- I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Reviews-day Tuesday: Cozi Online Family Organizer
I've talked to y'all in the past about my favorite family planner/calendar, the More Times Mom Family Organizer. I've even given one of these away because I wanted to share it with others. However, due to recent health issues and stress, my memory has gone kaput! Most days over the last year and a half, I didn't remember to look at my calendar. My aunt had invited 2 of my cousins and me to a wonderful event last year and I forgot all about it because I didn't even remember I had a calendar to look at. Everytime I think of that, I am still embarrassed! It's been really rough living inside this body and the stress I piled on myself when things like this happened just made the memory issues worse. Even when I looked at my calendar and repeated an appointment on there over and over in my head, as soon as I turned away from the calendar, it was forgotten.
Since last Fall, I've been going to doctors appointments a lot. At the end of each one I would be asked when I could come back for this or that test and then when can I come back to discuss the test results. I had no idea when I was or was not free! I would have to call them back when I got home after checking my calendar, but that also posed problems. 1) I could have obligations that I just forgot to write on my calendar, and 2) I have a terrible fear of phones. I would put off calling a doctor for weeks because I simply could not make myself pick up the phone and call. I needed something else to keep track of my life because my way of life no longer worked with my beloved MTM Family Organizer (oh, how I truly grieved over that loss!).
Then one day at the beginning of the year I was on The Fly Lady's website looking for a Contol Journal for B. I had decided that he needed something to keep him on top of his household obligations and school lessons. He was old enough and I was tired of having to remind him all the time. (Well, it's kind of hard for a child to be organized and remember everything when he has such a poor example in his Mom!)
While The Student Control Journal was printing, I looked around Fly Lady. I hadn't been there in a while, but she has helped me organize parts of my life before - for example, Cruising through Christmas & doing Christmas cards - so I wanted to see what's new. I was clicking on all the headings at the top and bottom of her homepage and one was "Cozi". I had no idea what that meant so I went to the page to find out. According to The Fly Lady's website:
"FlyLady.net and Cozi have teamed up to bring to you the FlyLady Online Organizer. This is a web-based calendar and organizer program that will allow you to schedule, plan, have time-zone-specific reminders, shopping lists, to-do lists, a family journal section that you can even opt in to post to Facebook, and more! Oh yes, and we did mention it’s free?"
I was curious, so I went to Cozi's website and read more about it. It sounded good and, since it was free, I decided to sign up. I really liked what was included! I was quite overwhelmed in the calendar, however, because it was full of Fly Lady reminders on each day. I am not currently "flying" with her system and would not need those, but soon figured out how to hide them all. I immediately added a couple of items to the calendar, looked at the list options and perused the recipe bank. It was quite
easy to maneuver through.
We've now been using The Fly Lady Online Organizer from Cozi for almost 2 months and are loving it! Did you notice I said "we"? Yup, the hubs is all in. He was constantly feeling out of the loop with what B and I were doing, either because I didn't remember myself or he never looked at the wall calendar. But now I keep Cozi up on the family computer all day long. He checks it in the morning before leaving for work and knows exactly what we'll be up to that day. And if he forgets, he just
pulls up the Cozi app on his phone. That's right, is has a matching, free app.
Each one of us has our own color assigned in the calendar so we can tell which appointments are for which family member or if they are for all of us. We can set recurring appointments and receive reminders on our phone. On the day I signed up, I entered all the important birthdays into the Calendar and set reminders. This has already paid off - the hubs called his parents on their anniversary and he
wished his SIL a happy birthday.
I don't have to suffer the dreaded "Whats for dinner?" question all the time because the hubs checks the Meals page before he asks. I'm trying really hard to update that with dinner plans as soon as I have one.
I really like the Shopping section. It already came with separate lists for the grocery store and wholesale club and I can create other lists, as well. The hubs and I have been really good about entering into the organizer any items we need from the store. Then, we just pull up the app in the store! No more forgetting something because I forgot to write it down or left the list at home (I did that frequently). When I put an item in my grocery cart, I check it off in the app. I can either remove the checked items from the list or leave them in the list, but checked off. I leave regularly purchased items in the list and the next time I need them, I merely tap them, which unchecks them in the list. Now I know I need to buy it and I didn't have to retype it.
There are other features we have not used yet - To Do Lists, Family Journal and a Messages page where you can write notes to each other. Although I use the free app with ads at the bottom, you can purchase the Gold version for $29.99/year. In the Gold version, you not only are ad free but you get added features - Contacts (Cozi says that feature is great for doing Holiday cards), and a Birthday Tracker. The ads don't bother me or impede what I need to get done in the app and I've already added birthdays into the Calendar.
This online family organizer has made a great difference in our life. I've drastically cut down on the number of trips I'm making to the grocery store for forgotten items. If the hubs decides to stop at the store on his way home from work, he's got what I need in his phone. When I'm at a doctor's office or meeting up with friends and I get asked when I'll be able to see them again, I can look at the calendar in my phone and make plans with confidence. It's amazing that when I remove a stressor from my
life, I don't just lose the stress caused by that one problem. Relieving this big stress has allowed me to relax more about other problems and take them in stride. Another added benefit of less stress on me is a happier hubs and a happier B. 😊