Friday, January 13, 2012

Organizing in the digital age - family style

This post is going to be a basic review of how free online software helps me keep everythign together.

The first, and 100% most important tool for me, is google. You might even say that google is running my life right now. Between gmail, google calendar, android phones, and even my TV, google is everywhere I look.

Google Calendar allows for multiple people to view the calendar, and is easy to add appointments to on-the-go (even from a "dumb" phone). Also, you can set up different calendars under one account, with different permissions for each calendar. Personally, I have my main calendar which is for personal use. I have a calendar set up for work, that syncs automatically with my outlook at work. And I have a calendar set up for each of my kids. This way, at a glance, I can easily see schedules and availabilities for everyone. My husband also has a calendar that he has granted me access to, so I view his availability as well.

My utter dependance on google calendar makes me this much more excited about a new program I found - called Cozi. This program is a "family organizer" and allows for my google calendar to be viewed through the program. (I don't use the program to input / change my google calendar - just to view it in certain mediums). But the best part about the program is the shared "to do" list and the shared grocery list.

It is accessible on a smart phone (both android and apple), and since it is a shared family account - I can be anywhere and think of something I want to add to our grocery list, and just type it in. Likewise, my husband can be at the grocery store - pull up the grocery list - and there is whatever I changed / added.

I found this program because we recently bought a google tv, and this is an app on the TV as well. Which means when we turn on the TV, on the "home" screen (how crazy is that to say?) is a short summary of our calendars, the grocery list, and the "to do" list. And if its on the TV, we will all see it! (I tried to take a picture of the tv, and it didn't turn out so well... you can see the blocks, but not the content - left is calendar, middle is groceries, and right is to-do list)

The program also has a meal planner and a journal that we don't use.

All-in-all - I'm loving the program so far. We'll see how well we stick to it!

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