It’s been a while since I posted anything about apps and tech stuff, but it’s because I haven’t found anything really exceptional lately. But, with Cozi, I’m excited enough about it that I figured I should do up a quick review explaining why I love it.
Let’s start with a story . . . I’m not the best housekeeper in the world. And, I feel like I should be doing better. Now that we’re expecting a baby, I really had a few areas that needed some serious decluttering and cleaning. In the past, I’ve felt most on top of things when I managed to keep a FlyLady1 routine going. So, a little while back I went back to her site to try to get my motivation going again. And while I was there, I saw that they now had a partnership with the Cozi webapp (which also has an iPod/iPhone app) to act as a kind of electronic ‘control journal’2.
Honestly, at first I was a little hesitant about jumping right on board. In the past, the FlyLady hasn’t demonstrated the most savvy use of technology which has left me overwhelmed with a flood of reminders in my email or a totally crammed calendar. And it was a little frustrating since a lot of it is set up with the homemaker in mind. So, it really didn’t help me to be reminded about certain housecleaning tasks while I’m at work. Plus, I already use RememberTheMilk as my main to-do list application. While it isn’t perfect, it does a very good job, especially for my recurring tasks or for things that I want to add notes or a url to.
So, what made me decide to try it out? Well one thing was that it’s designed as a shared service for families. I’ve seen family webapps in the past but they were usually aimed at being Facebook type services for extended families so each arm could post pictures and blog posts about what they were up to, so you could keep up to date with your family all in one (more private) place. But this was just like a virtual family calendar/white board where you can keep track of schedules, shopping lists, and general tasks. So I signed up and decided to give it a shot.
The result . . . I am totally sold! Love it!
Here are my favourite features:
- It figures out the date and time of appointments for the calendar pretty easily
- You can have recurring/background calendar appointments
- You can import any ical feed so you don’t have to re-enter everything if you’ve already set it up with google calendar
- You can filter the calendar to only see events that affect certain family members
- You can set up as many task lists as you want
- Task lists can have sub-headings set up
- Easy drag and drop organization of tasks
- Lists can be shared, or belong to any family member
- Checking off tasks doesn’t delete them automatically3
- Shopping lists are separate from tasks and you can create unlimited shopping lists
- Shopping lists can also be shared or belong to a specific family member
- Items on your shopping list that get checked off don’t automatically get deleted4
- The journal function reminds you to reflect on important events5
Here are the features that need work:
- The family shares a password . . . which feels a little odd to me
- You can’t personalize the display options much on the webapp
- There are some ads and such to deal with
Some things I haven’t used:
- Outlook sync
- Printing (we’re trying to use LESS paper)
- Sending info as a text to a cell phone6
- Punchbowl event planning
- Desktop calendar integration
- The messaging system
- The lists you can download from Live Simply
Now . . . the biggest thing I haven’t tested yet . . . how well it works with multiple people. Yup, it’s just me using it so far. I’ve only casually mentioned it to Benevolance. Maybe when he reads this post he’ll give it a shot.7 While I think it would work great if everyone in the family does use it, we aren’t the type of people to force a system on one another. So, if he sees it and likes it and uses it then that’s great. If not, I still think I’ll keep using it for myself because I like so many of the features. Though I’m going to keep using RememberTheMilk as a tickler file for the tasks that repeat, but don’t work as regular calendar appointments.
Sound interesting? Go check it out for yourself! (And now I’m clicking over to my Blog task list to check this post topic off).
- If you don’t have any clue what I’m talking about, just go poke around her site for a bit to see how it works [↩]
- FlyLady jargon [↩]
- this is good if you have a set of regular tasks/chores that you do over time . . . work your way through the list, and then click to ‘uncheck all’ and the list is reset for you to begin again [↩]
- just like you might have regular tasks, there are probably regular items that you need at the grocery store . . . this way you can review things you’ve bought there before and ask yourself ‘what do I need’ and then just uncheck it [↩]
- I’m seeing this as especially useful for all the baby milestones as they happen. There’s even an option to send out a summary of the journal as an email newsletter complete with pictures. [↩]
- since I almost always have the info on my iPod, I don’t really need it [↩]
- Benevolance if you are reading this and wondering how to check it out, just let me know and I’ll give you the log in information ;) [↩]