My little family is all over the place these days. We’ve got soccer practices, yoga classes, Cub Scout events, Girl Scout events, lunch meetings, and on and on. In other words, we’re like pretty much every other family.
The big challenge, of course, is keeping track of who goes where, and when. That’s why I have new and profound love for Cozi, an online organizer that’s perfect for busy families.
All you do is sign up for a free account, enter your family members’ names and e-mail addresses (if applicable), then start adding events to the calendar. You can color-code appointments depending on which family member(s) will be involved, and set up reminders (which can come in the form of an e-mail or text message).
Any and all family members can access the Cozi calendar online, but the service also offers free apps for Android and iPhone. I use the latter; my wife, the former. They’re fantastic for viewing and adding events on the run. (Alas, they don’t integrate with the built-in calendars, and lack any kind of alarm option. That’s my sole complaint.)
You can important existing calendars from the likes of Google Calendar, Outlook, and even your local school–all huge time-savers. Cozi also has templates (accessible in the Settings menu) for recurring activites like childcare, clubs, and sports practices.
Beyond group calendaring, Cozi offers a shared to-do list, a shopping list, and a family journal (which you can adorn with photos, either existing or snapped on-the-fly). And if you’re using the Web interface, you can quickly compose and send a message to any family member via phone or e-mail.
Cozi is, in short, ridiculously handy. My only regret is that I waited this long to start using it. This is without a doubt one the Web’s best freebies.