My apologies for this late post; I had meant to do a follow-up to my Managing Our Family Calendar with Cozi.com post by last Friday, but as often happens with busy families, we got very….busy! I did want to make sure and mention a few other things about the Cozi.com site, though – some tools I found useful, some I felt our family would simply skip.
First of all, the Cozi.com homepage does a great job of connecting parents with important resources and ideas on getting organized, talking with kids about crucial topics, and even helping with dinner ideas. The “Live Simply” philosophy stretches through the many featured columns and content, all of which can be enjoyed without actually registering an account with Cozi. I’m pretty sensitive to webpage aesthetics, and I have to say I really like the feel of the Cozi.com homepage, and how streamlined and intuitive it is to find content. Whether or not you decide to sign on and use the Family Calendar feature I mentioned last week (or the other tools I’ll mention today), the site itself is a valuable parenting/family resource.
If you do sign on for a Cozi account, you’ll find a few distinct features in addition to the Family Calendar.
There in the upper left is our Family Journal window. This is a quick way to jot down notes on your day, funny things your kids said, or memories you want to capture. You can keep these updates private, or make them viewable by family and friends. Cozi markets this feature as a “family website” without all the hassle of setting one up yourself. The jury is still out on whether or not we would keep a regular Family Journal on Cozi, though. I communicate and journal so much through my own blog, Facebook, and Twitter, that the Family Journal at Cozi seems too redundant. I understand the logic of having this kind of tool in the same place as the Family Calendar, etc, but I’m not sure I myself would use it.
I’m also not sure I could convert my paper-and-pen habits into using two other tools on Cozi, either: the To-Do List and the Shopping List. When it comes to those two things in particular, I’m very tactile and enjoy the physical “crossing off” of items, rather than simply entering or deleting digitally. I do, however, appreciate the ability to having both the To Do and Shopping lists available on any mobile devices, for those times I forget the lists at home, or for the times I want to send the list to my husband on his phone (you can text the Shopping List to any mobile phone).
Two somewhat “hidden” gems of Cozi.com are actually found in their Downloads section, and I haven’t stopped raving to my family about either of them. First is the Cozi photo collage screensaver. A quick download and install allows Cozi to group between 4-8 pictures from the same folder into a slideshow of collages on your desktop (the program searches out the photo files and does all the work for you). Our family computer sits against the wall in our dining room, and it has been so fantastic to watch the screensaver present us with fantastic, full-screen collages of some of our favorite family memories. Trips, birthdays, special events – since I have them grouped by folder already on my computer, Cozi puts them all together and it’s a great walk down memory lane.
I have also loved having the Family Calendar gadget on my Windows desktop – another download available from Cozi. It takes all the data I feed into my Family Calendar on Cozi and puts it into a semi-customizable box on my desktop, so everything is right there in front of me. Since I personally am on my computer a great deal during the day, it’s been a great asset to have a bird’s-eye view on that information.
Bottom line for me on Cozi.com is this: if you are interested in ideas, inspiration, information, and tools to keep your busy family organized and living an enriched life, YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING USEFUL AT COZI.COM. It’s a great site with so much to offer, and whether (as I mentioned) there are aspects of the site that don’t fit your particular needs, I still believe you’d benefit greatly by spending some time there and checking out the quality content and features.
And, don’t forget: now through March 11 they are giving away Free Groceries for a Year! You do not need to be a member of the Cozi.com site – in fact, all that’s needed is your email address to enter.
*Disclaimer: I was invited by Cozi.com to check out their site and am being compensated to write this post. What I have written here is my honest opinion of and findings on the site.