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Using Cozi’s Free Online Tools to Simplify and Organize

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In the interest of full disclosure, I have been asked to be a featured contributor on Cozi’s Live Simply site, and that is how I learned about this amazing productivity suite. However, they never asked or even implied that they’d like me to blog about the program, so all of the enthusiasm in this post is completely unsolicited.

I often get emails from companies wanting to tell me about their services and products in the hopes that I’ll share them with you all. The truth is that I very rarely review them here because I hesitate to recommend something in the name of productivity that’s actually going to become one more thing on your to-do list.

However, I couldn’t resist sharing this one with you for one simple reason – like OneNote, this suite has a ton of features I didn’t know I wanted that address frustrations I’ve been trying to solve for months now.

I’ve been looking for a new calendar system for a while. I’m just not happy with using Outlook, OneNote or Google because I don’t want to have to spend time clicking away from my email or current task in order to get to my calendar. I’ve tried paper calendars as well, but then I get irritated when I need to cross something out because it makes it look so messy and chaotic, and over the course of a month, it can get pretty bad. I also tried a dry erase calendar, but then it’s kept in the laundry room and I don’t have access to it while I’m at my computer.

Today, I want to share two main features of Cozi’s free calendar with you that I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on all this time:

Enter Your Appointments in Plain Language

This first feature is so simple and helpful that it really should be standard on all calendar programs, and I really can’t believe Google and Outlook haven’t done something similar.

When it’s time to enter an appointment on the Cozi calendar, you don’t have to scroll to a specific date or open a new window with multiple fields to fill in. Instead, you just type something like “July 22 2:15pm 32-week appointment with Dr. Wade” into the entry box. Next thing you know, the calendar has scrolled to that date and fully populated your appointment for you! Cool, right?

As soon as I discovered this feature, I spent maybe 10 minutes entering all of our appointments and events for the next couple of months because it was so simple and easy to do.

A Widget for Your Sidebar

But honestly, while the ability to enter your appointments so quickly is an awesome feature by itself, it’s not the one that sold me. What really sold me was the sidebar widget for Google Desktop or the Windows Vista Sidebar, which I use:

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It literally addresses all of the frustrations I’ve been facing as I try to figure out a new calendar system:

:: This week’s appointments are kept right on my screen, where I can quickly see what’s coming up.

:: To add a new appointment or visit the main calendar (or use any of Cozi’s other productivity features – such as the shopping list or family journal), I simply click on the widget and it opens right up to where I need to go.

I’ve been using the Cozi calendar for a little over a week now, and I love it. There are other great features of this productivity suite as well – and they’re all 100%, completely freebut the calendar is by far my favorite…at least so far!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5.5, 4, 2.5 and a baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

12 Responses to “ Using Cozi’s Free Online Tools to Simplify and Organize ”

  1. I love Cozi – but my kids especially love the screensaver! It chooses pictures from whatever folder you tell it to, and makes a collage. My kids would stand in front of the computer for hours – just to watch the pictures go by!

    Kerry J.’s last blog post…Top Note Rag Quilt

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  2. At the risk of sounding like Barry Manilow (how many times have you heard THAT one) OH, MANDI! I love the widget idea! I use Outlook at present, but only because I have to. Now, if Cozi can synch with my iPhone, I’d be really in love.

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    Margi Reply:

    EEE! It does synch with iPhone. I’ve quickly grown dependent upon the desktop widgets and my iPhone. So based on those and your recommendation, I’m giving it a whirl. Thanks for the tip!

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  3. Mandi, I’ve been using Cozi for several months, and my absolute favorite feature is the Lists feature. I’m able to create/maintain a list of items for each of my “errands” stops (local grocery store, Trader Joe’s, Target, Walmart) that I can then use when I’m AT the store (I have an iPhone, but you could just as easily print the lists out) and cross off each item as I put it in my cart.

    I add things as I think of them (always have my phone with me, and with Cozi being a web-based product, the lists are always accessible), not just when I’m home. I tend to remember random things as I’m going about my day, and it’s just fantastic to be able to capture them on the appropriate list as I think of it.

    Quite simply, it’s revolutionized errand day for me.

    Krys’s last blog post…being a mom means…

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  4. What a great tool I just signed up.

    Rana’s last blog post…Your never fully dressed without a smile!

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  5. Did you know you could bring your Google calendar info over to Cozi calendar? This is really nice.

    Rana’s last blog post…Your never fully dressed without a smile!

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    Lisa Reply:

    HOW can you sync google calendar w/ cozi? I can’t get outlook to sync to cozi, but I can get outlook to sync with google calendar. If I could get google and cozi to sync I would be set.

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    Mandi Reply:

    Try this tutorial: http://www.cozi.com/Help-Connect-Online-Calendars.htm

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    Lisa Reply:

    Thanks! I got it to work – then a week later got Outlook to sync. I’m loving all the features – I even linked the Family Blog to Facebook (yes – there’s an ap). So I can update both at the same time!

  6. I’ve been using Rainlendar for a few years now, which is also free, fairly easy, right on my desktop, and simple.

    However, you’ve spiked my curiosity… :)

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  7. I’ve decided to give Cozi another shot. I had signed up for it a while ago but never really caught on to using it… I’ve been using google calender for a while but I love how simple Cozi looked so I thought I’d give it another try. Thanks for reminding me about Cozi!
    Donna S´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – It’s been a while My ComLuv Profile

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  8. I can’t get my Google Calendar URL to upload into Cozi. I can paste it in but the add button does not light up. What am I doing wrong?

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