The kitchen is the heart of the home, the place where everyone stops in search of a drink or a snack. And in that kitchen, the humble fridge calendar has been keeping families connected for generations, allowing household members to share important information and coordinate their schedules.
But we’re in the digital age now, and advancing technology has changed this aspect of our lives, like so many others. The centralized location has been replaced by apps on our phones and computers; digital calendars do the same job as the sticky notes on your fridge, only better and faster.
A 2018 eCal survey indicated that at least 70 percent of respondents use a digital calendar in their daily lives, and that number has only increased since then. For busy families who need to stay connected, transitioning to a digital calendar can make a huge difference in staying informed and organized.
Why shift to a digital calendar?
The beauty of the traditional ‘fridge calendar’ is that it is lives in one central space, through which family members are most likely to pass during a given day. That provides the best chance that everyone will see it at some point, and thus stay informed about the entire family’s schedule and any developments.
The problem with such a format is that it’s bound to a single spot. That may have been a practical option 20 years ago, but times have changed. With the ease and portability of new technology, a digital calendar offers numerous advantages over traditional calendars.
Anytime, anywhere access
A digital calendar retains that centralized location, only now in electronic form. An app on your phone or computer can show all the same information and make it accessible to any family member, regardless of where they are, at any time. Visibility is enhanced by instant access, giving everyone in your circle up-to-the-minute data about who is doing what, and when.
Most calendar apps offer online synchronization; an individual can update information at any time via the cloud and ensure that other family members are instantly informed. They can fill everyone in on new developments in the space of seconds, saving time and energy, as well as preventing the need to head home and “check in” to get an update.
Create smart alerts for daily events
A physical calendar, regardless of its location, can’t set alarms for you or remind you of important events. A good digital calendar integrates with commonly used platforms to set up smart alerts to remind users of daily events that could get lost in a blizzard of responsibilities, as well as important one-off events such as a business meeting or doctor’s appointment.
Collaboration made easy
An effective shared calendar improves communication and ensures that everyone has accurate data on family members’ locations and plans. Digital apps make that easy. Should two or more family members need to collaborate in order to plan around certain events, a digital calendar lets them do it from anywhere. Collaboration becomes infinitely easier and potential schedule conflicts can be resolved in real-time without disrupting anyone’s day.
Power tip: Connect your Evernote with Google Calendar to easily stay on top of your busy day. Create notes with relevant details, and link them to calendar events so they’re easily accessible when you need them. For an added bonus, set calendar notifications in Evernote and the app will remind you to open them at exactly the right time.
Is a digital calendar for everyone?
For all the benefits that a digital calendar can provide, a few drawbacks may prompt families to stick with more traditional methods. Those accustomed to spending time at home each day may find Post-it™ notes on the fridge more useful; and, of course, the fridge calendar doesn’t need electricity or internet access to function.
That said, the benefits and additional functions of a digital calendar more than balance out the old-fashioned way of doing things. With their portability, accessibility, and ease of use, digital calendars have collaboration and time-saving abilities that traditional calendars simply can’t match.
Power tip: Evernote works on all your devices, making it easy for families to share information. Any synced note and notebook can be viewed and edited from any supported computer or device, as long as you have an internet connection. You can also use the app while offline and sync any changes instantly once you go back online.
Fridge notes vs. digital calendar— which is better?
The good news is, it isn’t an either/or proposition. Transitioning to a digital calendar doesn’t preclude keeping the kitchen calendar up for emergencies. Indeed, it can make maintaining such a calendar easier, allowing you to check for real-time updates before making adjustments on your stickie notes.
But limiting yourself to a physical calendar alone may not be your best bet, considering the possibilities that digital apps provide. A digital calendar system provides integrated options and rapid applicability so you and your family can start using it right away. And if anything changes in your schedule, everything gets automatically synced. You’ll be surprised at the time, energy, and paper you’ll save!