Cozi Central is an online scheduling system created just for families. It has easy-to-use features like one-line data entry for upcoming appointments or recurring events, multi-computer accessibility, and just enough gadgetry to get the whole family interested. I’ve been using it for a little while now, and so far it’s been working out great for us.
My husband and I both enter appointments, plans, and playdates into the system. When we log on, we can view the daily, weekly, or monthly calendar, whatever works best for each of us. For years, we’ve used Outlook, but Cozi appears to be a good substitute now that I’m not going into the office and using Outlook every day. It works very much the same, with the exception of three outstanding features.
The first is the entry system. New appointments are entered using one line of text and simple language. My husband actually uses one jargon and I use another, and the system interprets both to put the events on the calendar.
The second is the zoom feature. A simple sliding bar at the bottom of the screen allows the user to zoom the calendar from monthly to daily — or any increment in between. That’s a nice way to get an overview of the week’s activities (for example) and then zoom in on the day’s events to see what time playdate is, or if Dad can join us at the aquarium in the late afternoon.
The third feature is arguably the most important for families. On every view, the event is color coded with a simple colorbar for each family member. Since “Widget’s playdate” is color coded green (for him) and yellow (for me), Dad knows that he can head out to the grocery store on Saturday morning, with or without the baby (since he can go with either of us). On the other hand, Sunday’s “family picnic” shows all four colorbars, and we’ll all be going to that. It’s easy to see at a glance who’s going to be where at any given time.
There is also a grocery shopping list feature, which would be very useful if we used anything other than scraps of paper with jotted items on it at the grocery store. Maybe we’ll use that feature more as we get more organized….
This review is my second for the Parent Blogger Network; I received a (very) small honorarium for agreeing to review this product.
This post was originally published at Toddler Planet, http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com, on April 12, 2007.