I am very excited because I found something great on the internet and I have to share!
I follow a blog called 5 Minutes for Mom on Facebook, and its a blog developed by two friends and they have some great weekly/daily topics on quick things for Moms to do. They inspired my Tackle it Tuesday section of my blog. So this week their featured Tackle It Tuesday topic was a guest tackle about iCals or Internet Calenders, and Cozi.com was the one they featured, and I love it!!
I have always loved calendars, agendas, To-do lists, and I really love the feel of physically writing into one, and I also enjoy picking out pretty ones to keep handy in purse to jot down new dates, ideas, shopping list and things to do. This year in particular I have been looking for an agenda or calender that I can mold into what I want and need, but I haven't been able to find it. And now that I own a Smart phone that offers me all kinds of different apps for my different needs, its been hard not take advantage of their portability and at your finger tip convenience, but I have 2 or 3 different apps to do one job.
Do you have this issue?
Cozi.com has MANY kinds of family organizational tools so I signed up for our own family account. Then I clicked on the Family Calendar link (Its the #1 Free iCalendar available). I got really excited to see that this calendar was beginning to look like it had everything I needed in one place, and the best part is that it ultimately transfers from the computer to my phone!!! OMG!!
Let me explain:
Cozi.com's iCal has the following sections that help you get your family organized, all in one location:
The Calendar Section
The Calender Section:
I loved this right away! It has a way for you to to setup appointments for the whole family or individually, and it lists them per day based on the color code you can pick for each person in your family. No more buying color stickies that get lost and expensive. It does this all for you too!
This calendar also gives you the option to send outside family members a copy of either your children's calendars for school events or the family calendar for their reference via email.
To Do List:
This section is awesome because it gives you the ability to write a Family To Do List or a To Do list for each person of your family. You can also email or text all To-Do-Lists to yourself or to each individual person to their cell phones for easy access anywhere you are.
Another thing I am molding this section into is a set of lists of the dinners I usually make for my family based on what they're made from (beef, chicken or pork meals). I have a hard time remembering what I've already made a week at a time, so I've made lists to refer to all the dinner options I have, and then on the calendar page I input the dinner for the day, so I have a visual of what we've had so I can make different choices or repeat our favorite dishes. Cozi.com also provides family recipes and information. It has it all!!
Again Cozi.com seems to know that most families go to more than one store do their shopping, so you can make as many lists as you need and you can input your grocery list as you would like to see it, no predetermined groceries lists. I also like inputting the weekly sales, which change constantly, as it is for that week..ie-'Apples 4lbs / $1.00' not just as 'Apples.'
Right now, I have 2 apps on my phone that help me organize my lists, but it gets very tedious to go back and forth on a small phone to input and refer to my information. But now I can do it all on this one site and it transfers to just one site!! Cozi.com has an app available for iPhones, Droids, and Blackberry's, so you can download the mobile site and manage your account from wherever you are!!
I also love that I can sit and do this while I'm on the computer working, during the day, or while I watch TV. I also made it my home page on my computer so I can always leave it open to pop in to make quick changes. No extra time on my part.
You also have the ability to text each individual shopping list to yourself if you're going to be out, or you can send it over to your hubby if you need him to pick something up for you. They make it easy for you to prioritize both your To-Do Lists and your Shopping Lists to fit your needs, and again you can send them out as text messages to your hubby or kids when necessary.
The Family Journal Section:
You can record your daily thoughts or family adventures in this section. You can keep them private or send them out as emails to family members, and you can even send out a months worth of journal entries as a monthly newsletter to your family to keep them updated on what your family is up to. I honestly feel like already Blog and Facebook enough that I do not necessarily need to use this section.
However, I have thought about maybe making it my own personal Gratitude journal or using it to let the kids start journaling their own thoughts on any particular day...kind of neat, right! Its really up to you how you use these sections, but I just love how its all available at your fingertips and on one site!!!
Note on best use: My only suggestion is that you will be able to best use this site on your Firefox browser rather than on the Internet Explorer if possible. I used it on both and found that the Internet Explorer causes the site to freeze and run really slowly causing many frustrations!! Just take my word for it...Firefox has been smooth going!
Why I wanted to share this site?
I wanted to share because being the busy mom that I am of 3 boys and working part-time, I am always looking for ways to make things easier for me on a daily basis. Its also very important for me to always know what activities are going on for my family so I can keep us all on track, so having a tool like this Cozi.com makes that very possible for me.
I had to play around on it first for a few days so that I could make sure that I was sharing something I really liked and to tell you what the features were so that if you were looking for a way to get you and your family organized you can find a way to make Cozi.com work for you. And right now, this has met my need for a calendar that I can mold into what I need, so I am sure you'll be able to do that too. And you will see that they have sooo many other things you may get some use out of.
So I hope I haven't sounded too much like a commercial, but again I was excited to find such a place, and I hope that you will check it out and play around with it for yourself.
Please let me know if any of you look into this, what you think, and if it ends up working for you. I love learning how people get their families organized. What would you use the different options for?
Here's to finding some peace in our lives by getting organized!! Have a wonderful weekend!
From my corner to yours...