Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Techy Tuesday: Cozi Family Organizer

The quest for the perfect family calendar has been a real journey of trial and error for our family.   I needed a one-stop shopping solution to keep track of all of our appointments and commitments - something we could all use.   For a few months, we had a big calendar on the wall that was great for me but not so great for hubby.   I got tired of always answering the question "What is on the calendar for this weekend?" so I decided we needed to go online with the calendar.  I spent the better part of a day entering all of our calendar items into a Google calendar and then sharing it with the hubby.

It worked okay.  Not great.   It was fine as long as I kept it up to date, but it was clunky and ineffective for hubby.   In a nutshell, it wasn't working for us.

Enter the new Netbook.   We got it as a freebie when we booked our Mexican disaster vacation.   We didn't really have need of one, but the more we talked about it, we decided it would be good enough to keep around as our sole windows computer.  At most, I expected to use it to sync my Garmin since I've never been able to get it to sync to my mac.   The Netbook arrived when we got home from Mexico and we started to play around with it and I stumbled upon a program that was pre-installed on it.  The Cozi Family Organizer.

It was like the Netbook knew exactly what we needed.  It is a family organizer that has calendars for each family member, shopping and to-do lists - it even has a journal function in it.   It runs as a desktop program on the netbook, but is also available as an app for iPhone/iPod (or Android or balckberry, if that's your flavour) AND as a website you can log into from anywhere.   It also has text and email functionality AND a number you can call to have your shopping lists read out to you.

It is ridiculously easy to use AND - added bonus - I was able to import the calendars that I'd entered on Google so I didn't need to re-do all of that work!   Now, it is easy for us to keep all of our appointments organized in one place AND the hubby can easily check and update it from the comfort of his phone (meaning it actually gets done!).

I have a couple of favourite features to the program, though.  The first is the ability to have the shopping lists sent to my phone via text message.  I don't have a smartphone yet, but this makes is to darn simple.   It also means that if I forget to do it, i can have hubby send them to me.  Quick and painless!   The other feature I really like is the email summary.  You can set it up so that it will send the weekly calendar to your email on Sunday - giving you a week at a glance of what's coming up.  I thought it would be annoying, but it is a super handy reminder!

I can only imagine that this will be handier and handier to us as time goes on.   Especially when the twinners start to have lives and we need to be on top of where they need to be and when.  It might actually turn me into an organized momma!

So, check Cozi out.  It's cool.  It's handy.  Best of all, though, it's free!   You might just find that it's exactly what you didn't know you really needed!


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