I’m not a naturally organized person. Somewhere inside, there’s an organized person, screaming to get out, but I’ve buried her in clutter and procrastinated craft projects. Over the years, I’ve tried lots of scheduling methods, but none of them were really effective for me. Last year, I stepped up my search for the perfect system. Keeping a decent schedule becomes mega-important when you have a large family!
I ended up downloading a free app called Cozi. You can get it for the computer, Android and iPhone. When you register, you set up one account for your entire household, which means that everyone can be logged in whenever and wherever to add events or see what the rest of the fam has going on. My husband doesn’t have to ask me if we’re doing anything the third weekend of February, because he can open the same family calendar on his phone to check.
The Cozi calendar also lets you color-code each member of your family, so you can see at a glance who needs to be at each event. When you add an event to the calendar, you just check the box for whoever needs to attend, and their little colored dot appears. It’s so very easy, and it’s working miracles for our schedule organization.
But wait! There’s more! You can also keep grocery lists and to-do lists via the same app. I can’t tell you enough how awesome that is for the mother of a large family. I do most of the shopping, and it drives me nutty to get home from the store only to hear that someone needed toothpaste. I keep the master shopping list on my phone via the Cozi app now. My girls can access the list on their Kindles, and my husband can add things by phone or computer. You can even make different lists for different stores. While you’re shopping, you can check things off the list and they disappear from the screen.
If you let pre-teen girls add to your calendar and lists, you may also want to have a chat with them about using proper words and punctuation. Otherwise you may end up with a screen full of exclamation points when a birthday is coming up, or weird text-speak that you’ll have to call to decipher. I’ve just saved you from having to edit the calendar so your home screen doesn’t look like someone fell asleep on a keyboard. You are welcome!
Each family member can have their own to-do list, and you can add stuff to other people’s lists if necessary. I keep my own to-do list via my phone (where I have it set as a widget so I can always see what needs to be done), and I create other lists for stuff like packing for trips or holiday planning.
Cozi also offers meal planning and a family journal in the free app, but we don’t tend to use those. You can also upgrade to Cozi Gold for $29.99 per year and get some additional features, including email alerts for schedule changes, a birthday tracker, and contacts syncing. The paid app is also ad-free. So far, the ads on the free version haven’t been obtrusive. Only one of them flashed annoyingly at me while I was managing my grocery list. Frankly, the free Cozi app is amazing, and I’m perfectly happy with it. I’ll probably upgrade to the paid version this year just to support the company so they can keep adding truly useful features. However, if you’re on a tight budget, free Cozi still has plenty of titillating schedule-ey goodness.
Cozi is currently my number one big family helper. No one misses appointments. I no longer have that nagging feeling that I’m supposed to be doing something that I’ve forgotten. And I no longer come home from the store to find that I needed to buy 10 other things. Ha! Just kidding on that last one. But it happens with less regularity, OK?
I was not paid to endorse this product. I just like it and wanted to share it!