Got a family? Then you need a calendar. There’s no way around it—you can’t get through life without a schedule to keep track of everyone’s events and appointments. Back in the day, we used big, leather-bound books or hanging wall calendars to organize our lives. But now there’s an easier way. The Internet has given us a bounty of websites with virtual calendars which are devoted to organizing information. These calendars can be accessed through multiple programs and devices such as Outlook, iCal for Macs, PDAs, and mobile phones. There are even “Public Calendars” that the user can choose to upload into their existing schedules to show important dates or events—like public school events , holidays, horoscopes, even moon phases. After looking at and using several online family calendars, we feel the following sites are the most helpful.
Keep Your Family Organized with an Online Calendar
Cozi.com (Free): This free calendar helps organize multiple schedules for each family member using color-coded appointments. It’s so thorough it can even keep track of grocery lists. And, Cozi allows users to call a Cozi representative, toll-free, and have information read back--in case they forgot to print their grocery list or daily schedule before leaving the house. Neat! Text message reminders can be easily programmed to be sent to your family or friends. It also syncs almost flawlessly with Microsoft Outlook, for combining home and work calendars.
HomeConvenience.com ($4.99 per month): This site features a day-planner style. It easily coordinates schedules for all family members with color-coding, and keeps track of addresses, home maintenance, fitness, vehicle maintenance, medical records, the contents of your wine cellar, and tons more. The website also synchronizes with Microsoft Outlook and Palm Desktop, and sends text messaging reminders to family members. Though we wished if focused more on the social aspects of calendars, such as sharing calendars with the community and importing public calendars.
FamilyTimePlanner.com ($16 for the first year, $12 thereafter): This family planner is simple to operate and it’s easy to assign different levels of access with its “Parent,” “Family Member,” and “View-only” modes. Users also have the option to make their calendars public or publish to their personal website to allow family and friends to view schedules. And you can send e-mail reminders. If you use popular desktop calendar programs, such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCal, you can import and export information, but there is no automatic sync; you have to manually enter appointments or send invitations to your Family Time Planner calendar.