As a creature of habit who is very attached to her paper calendar, I spent part of the
weekend making the transition to an online calendar by setting up my Cozi account and
our family calendars. I was looking for an online calendar system was that it was free or
low cost, provided the ability to color code, and worked on multiple mobile platforms and
am pleasantly surprised by the many features that make me think that Cozi and I will get
Cozi is a free service with an easy sign up process that takes a few minutes to create an
account. After filling in basic information, I found myself obsessing over colors for each
family member to color code our calendar entries and decided that the various layouts for
day, week, and month were easy to read and navigate.
My next task was to begin to add dates to my online Cozi family calendar. Cozi
automatically enters holidays and another nice features is the ability to find and add
school calendars and applying all relevant dates to the correct child with a simple click
of the mouse. I was able to find the public school calendar by using the pull down
menu to select our state and whether our school was public or private. Using those
two criteria, Cozi generated a list of matching schools and I was able to add the public
school calendar for my daughter’s elementary school. I did the same search for our son’s
private preschool and while many new school calendars are constantly being added, our
son’s preschool doesn’t yet publish their calendar online. I was able to send a request
to the preschool asking them to publish their calendar online with a click of a button!
Another requirement for our family calendar is the ability to access it through my
iPhone and my husband’s Blackberry. I was quite pleased to find that Cozi offers
mobile solutions for both platforms. My husband can pull up the Cozi Mobile website
on his Blackberry and use it to view and edit our color coded calendar. He can also
cross off items from our shopping list and add new ones right from his Blackberry!
The $1.99 Cozi iPhone/iPod Touch app is ad free and relatively new. Like the Cozi
Mobile website for Blackberry and Palm phones, the iPhone app enables users to view
and edit the color coded calendar, set up reminders, access shopping lists, and manage
to-do lists on and offline. For users of other mobile devices, Cozi offers a toll free
number that you can call to have your shopping lists read to you, listen to your day’s
appointments, and request shopping lists or your appointments to come to your phone
directly from text message.
Since my husband and I have Outlook accounts for work, the Cozi Outlook Toolbar
download makes our home Cozi calendar sync with Outlook. It is nice to be able
to see work schedules with our home calendar in one place without having to enter
appointments in multiple places.
Since I don’t blog about my kids’ lives on Tech Savvy Mama, I like the idea of a family
journal on Cozi. The family journal feature allows me to capture everyday moments
by making a quick note about an anecdote from the day. I’m able to add a picture and
even share my entries with friends and relatives via email or a monthly e-newsletter sent directly from Cozi. I could even publish a family web page right from Cozi and select a
custom URL! I like that Cozi allows parents who want to use this feature the option of
leaving out the names of their children to protect their privacy. iPhone and iPod Touch
users can record a memory, take a photo, and upload it as an entry to their family journal
on the go!
Even though I haven’t completely thrown away my paper calendar, I think Cozi’s ease of
use and ability to coordinate many calendars on multiple devices to streamline scheduling
makes this free service quite attractive and will be a great long term tech savvy solution
to simplifying our family’s calendaring needs.
But wait, there’s more!
“Clever Ideas for Mom Bloggers” Weekly Prize $250 Visa gift card:
Enjoying these “help-a-blogger-out” posts? For the next two weeks, we’ve lined up bloggers from our Clever 1000 network to write about their back-to-school challenges. Each week, they’ll present a different problem and look to you to help solve it. If you offer up the winning solution, not only will the blogger try it out and let us all know how it goes, but you’ll win $250 cash! This week’s challenge is from Beth Blecherman of TechMamas. Can you help with her kid desk problem? You share your ideas in the comments of her post, and she’ll pick the solution that works best for her family. Look for all of the details on the weekly posts.
“Back-to-School Tech Wishes Come True” Grand Prize $500 Best Buy card:
In addition to getting your ideas to help the three bloggers, we also want to help you get a jump on the new school year, and make your back to school wishes come true.
Maybe a new phone, an iPad, or a color printer would get your year off to a great start? Tell us about your back-to-school technology wish list in the comments of this post, and on September 15, 2010, we’ll pick one winner at random to receive a $500 Best Buy giftcard!
See more from Clever Girls Collective:
Back To School 2.0 Enter to Win!
Tips for Killing Time at Soccer Practice
Save Money With Back-to-School Apps
Lunchbox 2.0: Fun Finds for Cool Lunches
Online or Paper Calendar? Best Tip Wins $250
Winning Calendar Conundrum Solution: Cozi
Contest: Kid Desk 2.0 – Be In It to Win It
Clever Girls Collective is a social media marketing agency founded by women who wanted to use their deep marketing experience and broad social network relationships for good. We know that women who engage in social media are some of the most authentic, connected, trusted, and vocal influencers — not only online, but “in real life.” That’s why we’ve developed The Clever 1000: an ever-growing, beautifully diverse network of professional, thoughtful social media-connected, natural networkers and influencers who want to engage with and enhance their favorite brands. Leticia Barr is the founder of Tech Savvy Mama, a site that assists parents in finding the best
technology products, websites, and resources for children of all ages. Tech Savvy Mama
was started because of Leticia’s personal experience of bringing a computer into her
home for their now 6 year old daughter.