Knowledge Management at home
1 October 2021
Running a household is not unlike running a business. Parents are CEOs of their private enterprise and must ensure that all functionaries do their job correctly and are content.
Nowadays, parents bear most of the responsibility for their children. Parents are substantially more involved in their children’s lives as well as their managing their time and tasks. We must remember their homework, what must be brought to school, and all of their friends’ birth dates.
With the Coronavirus came a wide variety of additional tasks, tests, quarantines, and examinations. If parents used to come to school twice a year and receive their bills in the mail, nowadays the data and responsibility constantly arrive at our doorstep (not literally) in form of text messages and emails.
How can we ensure that this data isn’t lost while not interfering with our attempt at making a living and retaining some peace of mind?
This article discusses the various ways in which we can incorporate elements from the world of KM into our families and homes. It offers tips and simple, familiar digital tips that can make this task much easier.
Planning and assigning responsibilities: running a home, like any business, requires first and foremost assigning responsibilities. This is usually done naturally, as every family member realizes their responsibilities. This is important, as it prevents tasks from falling through the cracks, being handled in the last minute or handled several times redundantly. Despite the process occurring naturally, it’s best to nevertheless define the responsibilities for clarity’s sake as well as optimal use of the time and resources at hand.
Shared Excel- a shared Excel document allows all family members to follow the collective budget. You can feed in your regular expenses (school, mortgage, bills) and unexpected, irregular expenses (plumber, electrician, etc.). Divorced couples can feed in each parent’s expenses regarding the children. The expenses are calculated either on a monthly or quarterly basis. This enables you to review how much you’ve spent and consider whether any of these were unnecessary and whether you’ve exceeded your budget and where you could save.
Shared journal- a useful way to track family members’ various activities, both regular and occasional. This tool allows you to efficiently and orderly plan your week: who needs to be driven where, who needs to be present at the activity, who needs to cut early from work, etc.
List apps- there are several user-friendly apps that help manage shopping lists or lists of tasks. Each family member can add items missing at home or special requests to the shopping list. It’s a comfortable method to manage bureaucracy-related tasks or list the stages of a complex task that needs to be executed. For example, a trip abroad requires renewing your passport, to be checked for Covid19, packing your bags, and finding a boarding house for your dog. Once one of the tasks has been completed, it can be crossed off the list. The shared list is then updated.
Folders- organizing files in a folder is part of our regular work routine, but it seems to be overlooked in regard to our personal life. We hoard pictures and files that are at best saved on our computer in a single folder on our desktop, or (in less favorable situations) are still saved on our phone, together with irrelevant pictures and files. To avoid accumulating thousands of files and pictures, it’s best to develop a habit of downloading pictures and files monthly. Delete anything irrelevant and organize your files by subject (e.g., medical files, bank documents, insurance, school) and pictures in folders by date.
Dropbox- one of the best and most popular file storage services. It can be used to store 2-18GB files free of cost, and substantially larger files for a reasonable fee. Dropbox enables backing up important files in case the hard disk on which they are stored crashes. This is a great solution for important documents such as IDs or passports, which can thus be available for all family members at all times.
Some of these solutions take some more time, which we as parents and working people do not have. Nevertheless, their advantages are obvious and might be the best way to find some peace of mind in this chaotic atmosphere.
As expected from any change, both in organizations and families, changing habits take time and adaptation, however are fruitful. Recommended!