Communication and organization in a family is key. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how a Weekly Pilot Plan has transformed the way my husband and I approach life and communication. During the week though, you need a tool that’s going to help you stay in touch with minimal effort. For us, this tool has become Cozi Gold and we’ll never go back!
Cozi is a free app and website that serves a command center for the family. It’s available on iOS and Android platforms as well as accessible online from your laptop or desktop. You can choose to upgrade to the Gold version for added functionality and ad free use. So what makes Cozi so special? Let me walk you through how it’s worked for our family.
First off, in Cozi, there is only one account per family. The creator decides what email addresses can have access to it but you all use the same password. This cuts way back on people not being able to access it or having connection issues. You can then color code everyone in your family who’s busy (even your dog) to make it easy to see who’s doing what. We actually chose to include my in-laws on our Cozi account because we do a lot with them throughout the week and they are our primary childcare givers. This way, it’s easy for them to keep on top of our comings and goings.
Everyone in your family can see all events but you can note who is attending what. When you schedule an appointment, you can set reminders so you don’t miss anything but, what’s been more useful to us, is the ability to send an email notification to specific attendees when you set something up. This is great for when I’m at the salon and set my next hair appointment. I can email my mother-in-law in one click so she can get it on her paper calendar at home (old habits die hard) since I’ll need them to watch the kiddos. In fact, we’ve developed a great system hack for childcare. I set the appoint for the scheduled time, but in the title of the event I put the time I need grandma and grandpa at the house. That way, there’s no confusion and no need to call back and forth.
Remembering Important Dates
Cozi has a birthday and anniversary feature that’s also awesome for remembering annual events. I love it because I’m terrible at birthdays. I remember my immediate family’s but I have absolutely no recall for my husband’s family. This way, I can see someone’s birthday is coming and reach out to get the ball rolling on birthday plans. Avoiding the “shoot we’re already booked that whole weekend” dilemma. My in-laws crack me up because they really like to take advantage of the special deals Ivar’s Seafood Bar for the anniversary of Ivar’s birthday. So we have Ivar’s birthday on our Cozi calendar. We never miss it!
Meal Planning and Shopping Lists
As part of Cozi Gold, you get access to the meal planning component of the app which makes it so easy to plan ahead and quickly see what you’re cooking that night. As part of our Weekly Pilot Plan, I usually do a rough dinner plan on Cozi and run it past my husband. He’s way better at remembering leftovers we have in the fridge so he helps me fine tune it. Then I switch right over to the shopping list (which is available in the free edition as well) where I can throw everything needed on that list. What I love about the shopping lists in Cozi is that you can set them up for different stores. I have a grocery store, Target, Costco, Hardware Store list and many more. That way, if either my husband or I end up at a store unexpectedly, we always have the list right there on our phone. You can also categorize the items in your list. I love this for the grocery store because I put the list in order of the departments as I physically go through them in the store. It cut way back on the running back and forth grabbing items I’d forgotten to grab previously.
In Cozi, you can set up multiple “to-do” lists to stay on top of the never-ending lists of projects you need to get done. Like the calendar, you can designate who is responsible for which list or if it’s a shared list. This is a great way to keep track of projects that need to be done around the house. We also keep a “to-do” list of our packing list. When we pack up to head out of town, we’re all working off the same list and we can use the same list when we come home to make sure we didn’t forget anything. I also like to have lists for different daily and weekly tasks to make sure I’m staying on top of routine chores. When the week is done, you can easily “uncheck” all the items to start fresh the next week.
I know there are a lot of “life-planning for busy family” apps out there but I can’t recommend Cozi enough. And for my family, the Cozi Gold upgrade at $19.99 a year has been well worth it for the extra functionality. If you’ve been struggling to stay on the same page with your spouse and keep on top of everyday life, you need to try it out! Let me know in the comments below what appeals to you the most about the app. Or, if you already use it, why do you love it?
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