Organizing family life can feel more like organizing a small business than a home. With work, school, extra-curricular, travel, and weekend schedules, planning can be challenging. Then there are plans about who will pick up the milk, how everyone will get to work and school if a car breaks down, where to keep the list of people to invite to the baby shower. With so much information that needs to be shared, it can be good to have a central location for it all. An online family system called Cozi can help your family put everything in one place.
Cozi is a family scheduling application, but it does a lot more than a kitchen calendar can. The site includes a family calendar, with the activities of each family member color-coded. Viewers can see what everyone is doing or view only their own events. The website also makes it easy to send messages (by text or email) to family members – right from the site. By far the most exciting feature in Cozi, though, is the lists feature. You can create shopping lists for the grocery store, the farmer’s market, and the pet store. You can also customize your own lists. Create a to do list to complete before the in-laws visit or a list of people to send holiday cards. Any family member can add to the list. Then, when you’re ready to shop (or send someone else to the store), you can send the list as a text message by phone. If you find yourself at the supermarket without your list, just call Cozi and have the list sent via text message or have Cozi read it to you over the phone. Cozi also includes some options for recording and viewing family memories. You can get a screensaver of your photos or blog about your family in the family journal. With calendar, lists, messaging, journal, and photos, you have command central to communicate with your family and get the business of home life taken care of.
- Move the kitchen calendar to your desktop – and allow your family to keep track of things from any computer.
- Update your grocery list the moment you remember you’re almost out of cat food, whether you’re at home or work
- Send a quick grocery list to your spouse when he’s on his way home, so he doesn’t forget the milk
- View schedules for the kids’ hockey practice, piano lessons, and carpool schedules alongside your husband’s travel plans to get an overview of what’s happening for your family
- Teach kids about time management as they see their own calendars and learn to add items themselves
- Use the Outlook connector to connect your work calendar with the family calendar
- The photo gallery and screensaver are worth the download
- The family journal is still in development and can currently only be viewed by those who use Cozi on your family account, but Cozi is planning to eventually allow users to invite friends and relatives outside of Cosi to view the blog, without seeing your grocery and holiday gift lists
What we liked:
- Being able to send your grocery list to another family member or yourself with just a phone call is a killer feature and will change the way your family shops and keeps track of chores
- A private family blog is a nice way to keep an electronic record of your family’s news. We’re excited for the possibilities with this service once relatives and friends are able to view this information
- The photo screen saver arranges and displays family photos from your computer and also displays upcoming calendar items
What we didn’t like:
- The ads that show up on some of Cozi’s pages are large and animated, which can be distracting
- It would be nice if Cozi could sync directly with other common calendars, such as Google calendar
- Currently, users can message only one family member at a time. An option to broadcast text or email messages would be convenient—especially for large families.
- Launched: March 2005
- Privately Owned
- Headquarters: Seattle, WA
- Founded by Robbie Cape and Jan Miksovsky
- Web site: http://www.cozi.com
- Free (supported by advertising)