Last week I went on my first four day business trip since the Bug was born (remember the post brought to you by the letter G for guilt?). Trying to schedule four days of childcare when you’re the primary caregiver for two of those days is a bit like trying to herd cats. I can’t imagine how much more of a puzzle it would have been had I needed to throw things like soccer practice, school and dentist appointments into the mix.
But my color coded paper calendar insanity left something to be desired. So now I’m shopping for a digital solution that will make scheduling family things a little easier. Here are a few tools I’ve found and thought I’d share:
This particular $4.99 tool has GREAT features like creating and integrating calendars for individual family members, as well as individualized weather forecast by zipcode. Would LOVE an iPhone App… and for those of you who have a soft spot for MomAgenda and want an iPhone App, too, weigh in on the conversation
! They want to know what features are non negotiable, which are ok to leave out and how to make it most functional for YOU. As one MomAgenda Facebook Follower said today, all I want for Christmas is an iPhone App. Maybe? 🙂
This handy little online tool is FREE and allows you to integrate multiple family member calendars, to dos and grocery lists. There is even a $1.99 iPhone App that let’s you keep Family’s command central up to date on the go. Not an iPhone owner? Cozi has an easy-to-read mobile interface for your Palm or Blackberry. Downside? Free equates to ads (something has to keep this website spinning). That said, some of the ads feature great deals. Personally, I like the simple interface and the ability to send text messages and emails to family members right from the Cozi interface.
Easy. Simple. Free. Create a different calendar for each family member (color coded, of course) and display all of the calendars on a master family one. I probably have the least to say about this one because it’s so seamless and I’m already using it for work. But as far as organization goes, it really is just a calendar. If you’re looking for a more robust tool, keep reading.
Famundo for Families is another free online tool that allows calendar sharing, document sharing, photo sharing and more. In addition to creating a virtual ‘command central’ for your family, it allows you to create a mini-social network of friends and family. Not a bad way to keep in communication with distant relatives if you have privacy concerns. I had trouble logging into the demo for this – – perhaps it was a Firefox browser issue? Famundo does have a really nice forum area where users can request features and propose new ideas.
Another FREE online tool that allows you to maintain a calendar, shopping lists, and assign tasks to family members. A few different features that might be appealing? A shared recipe repository and menu planning feature. A very simple design that will appease minimalists!
The first thing that grabs your attention with this online tool is the graphic layout of your homepage. It looks like your kitchen! Click on the fridge for your contacts, grocery and to do lists. You can even customize the fridge with a few digital photos! Send messages, create a recipe cookbook — this is a pretty impressive integrated tool. There is also a journal feature… does anyone really use the journal features in these tools? Yes. This tool goes mobile with an iPhone app and apps for Blackberry and Droid. Did I mention that Coupon Finder is integrated with this particular tool? That kinda rocks in my opinion. Who has time to scavenge for coups?
So, which digital tools are you using to organize your family? Any advice?