Well, I don't have children, but I do work full time in addition to nursing school
( I actually nanny so maybe that's something like having kids LOL). I can tell you a few things that I absolutely have to have to stay organized and preserve my sanity in nursing school
1. A HUGE calendar - compile ALL your families activities onto ONE huge calendar and then you never have to go looking for appointment reminders or anything.
2. Post-It notes. I cannot function without them. I put them EVERYWHERE. If I need to do something and can't right now, I write a note. If one of your kids needs something (like an appointment) right a note and get to it the next time you can.
3. I organize my school stuff by class. So all my notes, books, flashcards, everything will be color coded to not only help me keep it together on the shelf, but also find it quickly. For example: all of my maternity stuff is pink. The book cover is a pink color, the binder is pink, the flashcards are pink, the notes are highlighted in pink - this seems like overkill but it's a life saver when it's finals time and I don't have time to sort through notes to find what I need.
4. I take notes on a laptop but if you don't I suggest one of those spiral bound notebooks for every class. It helps to keep all the notes in one place and you don't have to worry about dropping your stuff and mixing up all your notes.
5. I pack lunches the night (or sometime days) before. I work a lot and do not always have time to pack a lunch. In order to prevent myself from eating junk, I pack my lunches in advance and then I can just grab them on the way out. (**My mom used to do this when my brother and I were in school to help us out in the morning...might be useful for your kids too )
6. I designate a time of the week for house related stuff. My Sunday afternoons are for house cleaning, grocery store trips, laundry and anything else that needs to get done. I find that if I schedule it in, it will get done instead of putting it off because you have other stuff to do. It has it's own time so there is nothing else that you have scheduled during that time. (I know with kids this may not always work, but for the most part it might.)
7. Keep your school stuff separate from everything else. I HAVE to do this or I lose everything. Especially if you have kids, this may be really important to keep it from disappearing.
I really hope this helps!
Amber N. - Elsevier Student Ambassador