Crazy schedules; is there an app for that?

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Hi Geek,

My kids play hockey, tennis, baseball, and soccer. I need to either hire a professional scheduler or find some easier way to manage things in a way so that I can share their game schedules with family both on- and off-Island. Help before I lose my mind even more than I already have!

Thanks,

Stretched Too Thin Armstrong

Hi Stretch,

Thanks for writing in. Before I begin, I have to say that you are a timeless classic. I juggle similar kids’ schedules, and I agree it can be daunting to try to keep track of all of it. Anyone who knows me would hesitate to call me organized, but I try, and thanks to a couple of tech tricks, I stand a fighting chance of keeping track.

Back in your heyday, the daily planner notepad was great to write in to keep track of where and when you needed to be somewhere. My dad still uses one, and it serves him well. If I used one, I can imagine, it would be forgotten at home way too often, plus I’m a geek and my brain thinks in terms of technology.

Most of what I will suggest may already be used by readers, and if so, please comment on anything I miss regarding ways you use technology to keep track of schedules. I’m a Google guy, so I use Google Calendar as my primary way to keep track of where I need to be, but iPhones work at least as well at all of this. I either add my events to a main “family” calendar or I create additional calendars that I can share with family and friends.

For my daughter’s hockey and my son’s tennis, I created separate calendars. If I share the hockey calendar with other team parents, they’re interested in the ferry and hockey game schedules, not what weekends my son is hitting tennis tournaments. By keeping those calendars separate, people I share these with will see things specific to their interests. For family, I share all of my calendars, and when those are added to their phones, everything consolidates behind the scenes so all the events appear to be on one singular calendar.

Calendars can be set up to text, email, or display a pop-up reminding you of an event a specified time beforehand. It’s a bit like the programmers of the world looked at what we all needed help with, and did their best to rein in the chaos that is the scheduling portion of parenting.

Hope my mentioning how I use my online calendars helps, even if it’s just adding a tweak to something you are already doing. Good luck with running around getting everyone where they need to be. I think it’s probably easier to schedule the New York City transit system than to figure out how to get multiple kids to numerous practices that all seem to either overlap or start at the same exact time. Regardless, I hope you have an unfrazzled, not too stretched-thin, enjoyable end to your 2016.

Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He writes regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to onisland@mvtimes.com with the subject line “Dear Geek.”