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A Calendar to Keep Your Family Organized

by on October 25, 2011
in Family and Parenting, Baby & Toddler, Kids, Tips & How-Tos :: 3 comments

With five busy people in my house, keeping track of who needs to be where when is a challenge. There’s my work schedule, my husband’s work schedule, my kids school calendars, classes, doctor’s appointments and games and all of our social events.

We have a paper family calendar that is posted by the fridge. It has all of the kids’ appointments and events, plus work travel. But writing appointments into the little squares is difficult and there’s no way to access it unless I’m home.

What I use instead is a digital calendar that syncs with Outlook and Google Calendar so I can see everyone’s schedule wherever I am so I can set up doctor’s appointments or schedule a dinner party with confidence that I’m not double booking someone.

There are a few good free choices out there, each with a couple of features that set them apart.

Cozi iPhone appCozi Family Organizer

The Cozi Family Organizer syncs appointments with Outlook and can be accessed through iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps. Each family member is assigned a color, so it’s easy to see who’s busy and who’s free at a glance. And you can make appointments for anyone in your family. There’s a very robust reminder system, with the ability to send text and email reminders, as well as a weekly digest. You can’t send invites outside of Cozi, though, like you can with Outlook and Google Calendar.

In addition to calendaring, you can share shopping lists and to-do lists with family members and create a family journal, which everyone can contribute to. All of the features are available in the free version or you can subscribe to Cozi Gold for $4.99 per month for an ad-free experience.

 

Famjama family calendarFamjama

The Famjama family calendar is ad-free and can be accessed online or through the Famjama iPhone and Android apps. You can sync with iPhone, Android and iCal, which makes Fanjama the best choice for Mac users. Google Calendar is limited to manually importing and exporting events and for Outlook you can only download appointments. Like Cozi, Famjama displays a calendar color-coded by family member. Event reminders can be delivered via text and email, but you’re limited to making appointments only for those using the service. You can also send group messages via text and set up to-do and shopping lists.

 

Google CalendarGoogle Calendar

If you’re Gmail user or just looking for a calendar, you can create a family Gmail account and associated calendar. You can then sync that calendar with Outlook, iPhone and Android and share it with other family members who use Google Calendar. It’s also the only option that lets you invite outsiders to events.

Of course, Google Calendar doesn’t have any of the other family friendly features, like to-do and shopping lists or a family journal. But for me, it’s the best option.

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Cozi

From Karla T on October 26, 2011 :: 8:41 am

Just started using Cozi and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it so far.  Super easy to manage and they email me weekly giving me a run down of the week ahead.

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Homelife (Daytimer's family calendar)

From Yvonne on October 27, 2011 :: 1:05 pm

Currently use Yahoo for the family calendar, but I can’t sync with Outlook.  Tried Cozi but have had a difficult time adjusting. 

Thought I might check out Homelife. Does anyone have insights or recommendations in regards to Homelife?

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Google Calendar

From Heidi on October 29, 2011 :: 9:08 am

I have been using Google Calendar with my iPhone for over a year now.  It’s completely changed our lives- kids know where I’m at.  We found the GeoTasksPro app is an excellent grocery list- download the app to the phones and everyone shares the same log in:  next adult at the store picks up what’s needed.  The kids can add to the list as well.

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