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Why, hello, busy, working mom! 🙂
It’s a little bit different now compared to the old days, eh?
Not that I’m complaining, but you have to admit it’s true.
You’re not alone anymore.
You have your family to think about (and not only to think but also to act – on whatever demands your attention).
Between your own work and personal wantings/needs, there is food to cook, home to clean, kids to drop off and pick up, homework to check, laundry to fold, errands to do…
Don’t forget to squeeze in some quality family time every now and then (of course, the more often, the better).
So you have to create the days and the routine thinking not only of yourself but on the other members of your family.
(A short side note: don’t forget – this should be a two-way street! I’m talking about adjusting and compromising here, not self-sacrificing yourself for the family. Believe me, it won’t do you any good in the long run.)
And possibly make it all fit perfectly, like putting together the pieces of a family puzzle.
Whether or not you’ll manage to do it all depends a lot on having a good organization to follow through.
AND keeping in touch with the rest of the family – knowing their agenda so you could all be synchronized.
Plus, you should also be informed about other household member’s plans, and plan out the days so it fits everybody.
Otherwise, life would be one hectic mess – all the time!
I know, this is easier said than done.
“How could I organize better, streamline, and simplify the household tasks, plan out, and enjoy family time?”
Rest assured you’re not the only one having this thought.
I too want to maximize my household organization and reduce the unnecessary work when & wherever I can, so I’m always looking for ways to improve it.
I strongly believe there is always room for improvement – in any aspect of life, and this one is no exception.
So, from time to time, I’m searching for new solutions to old problems, testing and trying out different methods, experimenting to discover what works (and what doesn’t).
Note: of course, what works for me, might not for you. The best thing to do is to give it a try for yourself and see if it’s a good fit for your preferences and lifestyle.
Anyhow, it was one of those days when I was looking on the internet for new ways which could help me organize the household better.
My search was successful! 🙂
I found this handy little app named Cozi and decided to give it a try.
(I figured, it’s free, so I have nothing to lose by checking it out. 😉 )
And I wasn’t wrong.
It has some great features for managing family life and household.
Here’s a quick overview of them.
First of all, the app is designed as a digital household command center all family members can access and use simultaneously.
With only one home account and a password for everyone to use, all your household members (including pets! 🙂 ) can be placed into Cozi.
Once in, everyone can start adding their tasks and agenda for days and days ahead. (except for pets! you’ll have to do it yourself! 😉 )
Besides having a calendar, this app offers:
- to-do section (needless to say all your to-do lists should be placed here?);
- shopping section where you can organize your shopping lists (and tick them off during shopping);
- meals section where you can create meal plans (for days and weeks ahead), search for recipes to make (it already has over 200 recipes inside to choose from!) or add your favorite dishes to the list;
- journal section – a place where you can jot down your own thoughts or family moments along with a photo to go with it;
- contacts and birthdays section (not in the free plan, though).
Oh, and I don’t want to forget, Cozi works not only on desktop computers – it can be downloaded as a mobile app too, so you’ll always be in touch with your household tasks and members.
But, how does this actually look like in real life?
After using (and playing with) this app for a while, here are the things I love the most about it:
1. The synchronization between family members is truly an awesome feature
Because you can see the agenda for each family member, every user has access to everyone’s schedule.
So, let’s say you’re planning out some activity together as a family – you can easily choose the time which suits everybody the best.
Unfortunately for me, since I’m a single mom and my kids are still very young, some time will pass until I’ll use this feature to the full.
Looking forward to it, though! 🙂
2. Getting daily and/or weekly agendas as email notifications (plus additional reminders)
Cozi lets you choose to receive a daily or weekly (or both!) agenda in your inbox.
I like this feature because oftentimes I put not only my appointments and events to my calendar but also to-do items as well.
This option, therefore, serves me as a good way to start the week off the right way, because I get an overview of what I need to be focusing on.
(So far, I’m more of a weekly type of person. If you want to check out which system your personality and lifestyle would benefit from the most, take a look at this post – Daily Vs Weekly To-Do List And Which One Perfectly Fits You)
And another thing, if there is some super-important item in a day I must not forget about, there is an option to get a reminder of it through an email or directly on phone (you choose the timing when you want the reminder to appear).
However, there’s only one reminder per day in a free version, but look on the bright side – it’ll help you prioritize better! 😉
3. Making meal planning and shopping simpler and easier
Yaaay to built-in recipe book!
Yaaay to create a shopping list from a recipe with one click!
When those words are coming from a notorious not-in-love-with-anything-that-has-to-do-with-mealtime kind of person, you better trust them! 😀
Nothing more to add to this, I think that’s enough!
Oh, if you’re looking for ideas to simplify meal planning, have a look at this post – Meal Planning – How To Send Mealtime Hassles Into History.
4. Share your family journal with other members of your family and friends
This is a fun side of this app. 🙂
You and your family members can create a digital journal to keep your adventures, events, thoughts, memorable moments, and pictures in it.
But it’s not what I like the most.
Sharing your journal (in whole or only it’s specific parts) with other members of your family or friends is what’s so great here.
You can choose to send a single journal entry to the people you’d like, or send a monthly family e-newsletter instead (sounds fun to me!).
Another option is that instead of emailing people with your family’s “latest news”, you can place your journal entries on a private web page – already provided through Cozi.
All you have to do is to send the link to your page to the people you’d like to be in touch with your family happenings.
There are some other tiny things I liked about Cozi as well, but to me, these four mentioned above were the most striking (and useful) ones.
And what about the cons of Cozi?
Nothing is perfect, as with everything in life.
Therefore it wouldn’t be fair not to mention a few Cozi’s cons as well.
So, here are three of those which left the deepest impact on me.
1. It’s an app
For someone who is used to writing things down in pen and paper, it comes a bit hard to make the switch.
The truth be told, at the end is not Cozi’s fault, but simply a matter of personal preferences and habits.
However, your willingness to use Cozi can seriously depend upon these factors – and they can be hard (or at least challenging) to change.
2. Not all functions are available in the free plan
As an example, contacts and birthday sections cannot be used at all in the free plan.
This doesn’t have to be the biggest obstacle to using Cozi.
You can add birthdays to Cozi’s calendar manually, or you can use, say, your phone to organize contacts (or any other tool which currently serves the same purpose to you).
But the idea behind Cozi is to have one main household organization system you’ll…… – and without having contacts attached to it, that idea is not fully accomplished.
3. The free plan goes with adds
But thankfully, not the annoying ones – you know, the ones which pop out and block your entire screen…
Still, this might be the feature you’ll not gonna like about (free) Cozi.
So, in the end, what’s my verdict on Cozi?
If you’re a type of person who loves to organize things in a digital way – go for it, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Even if you’re not into apps and digital organizers/planners (as I said, I’m not a fan of them either), I bet there is at least some feature you would find to be helpful to your household (and yourself).
The bottom line – why not give Cozi a try?
Maybe some other feature will catch your eye and be exactly the thing you were searching for.
With everything said, have a look at it by visiting this link, and if you choose to sign up – thank you very much for showing the support to my work! 🙂
Don’t have the time to check the app right now? No sweat – pin this post and come back later! 😉
Let me know in the comments below what you’ve found in this app to be useful to you or to the members of your family!