I have something to share with you.
Imagine this conversation.
Welcome back to work – how is the baby?
She is amazing…happy to have had three months of maternity leave.
Now that you are back, it’s time to go visit your clients.
Well, maybe the conversation was a bit longer than that but my work travel began after I had a baby. My daughter was 4 1/2 months old and I was about to venture out on my first of many business trips. I was headed to Madison, WI the summer of 2009 and was very concerned about leaving my family. My first thought – I am going to miss my daughter’s bedtime for the first time ever. No kiss goodnight, no rocking her to sleep. The second thought was my husband. Make sure he has everything he needs since he was on dad duty while I was away.
Fast forward to Gold status on American Airlines – with this amount of travel, I needed to get much more organized. I wrote about Mommy Tracked, the website that has the downloadable forms I use for food shopping, to do lists and the “Here are all the small details of what is going on While I am Gone” calendar. But now I needed to find a way to keep my work calendar, my husband’s work calendar and our family calendar in sync. And it needed to be available at all times.
We both work full time. He has meetings and networking events that fall outside of “normal” business hours. I travel to different cities and he needs to know what days I am going to be out of town. Plus we have dance class, soccer practice and the occasional adult night out. We were in desperate need to know WHO HAD WHAT WHEN.
I chose the easiest solution I knew. A shared Google calendar. It was a way we could both access the same calendar at any time from any device. It was a way we could view the calendar in Outlook when at the office or add a new “event” on demand from our iPhone or iPad. We could set up alerts and email reminders and always know what was going on.
I have numerous calendars loaded on my phone. Birthdays, holidays, work, the family shared calendar. All I need to do is open my phone and I see everything that is going on that day. I can color code the calendars and hide those that may not be so important to see on my phone but still need to have access to from my laptop. Before I book travel, I check the calendar. Before he commits to an event, he checks the calendar. Our friends even joke with us about checking the calendar before we schedule something – probably because they know how great this idea was to keep us in sync!
How do you and your partner know who has what when?