Back to School: Scheduling Tools to Keep Parents Sane
The summer is coming to an end and it’s time to start gearing up for back to school. That means stocking up on school supplies, organizing your student’s study space, and planning for the busier pace of the school year. For on-the-go families, it might seem overwhelming to coordinate school, work, after-school activities, childcare, sports, and other obligations. Luckily, there are some great apps and tools that can help keep it simple.
Here are ten of our favorite scheduling tools that make it easy to keep the whole family organized:
Google Calendar is perhaps the best tool for managing the entire family’s schedule in one place. It’s free, easy to use, and syncs with your mobile device. Multiple shared calendars mean the entire family can see the day’s events. To learn more, visit our complete guide to setting up a family calendar in Google Calendar.
2. Any.do / Cal
Cal is a simple and clean calendar app, offered by Any.do, that makes it easy to coordinate events, remember birthdays, and manage to-do lists. The beautiful and intuitive design is easy to use and makes even the most hectic day seem manageable. Available for free on iTunes or Google Play.
The K12 Attendance App is a must for families enrolled in a K12 online school. The app makes it easy to track and log students’ attendance anytime, anywhere. Available for free in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Cozi is a family calendar app and website that the whole family can use to stay organized. It includes a shared family calendar, to-do lists, meal planning, shopping lists, and more, and can sync with every family member’s device so everyone is on the same page.
Sunrise is a beautifully designed free calendar app for iOS, Android, and Mac. It syncs seamlessly with Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange so all your calendars are in one place. The app even includes local weather for your location, Google Maps directions, and syncs with Facebook to show you birthdays and events.
6. iStudiez /myHomework
Two of our favorite organization apps for students are also great tools for parents. iStudiez (iOS) and myHomework (Android) let you keep track of students’ assignments, tests, due dates, grades, homework and more.
This smart app syncs with your phone’s calendar and includes free private messages, location and photo sharing. The app makes it simple to coordinate child care, playdates, carpools, and more between parents, caregivers, trusted friends, and family. Available for iOS and Android.
Whether you’re coaching Little League this season or just need to stay on top of your kid’s soccer schedule, TeamSnap helps to simplify sports. Coaches, parents, managers, and players can use the Android or iPhone app to get team updates, view schedules, contact other players, coordinate snacks, and more.
One of our favorite apps for homeschoolers, Homeschool Helper makes it simple to lesson plan, track student progress, calculate grades, manage book lists, plan field trips, and keep track of tasks. It’s available for $4.99 on iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, and Android Tablets.
This free task manager app is available for the web, iPhone and iPad, Android phones, and tablets, and easily syncs with other apps including Google Calendar, Evernote, and Outlook. Set reminders for each item on your list, share your to do list or specific tasks (“remember the milk!”) with your spouse or kids, and add tasks on the go with Siri.
What apps or tools help keep you sane? Tell us your favorites in the comments.
This article was updated August 2015
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.