School Organisation For Parents

It’s the start of a new school year, and this year you are determined to get organised and keep track of everything the kids have on.

No more turning up at school with the kids all decked out in their school uniform only to discover it’s mufti day, and no more scrabbling through the car looking for enough change for the PTA BBQ lunch – this is the year it’s all going to change!

If you have children at different learning places such as preschool, kindy, primary school, intermediate, and maybe even secondary, you might be getting notices and newsletters from several different places. Even if they are all at the same school, you may be getting emails or notices from individual teachers as well as regular school updates.

Add into the mix birthdays and anniversaries, the pet’s worming, flea and vaccine schedule, your own and possibly a partner’s appointments and travel, and it becomes really easy to miss or forget a few things along the way.

Choose your system

Because we all have different family dynamics and obligations along with children at varying ages and stages, no one system will work for everyone. Some people, especially if they have shared childcare, like to note every event, including recurring ones such as after school activities, while others prefer to just keep note of the extras.

We’ve put together some tried and tested systems for you to check out. If your week is really busy it may be that you need to run a weekly planner along with a longer term planner.

Keep it regular

Before you get started, take some time to think about how the information comes to you and how you are going to record it. One idea is to put aside some time each Saturday to update your chosen planners to give you time to get organised for the week ahead.

Sunday night is often too late to make food for a shared lunch or find some fancy dress for book week starting Monday!

Diary it

If you’re happy to keep tabs on the whole family in one place, the old fashioned diary is still ideal. A diary enables you to see at a glance what is coming up that day for everyone, to make notes, and for other family members to be able to refer to and add to it easily. Consider making entries with a nice pencil if you don’t like crossing out when things change.

Diaries come in a range of sizes and formats, from small that contain a week across two pages to larger ones that have a day to a page. Additionally you can also get diaries that allow you space to plan for each person in the family.

If you want it to stay open on the page, choose one with a more open binding such as spiral binding and if you intend to take it out and about with you choose a hard cover.

If you love to plan and create, a bullet journal will bring you great joy and superior planning skills! A bullet journal is a combination of planner, diary, mindfulness journal, and a place to record long term life goal setting – all wrapped up in a beautiful and detailed package. Rather than simply recording events as they come up, a bullet journals purpose is to encourage you to examine how each of these make you feel. Find out more about getting started on bullet journals here

Wall planner

As the children get older it’s great to be able to involve them in planning the activities and chores. In this case, a weekly or even monthly wall planner can be useful.

You can buy pre-printed wall planners, or you can make your own on a whiteboard or blackboard using colour-coded chalk or pens for each family member.

You could include a space, or a second board, for the shopping list and encourage family members to put the basics on there as they use them up.


A calendar is a surprisingly versatile planning item if you like to just plan for the main events. Whether you use it as a mini diary or wall planner on its own, or in conjunction with another more detailed system such as a bullet journal, it can be a quick and easy reference point for the whole family and other caregivers in your home.

Digital Planning

If you prefer to ditch the paper and rely on digital technology there is a huge range of planning systems available in the tech sphere. You could use the standard systems that come on your device or download one of the many available online or via the app store.

An online version works well if things are constantly changing, more than one person needs to be kept in the loop, your handwriting is getting messier, or digital is your happy place.

You can combine shopping lists, to-do lists, and mood trackers – and, if you prefer to, take it with you wherever you go.

Keeping track of the paperwork

Hopefully, over the holidays you’ve found time to clean out the notices from school from the last term! Keeping track of the paperwork coming home from school, kura and ECE can be tricky, especially if you have children at different places.

Choose a filing system that will work for you, and the storage space you have available. If you have bench space a small tiered shelf could be perfect. Alternatively, a folder with dividers, a clear file, or a document folder for each school could do the trick.

author robynWritten by Robyn

Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments. 

Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass”

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