnny has his school play (or insert other event) tonight and we were going to that and then out for pizza with the Johnsons.”

Person 1 – “Johnny’s play is tonight? You never told me that! It’s not on my calendar. I can’t cancel my meeting with my boss!

Person 2 – “Don’t you remember we talked about it last week?”

Fight continues and yelling begins…if it hasn’t already.

After spending several months having these ‘discussions’ with my husband, I was sick of it! I began searching for solutions. I was already using Microsoft Outlook for my email and contact management and discovered that for each calendar event I could ‘invite attendees’. This meant that the calendar event was emailed to hubby and he could either accept, tentative or decline the event and I would receive a response back. Easy, peasy.

If he accepted, it was automatically put on his Outlook calendar. If declined, he could put a response in the email back to me so we could discuss the scheduling problem. The other great feature here is that if one of us changes the times on an event or deletes it off our calendar, it requires that you send an update to the other ‘attendees’. This has been a MARRIAGE-SAVER!! No more fights about scheduling. No excuses for not know what is going on and when. I LOVE IT!

If you don’t use Outlook, but want to have similar features, check out Google Calendar. You can set up multiple calendars, so you can have one for your personal stuff and set up one for ‘Family’ events or set up one for each of the kids schedules and they can be shared with others. You can also set up the notifications so it would have similar features to what I mentioned above in Outlook.

If you are not a computer person, you can use the pen and paper method. Just make sure that a family calendar is posted in a high-traffic area of the house like the kitchen where it will be easily seen. That it is big enough to easily see events.

No matter which type of system you use there are a few things you will need to do for it to be successful.

  1. Always put events on your calendar! The system only works if you are diligent about entering events on it.
  2. Every week you need to have a quick family meeting to make sure that everyone has their events on the calendar and knows where they need to be when.
  3. Don’t overbook your calendar! This is the most important rule. If you jam pack every minute of your week, you will feel stressed, rushed and things will fall apart.

Calendars are one system that EVERY family needs to run smoothly. They also give every family member accountability and help you avoid the stress of conversations like the one at the top of the page.

If you liked today’s article, you’re welcome to use it in your own ezine or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Certified Professional Organizer, Tara Donohue Rudo, CPO, helps families, solopreneurs and mompreneurs focus on what is important. Get her FREE weekly tips and advice at www.NoMorePiles.com .

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