If there is one thing I have learned as a father, it is that there is nothing anyone can say to properly prepare you for the challenges you will face in the weeks, months and years ahead. Now that my wife and I have added a second child to the family equation, my calendar has never been more full.
Seriously! At times I feel like I need an assistant to just tell me where to be, at what time, and which family member or members I will be meeting or taking to the next event. One child has preschool on alternating days of the week, dance classes and playdates. The other has doctor visits. And my wife, she has her own schedule of events going on. Try as we might, we share things that are on our calendars, but if you’re in the midst of a potty training exercise or one of 1,000 other chores, the chances of remembering those details are very slim.
So I set out, as I always do, to find a solution and I’m happy to report that I’ve found one. It’s called Cozi!
What Is Cozi?
Go to the Cozi.com website and it defines itself as a family organizer. The main feature of Cozi is the calendar. Now you might be saying to yourself, why not just create a family calendar that is viewable by both my wife and myself? Well, one reason is the ability to assign a calendar item to a person and include other family members who need to participate.
This might help us avoid some confusion when the dentist calls to remind us of an appointment, like they did a few weeks ago. My wife and I both looked at our calendars and knew it wasn’t for us, so we cancelled it, thinking it was an error. Turns out the appointment was for our daughter. Oops! With Cozi’s color-coded calendar, we would have been able to see the appointment was for our daughter and avoid the confusion. The other nice feature is the ability to set reminders and send “agenda emails” so appointments aren’t missed.
Don’t Overlook the To-Dos
Just because I downloaded Cozi for its calendar feature doesn’t mean I am not taking advantage of the other things it has to offer. With all the chores just involving the kids, some of the things I need to do around the house get pushed off and, in some cases, eventually forgotten.
Cozi allows you to create a list of to-dos, not only for yourself, but to share with others in your family, assign due dates, prioritize and reorganize your list, and even create checklists for preparing for a trip or a party.
But Wait, There’s More!
Not to be overlooked is the recipe and dinner planner. Now with two kids in the family, my wife and I find that planning meals in advance is the only way to ensure we aren’t always eating out or throwing something random together.
Cozi provides a “box” filled with preloaded recipes. When you find a recipe that you like, you can click on the shopping cart icon and have the ingredients sent to a shopping list. The shopping list resides in the list section with the to-do lists and can be seen by the whole family.
A few other features about the recipe box are the ability to add other recipes from across the internet using the URL or manually adding your own personal favorite. Also, with a recipe selected, you can click on the phone icon and your screen won’t go to sleep —a very handy feature if you have ever tried to follow a recipe from your phone.
Finally, there is a calendar icon that allows you to assign a recipe to a specific date so hopefully there will be fewer discussions after work that start with the question, “What do you want to do about dinner tonight?”
With the amount of time chamber professionals spend on the job, it’s nice to know there are tools out there that can help us manage our time, whether on the job or off. That’s why Cozi is a lifesaver for me.
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Russell Lahodny is vice president of W.A.C.E. and vice president of local chamber relations at the California Chamber.