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Simplify Family Life With A Communication Station

Simplify Family Life With A Communication Station

    Keeping a busy family on track can take the skills of a juggler, the planning of a master strategist and the organization skills of an army supply corps officer. But a simple family communication station can make keeping track of who needs to be where much easier.

    A family communication station is the one place where all the information lives. It has information on schedules, shopping lists and events, as well as a place to check and leave phone messages.

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    Choosing A Location

    The communication station should be located in a central place where everyone in the family will see it every day. It is also very helpful to have the station within sight of the main phone so that messages can be left easily, and schedules checked while on the phone.

    The kitchen is a good candidate for this. We keep our station on the back of the main door. If you don’t want the information out in plain sight, you can always put it inside a cupboard door.

    Putting Together the Station

    The Calendar

    The main portion of the communication station is the calendar. While some families with older children can use a completely electronic schedule, families with small children or those who don’t live and breathe technology will benefit from a central paper calendar.

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    The calendar will have a place for each person to record their events and commitments. You will want to select a calendar with lots of room in each box, or perhaps one with a column for each family member. Some people will color code the events for each person, making it easy to see at a glance who has commitments on a given day.

    A calendar that runs from September through the following year can be useful for those with school-aged children. That way you can enter dates at the beginning of the school year and not have to think about it at the end of the calendar year.

    Each family member, if old enough, should place their commitments on the calendar. I have heard some people tell their older children, “If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.” Meaning no rides, transportation or other support for non-listed events. One missed practice or birthday party and the kids will start keeping up their calendar.

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    A Place For Documents

    Another component to the scheduling aspect of the family center is the place to keep related documents. These would be the lists of dates sent home at the beginning of a sport season, the school calendar, or party invitations. This gives these important papers a place to live, and where you will be able to find them.

    My calendar has a pocket at the back to keep these items, but a simple manilla envelope would do as well.

    A Cork Board

    A cork board, with plenty of push pins, is useful for handling information you need to refer to for a short time. Receipts, party invitations and reading lists live on mine. The cork board is also a good place to leave phone messages, although I cannot speak to that, since my family doesn’t do messages.

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    A White Board Shopping List

    Having a running shopping list where everyone can see it is a good way to keep track of things that need to be purchased…before it becomes a critical matter Ask your family to add things to these lists when they are needed.

    Warning: leaving a shopping list out where children can get to it may result in junk food being added to the shopping list in a chance to bypass parental approval.

    A List of Commonly-Used Phone Numbers

    Even though the most-used phone numbers will be committed to memory (yours or your phone’s), it is still good to have numbers available should you need them. This list of numbers should contain the home phone number, parent’s work phone numbers, school numbers and the numbers of trusted neighbors and friends.


    After putting together our family communication station, we stopped forgetting to purchase needed items and our schedules became more manageable. Do you have any way to make family communication easier? Share below!

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    Last Updated on December 10, 2019

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

    Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

    But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

    Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

    But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

    Journal writing.

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    Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

    Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

    Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

    1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

    By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

    Consider this:

    Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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    But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

    The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

    2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

    If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

    How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

    Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

    You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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    3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

    As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

    Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

    All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

    4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

    Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

    Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

    The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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    5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

    The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

    It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

    Kickstart Journaling

    How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

    Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

    Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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