My Secret to Juggling Our Family’s Busy Life: Meet the Skylight Calendar

In partnership with Skylight. Editor’s Note: We only select and work with partners that meet our quality standards, so you can rest assured we only endorse products we believe in.

A few weeks ago, a friend texted me at 4:30 p.m. with a perfectly innocent and kind text:  “Hey, we’ll still see you for dinner at our place tonight, right?” 

“Oh crap,” I thought. OK, maybe I had slightly more colorful language than that. I had totally forgotten about dinner. It was on my calendar, but why didn’t I – let alone anyone else in our house – remember?

With two little kids and two full-time working parents, life is busy – and sometimes, we forget stuff (which absolutely sucks!). As we continue to think about growing our family and adding onto things we are doing, I realized I needed a solution to get everyone on the same page with our schedules. A friend recommended the Skylight Calendar ($289.99), so I decided to give it a try.

We like

  • Easily syncs to your existing calendars
  • Mobile app makes it so that you can access your calendar on the go, too
  • Great satisfaction-guaranteed program – test for up to 120 days for full money back
  • Chore chart included for raising helpful little humans
  • Grocery list feature means everyone can contribute to the list – not just you!
  • Looks great in any home with options to mount or utilize a stand

We don't like

  • Grocery list could benefit from sorting by category, which it currently does not support 
  • Wish photo sharing was included
  • Must be plugged in to work – battery or solar options would be a nice addition

Unboxing & Set Up

Do you know the unboxing feeling of getting a new phone? Slowly lifting the lid off the box and a gorgeous, unscathed screen awaits. This was the same feeling I got opening the Skylight Calendar. I got it out, flipped through the instructions, and was able to set it up within about 10 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of setup, as I despise reading instructions, so minimizing instruction time was an awesome win. 

Set up simply requires you to plug in the calendar, install the base (to stand it up like a picture frame) or to mount it on the wall. We’re probably not going to be in our current home much longer, so I chose the base option – less holes to fill later. This did require a screwdriver, but was super easy with just 4 screws. I then connected the device to WiFi and was prompted to download the companion app. On the app, I synced a few of our calendars: my personal calendar, my work calendars, my husband’s personal calendar, and our church’s calendar. These are Google and Outlook accounts, but other account types (like Apple Calendars) are able to be synced, too. The sync was incredibly easy – similar in effort to the single sign-on you do on websites such as Google or Facebook.

It’s a Family Affair

Once I got all of these calendars synced, I was pumped to see them on the screen (that’s a lot of calendars!). Seeing them all was so satisfying to a Type A person. I can instantly tell who needs to be where and when – and it’s all color-coded to boot! Beyond that, my family can see who needs to be where and when, so the responsibility of doing those things can be truly shared amongst us all. Oh, Nick has gymnastics on Saturday? Teddy has an appointment on Tuesday morning? Cool, then we can all see that clearly on our shared screen and ensure they get there.

Easy to use and gorgeous to look at!

I often add events to our Google calendar on the fly, like scheduling a follow up dentist appointment when finishing the last appointment. Thankfully, Skylight supports this functionality: events can easily be added on the go by either adding to your existing calendar (e.g. in my case, GCal) or to the Skylight app directly. Either way, it’ll sync to your family’s calendar, ensuring the information, once again, makes it around to everyone when the time comes. 

The Calendar also gives families the option to sync photos and use it like a digital photo frame. This is very cool (kids love to see themselves), but it does require a subscription ($39 annually). I like the idea, but probably won’t pay for it because we’re trying hard to cut subscription fees in our budget.

Raising Helpful Little Humans

One of my absolute favorite parenting books is called “Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Healthy Little Humans.”  The author takes her toddler around the world to different ancient cultures (think the Mayans and Inuits) to see how they raise their children, many of which don’t even need to be asked to do chores. Who doesn’t want that?! Though that seems like a near-impossible feat in the States, Skylight offers a close-second option: an emoji-filled chore chart. 

We’re working so hard to ensure even our youngest crew members are actively involved in our family’s chores, and this screen certainly is an enticing way for them to want to contribute. Our toddler doesn’t have an iPad and isn’t allowed to touch our phones (we’re so mean, I know), so any chance he gets to touch a screen is thrilling to him… even if it is because he did a chore.

My secret to keeping it together

Finally, the grocery list was an exciting feature for our family. We were using a shared grocery app before so that my husband and I could collaborate, but this feels like a better option as our kids learn how to read and add items themselves. I like the execution of it mostly, with easy-to-add items that again sync with the app and the device itself. However, my previous app does categorize them (for example: dairy, grains, etc.) and I wish this did as well. Maybe the product expert folks at Skylight will read my review and add this functionality soon!

Let Some (Sky)Light into Your World

Overall, the Skylight Calendar is a game-changer. With multiple features to keep the whole family engaged, this will not just serve a purpose in your home, but it will also look good doing it.  If you ask me – or more importantly, anyone in our home – what’s on the docket for tomorrow, they’ll be able to tell you. And that, my friends, is worth almost any price tag to me! 

Get your family’s busy, fun life organized with Skylight today!

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