This summer, you plan to be productive and get things done. And to maintain your work/life balance, you likely have some time away scheduled. You may be planning a staycation or a travel holiday for the whole family. But, no matter what is on your list, it is also important not to forget about the upcoming school year. Chances are good there is a lot to plan for the coming months of school.

Back-to-school is more taxing on parents than ever before. There are a lot of responsibilities and, in some situations, lots of deadlines to remember. You want to ensure this year goes well. That is why you may want to be a bit more aggressive this year about your planning. Get organized. It may not be as hard as you think. It will be beneficial.

Using a calendar app, you can make updates and changes with ease to it. You can stay on top of everything you have to do. More so, you can feel more in control over life around you. That is important all year long. How can an app like this help you do this? Consider these tips.

1. The Big Day Back

Start by entering the date your kids go back to school into your calendar. That seems simple enough. Yet, you do not want to forget about the date or think it is later than it is. It only takes a few minutes to add dates like this into the calendar. Once you do, you don’t have to worry about missing it.

Before you move on, set up some tools to remind you of upcoming events. For example, you may want to set up a reminder a few days or weeks before each event. That way, you get a bit of a warning about what’s to come. If you do not look at your calendar far enough in advance, this can be a helpful tool for you.

2. Plan for Other Big Dates

It is common for schools to provide a list of the significant dates for the school year on a calendar. In addition, many schools have moved to a digital method of keeping parents updated. No matter what they use, take a few minutes to update your calendar.

Plug in everything you can. That may include things like days off and special events. You can use it to ensure you don’t miss a parent-teacher night or the special mother and father day events many schools do. Even the book fair can be essential to remember (so you don’t forget to give the kids some money before they are off to school). Find out when picture day is.

You can do that now, during the summer, to streamline the school year right from the start. That way, you are not trying to scrounge for time to update your calendar during the school year. If you are unsure of dates, check your school’s website as a good starting point.

3. Are You Enrolling Your Children?

For parents enrolling their children in school, there may be a few more things to remember. You may have to meet with the principal or teachers to discuss your children’s needs. IEP and other special planning meetings may be necessary. Start by listing all of the dates for events on your calendar. That way, you know where to get started.

Next, use the note features in your calendar to help you plan for these events. You may have many questions to ask the teacher, for example. Jot those down in your app. This way, you can add notes at any time. That includes when you randomly think of something. They are all in one location you can pull out and use during the meeting.

Also, find out what type of materials you need for enrollment. Do you need to get a birth certificate? Perhaps you need to get a transcript from a previous school. You may need medical records. These are all things that could take some time. Add them into the calendar app and set up a reminder a few weeks before they are due. That way, you get a notification that you need to take action soon.

4. Plan the Shopping

It is very common to have many things to buy before going to school. Use your calendar app to help you do this.

Start by scheduling a few helpful days. The first is a day to go through your child’s existing wardrobe with them. Get rid of what does not fit. Next, make a pile of what you can donate. Set up a reminder in your app to drop off those donations.

Next, use the app to schedule a day to go shopping. You may want to bring a friend or two along for the process. If that is the case, be sure to let them know. Send them a link to the event so they know when to be ready for the big day.

Shopping for children’s back-to-school clothes is a complex process. However, organizing where you need to go and what to buy gets a bit easier. If you have to buy online, be sure to set up a reminder to get orders placed soon.

5. Set Up Costs

For those who have to make tuition payments throughout the year, set those up in your app. You can set up reminders to write a check. You may be able to set up payment reminders with your bank, too. The key here is not to overlook these payments.

You may also learn of additional costs. That could be specific class fees or expenses related to materials. When you receive notice of them, add them to your app. That way, you can stay on top of those costs and not worry about them later.

6. Get Everything Organized

Set up some time to handle any additional tasks that are so commonly necessary when it comes back-to-school. Here are some examples to consider.

Have you determined how lunch and breakfast will work? Do you need to fund their accounts at school? Perhaps you have to write a check each week. Set up reminders to do each of these things.

Consider transportation. Where and when will the kids get picked up? That can help you determine when everyone needs to be up each day. You also want to find out where the kids will go after school. Set up any necessary transportation to and from daycare, too.

Don’t forget extracurricular activities. Find out when sign-ups are. You may also want to check out your calendar to make sure you know when practice is. It is also a good idea to gather information about parent meetings and team pictures.

Do you need to purchase books? If you need to buy online, do this as soon as possible. You may also want to schedule some time to make sure summer reading is caught up. If your children have summer work to do, set up a weekly reminder.

What other tasks do you need to complete before school starts? Set some goals for the summer months. It may take just a few minutes, but it will pay off for you.

It is very easy to miss these deadlines. No matter how hard you try, you may find the process just too much. Yet, it is even easier to use an app to help you to stay organized. With a bit of planning now, you can minimize the risk that your children will have some mistakes. More so, you can enjoy your summer a bit better. You know what needs to be done and when. You can then plan summer fun around those activities.

[Related: 7 Ways New Parents Can Use Their Online Calendar Postpartum]

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Anh Khac; Pexels; Thank you!