2 Secret Weapons
for Successfully Managing
your Household

The average family has several schedules to keep up with—schedules that are all often adapting and shifting as unforeseen circumstances occur or events arise and fall.
And who, in the family, is usually the one who heads the schedule-keeping duties?
That’s right… you do.
(side note: you’re amazing.)

In our family, even though my kids are small, I manage seven separate schedules. Yup, seven. I track my husband’s personal schedule (doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, etc.) and his work schedule (trainings, night operations, meetings, etc.). I track my own personal schedule (appointments, commitments, deadlines, etc.), as well as my school schedule. I track Maddelyn’s personal schedule (her appointments, play dates, etc.) and her Pre-School schedule.
And finally, I track Andrew’s (pediatrician visits, etc.).

It’s a lot, and my family isn’t even large! I know there are many of you out there with larger families, and/or older kids involved in sports and other activities, that require you to really keep it all together. Go ahead and count!
How many schedules do you really manage??

There are 2 methods of schedule-keeping:
paper and electronic

Most people are a fan of one or the other, right?
Which one do you like better?

I can’t help but be a die-hard planner girl.
There’s nothing like a brand new one waiting for you to decorate, design, and day-plan all over it!

Just as you & I probably both spend our extra time at Target, I’m sure we both probably have tried a myriad of all the different planners out there. I’ve tried Erin Condren, the Day Designer, Emily Ley, you name it. Well, let me introduce you to my all-time favorite planner company.

This next year will be my third year using Posy Paper Co.

I originally found Posy Paper Co. on Etsy, and since then, they have launched and run on their own beautiful website.
Their website reflects the beauty and easy-to-navigate organization of their planners themselves.

They offer Weekly and Monthly Planners in the regular 6.5×9” size, as seen in the photo, a large 8.5×11” Monthly Planner, and large Teacher Planners. You can choose from a gorgeous array (30, to be exact) of eye-catching covers, that include florals, stripes, marbled, and confetti, as well as customize the front with your name. There are hard clear protective covers on both the front and the back, and sturdy gold coiling. I’ve brought my planner with me on both travels and day-to-day, and it has stood the test every time—definitely maintains its integrity and pretty look.

It’s the perfect size, down to the calendar boxes– not too big, not too small. I write EVERYTHING down, and everything always fits. Great-sized planner, itself; it’s not too big to set out on the counter, and not too crazy to throw in my purse. I love that you can get a Horizontal Layout or a Vertical Layout based on your needs and preference (I use the Horizontal Layout because I like more room going across for my daily to-do lists, as opposed to more of the vertical daytimer look.) And you can choose Tabs or No Tabs. I, personally, like tabs, but have a friend who does not, so this option is nice.

All their planners run for 12 months. In between each month, there’s a full page area for Notes, as well as a per-day list page of Dates to Remember for that upcoming month. There is also a Notes section on the side of each full-month spread. At the very end of the planner, there is a a section for address and phone numbers, and there are several blank pages for notes. I use these to write my Goals for the Year, track the Books I’ve Read through the Year, and things like that. At the very back of the planner, there is a great-sized, sturdy pocket. I’ve used other planners in the past that don’t have a pocket, and quickly realized just how much I love having one. The one in Posy Paper planners holds a TON without compromising the integrity or functionality of the planner.

Another high-quality feature of Posy Paper Co planners is the thickness of the pages. I use pens with a bit heavier ink, as well as press semi-hard when I write, and this is what my pages look like on the backside. You will most likely NEVER experience any bleed-through.
If my pages survive me and my pens, I’m sure they can handle most anything, haha!

The number one selling point for me has always been the price. With the planners starting at $20, you absolutely cannot beat the price for the high quality planner you’ll receive. As a military family, we run on a strict budget, but a planner is something I know I cannot live without, so I have been a loyal Posy Paper Co. customer since I’ve found them for the high quality without sacrificing budget. Posy Paper Co. also offers notebooks starting at $16 and accessories starting at $4.

If you’re interested in Posy Paper Co, I will link their website at the bottom,
as well as provide an amazing coupon code for you to use!

★★★★★

Now, despite my deep, deep love of the paper planner, my husband is definitely an electronic guy.
Maintaining organization in book-form has always been a strong-suit of mine…
my husband, like most men, not so much,
and it used to drive me absolutely CRAZY when I would tell him about an event or
remind him of something coming up and he wouldn’t write it down, thus forgetting altogheter.

Frustrated, I would think ‘If only there were an easier way…

Well, as of today,
THERE IS!

So for the electronically-inclined:

the newest, and most efficient, in my opinion (and believe me, I’ve tried the others, too) app
designed with the productive family in mind is PICNIIC.

