Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another Great Organisation Tool: Cozi

As part of my venture in to the world of Flylady, I tripped across the application, Cozi. Cozi is an online family calendar system and organisation tool, similar to iCal or Outlook Express.

I signed up, and after spending a bit of time setting things up and getting used to the layout, I now have a functional tool to keep track of my appointments, to do lists and schedules.

Awesome is not really a paper guy, and we had tried paper calendars before with only limited success. To get Awesome to read the calendar, which was on the fridge, I would need to put post-it's on the mirror in the bathroom, on top of his work bag, and on the back of the front door. And most of the time he missed them...

So I decided to meet him where he was at. We switched to google calendar and that has been working well. I set up reminders to pop up oh his iphone and iPad. But I was still using a paper diary and that meant transferring things across regularly. Which required a routine, which I didn't have.... Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the new and slightly easier to use features of the Cozi system really suited me, and flylady has a link up so the master lists for her routines automatically link to your Cozi account. Me likey.

Cozi is a free (ad-supported) site, with the option of a paid account with no ads. Joining is quick and easy and you have instant access to your account and calendar. Cozi synchs up with google calendar as a read-only, which worked for me as Awesome's calendar is already set up there. I can see what he is doing, email him directly from the site, and send him a weekly family schedule via email.

Other benefits of the Cozi system are the Daily journal, where you can record a quick snapshot of your day and turn it into a webpage for others to read, either privately or publicly. This would be great if we had kids, or, you know, a life.
There is a shopping list tool where you can create separate lists for each shop you go to. I have set up an Aldi, Woolworths, Costco (oh yes, did I mention I joined Costco? That's another post altogether!) and a general household list of random things. You can set up as many lists as you like, but weeeelll I really hate shopping so I avoid it at all costs.
You can also link all your facebook events and birthdays automatically. This was a most excellent feature for me as I find I say yes to things and forget to transfer them across to my diary... then I have to run around checking emails and sites to ensure I haven't forgotten anything each day.

What I Would Change
It would be good to be able to automatically have your to do lists appear on the daily page on a weekly basis (you can currently have them set up for a certain day, but not repeated, say every Monday). I would also appreciate being able to email the To Do lists to myself each day, but that would prevent me from needing to visit the site, which would mean I wouldn't see the ads, which is how the site makes their money, so I'm guessing that this is probably intentional.

Overall, I have been using this site for a week and enjoying it immensely. Now we will see how long it lasts?

A warning: the site is easy to set up and play around with once you get the hang of it (the help section is awesome), but I have spent quite a bit of time playing with it (because I am a perfectionist like that) and getting it just the way I like it. Don't blame me if you waste a couple of hours organising your life. You've been warned.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or requested review, simply sharing the love!

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