Does your calendar look like this one? So much stuff to write on it that you run out of space every day?
Ours was getting like that. As our girls got older, it seemed like there just wasn't a good way to keep everyone on the same page. I'd try various methods--keeping a crazy paper calendar was one of them. So was a white board that I kept by the back door. That worked for a while. But people would forget to check it, run out the door, and wouldn't know what time they needed to be home.
This weekend I got to thinking that I can't believe I haven't shared with you the single most helpful organizational tool that our family uses.
Yes, it's a calendar.
But it's not your everyday, run-of-the-mill paper calendar with pictures of tractors or mountains or woodland vistas on it. It's not made of paper at all.
It's called Cozi Calendar, and it's a website that allows each family member to access and update it from different computers whenever they want. Let me tell you, it has saved our family's proverbial booty on many occasions.
Here's why we love using the Cozi Calendar.
1. Every member of the family can access it. We have four computers in our family. (I know. Don't start.) Six if you count the i-Pad and the i-Phone. Seven if you count B's computer at work. Every one of those computers has the ability to access the family calendar. Nobody has an excuse. With iCal, which I do have on my computer, I'm the only one with access, so if I update it, nobody has a clue. It doesn't do anybody any good. But everyone has access to Cozi, so that's what we use.
2. Every member of the family can update it. Yes, there is a password, so not everyone in the world can hack into your family calendar and play Scrabble with it. But as long as the family communicates that password, everyone can update the calendar. I keep my Cozi Calendar up on a tab on my computer all day long, so I can see if anyone (especially B when he's at work) adds anything to the calendar.
3. The updates post immediately. If B puts something on the calendar when he's at work, I can see it here at home right away. If Julia's piano lesson time gets changed, she can see that as soon as she gets home from school.
4. You can change the view from a full month view to a week to a day. Set your preferences however you want. We use the weekly view because we tend to have too many entries each day to make the monthly calendar work.
5. You can have entries repeat. For instance, Julia's piano lessons are on Mondays. When I put the lesson in the calendar, along with the time, I can have it set to repeat every day, once a week, every-other week, or monthly. It's great! I don't have to go in and add it every single time by hand.
6. It's FREEEEEEEE!! We learned about Cozi about four years ago when it was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal. We thought we'd give it a try since it was free, and we have stuck with it all these years. It works well for our family.
You can also use the Cozi website for shopping lists, journaling, and To Do lists, although we haven't used those features that much. It's the calendar that we keep open on all of our family computers all the time that works best for us.
Believe it or not, fall is coming with its insane amount of school events, practices, and games. Why not take some time to play around with Cozi and see if it could work for your family?
P.S. I'm not getting any money for writing this. The people at Cozi have no idea who I am. I just really like this website and I think you will too.