My absolute favorite feature is how easy Picniic makes it for every family member to be on the same page. Everyone has the capability to add to the Calendar, and everyone sees the same Calendar right from their phone, tablet, or computer screen. My husband can add his Trainings and Night Ops in the calendar when he finds out about them, and I’m notified of them as soon as he does so. I can add Maddelyn’s play or Andrew’s next pediatrician appointment in, and Jesse is automatically made aware of them on the schedule. No longer is information lost or forgotten, and no longer are there any scheduling conflicts between us.

You may say Oh yeah, well iCal can do that. Yes, but not as well.
Plus, Picniic is much more visually-appealing and user-friendly.
Picniic also offers Family Member Location Tracking, assigned To-Dos and Chores,
Meal Planners, Information Lockers for all your important records, and more…
all in one place.

Family Member Location Tracking is an interesting feature that I’ve never seen before in a family app. We tested it—it works. I could see this being very useful if you have teenagers, or multiple teenagers, especially if they drive. Jesse is able to see I’m at the library with the kids, and I’m able to see when he’s out on the water. Even police officers are always asking their partners, ‘What’s your 20?’ It’s just another way to function as a team and help keep each other safe and accounted for.

Jesse’s To-Do list on his phone is separate from my To-Do list; however, with a simple fingertap, we can see each other’s if needbe. Same with the kids. For example, I can assign simple chores to Maddelyn and they will appear only under “her” To-Do List, and we can go through them together as they are completed.

Picniic also offers a Grocery List feature. You can set the name of the store (or multiple stores) and list items underneath you plan to purchase at that store. Then, Picniic will organize them for you by aisle. (I don’t know about you, but having an organized grocery list is CRITICAL with small children so you can get in and get out as quickly as possible.) I usually organize my grocery lists by myself, and it’s time-consuming, so this has really given me some of my time back!

The Information Locker feature is incredibly useful because it allows valuable family information to be stored more securely than in the ‘Notes’ section of your iPhone, which is what I was using before. You can store all kinds of info here: insurance policy information, Wi-Fi information, the contact info of the Pediatrician or babysitter, etc. The parents of the family can both see this information.

Another, and possibly my favorite, feature… Recipes and Meal-Planning. Picniic cuts out the Google middle-man and puts millions of recipes from trusted chefs and cookbooks at your fingertips. Once you find one you’d like, you can fingertap it on to the days of the week to meal-plan, and Picniic will show them each day on your Family Calendar. You also have the option from there to add items from that recipe to your Picniic Grocery List. You also have the option of one-time inputting in your own recipes to use in your Meal Planning options. No more bulky cookbooks.

Finally, with Picniic, you get Pia. Pia is the intelligent persona of Picniic, the voice of the family assistant. Her role is to help your family function ahead-of-the-game. Pia helps by actually learning about your family and making insightful suggestions. Pia prompts family members to keep Picniic updated throughout the day in a witty, conversational, manner. For example, Pia will search your calendar for your family’s next free weekend and offer recommendations on activities. Is your family heading to the park today? Pia will check the weather before you go, so you avoid any storms. Pia helps you tackle the stress of back-to-school by reaching out with a checklist of important tasks that need to happen before the first day. If you’re on the go, talk to Pia using voice commands, and she will make updates or give you a snapshot of the day ahead.

Think of Pia like Siri, except that Pia goes a step further by reaching out to you!

Most of the time, information isn’t shared easily due to time passing or it gets spread out on everyone’s different tracking methods. It’s easier for communication to break down.
But with Picniic, that gap is completely bridged, and everyone stays connected, communicative, and functioning more smoothly as the family unit we are.
Picniic has truly given us the gift of less frustration and more time as a family!
And if my husband actually loves it and enjoys having it, it MUST be a winner. Seriously.

I’m so excited, too, that it will be even more useful as my children grow and our family evolves!
Picniic can handle all of life’s changes—it’s what it’s made for and good at!

★★★★★

Whether you’re a Paper Planner or a Tech-Saavy Scheduler,
these two options are what I’ve found to be the biggest bang-for-your-buck, by FAR!
As a family who spends smart, that will always be important, just as spending as much time together as possible is.
Thank you to both Posy Paper Co and Picniic for ensuring both of those are possible for us.
I hope these two options make your lives smoother, just like they have ours.
In fact, I know they will.
Happy Living!!

Which one would you like to try?

★★★★★★

Visit POSY PAPER CO HERE!
Remember to use ‘STARSPANGLED’ at Check-Out for 15% OFF!

Try PICNIIC HERE – it’s free!
Each person in your family will download the app,
but you’ll all sign-in using the same one account.
It will ask you which family member you are your own devices!

What are your thoughts on this?

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