Posted in Blog

How Our Family Uses Cozi

This post is not sponsored. I’m not getting any compensation from Cozi for my thoughts in this post.

Cozi is an app that has saved my marriage. Okay, it’s not that revolutionary, but it’s close.

Cozi is a tool we use daily in our home that’s available on mobile devices and computers. It’s pitched as a family organizer, and it’s true to its word. It’s free version includes a shared and color-coded calendar, lists, family journal, and meal planner with a recipe box. With a paid annual Cozi Gold subscription, you can remove ads and get even more features like a birthday tracker, monthly calendar view on mobile devices, and reminder notifications for upcoming events. My husband and I splurged on the Cozi Gold subscription, though we could have made due with the free version. I think we paid $30 for the year.

Let me walk you through the major features of Cozi and how we use it.

Shared Calendar

I was getting frustrated by our old system of saving personal appointments on our work calendars. This system was making me the default keeper of the family calendar because no one else had everything tracked in one place. I didn’t think my husband needed to have info like the dog’s dental cleaning or an appointment for my next pap smear visible to his coworkers on his work calendar.

This app saved me! I’m not the calendar keeper anymore; Cozi is! We have one family calendar now where everyone’s activities are tracked and color coded. (The colors match everyone’s assigned colors are our command center calendar too.)

Like in Outlook, you can set up reoccurring events, invite others, plus add locations and notes. You can even add schedules, like after-school activities or sports programs. But, unlike Outlook, you can add events using plain language. Just type in that Stephanie has dinner with friends 6pm on Wednesday, and Cozi puts the event in the calendar for you.

My favorite feature is that you can opt to send family members daily or weekly agendas. Now that my husband and I both get daily agendas, we both know what the day ahead entails. I’ve added calendar reminders for when library books are due or when school is having a pajama day. It’s all there and sent right to our inboxes each morning.

One caveat though. I personally still need appointments that happen during the work day on my work calendar so my teams know if I’m available or not. You have some options in this situation.

  1. You can enter the appointment in Cozi and your work calendar. (Not my first choice since it doubles my work.)
  2. You can have your work calendar appear in Cozi. (Though then my husband is seeing lots of irrelevant information about my meetings for the day. I didn’t opt for this.)
  3. You can send appointments created in your work calendar to Cozi. (This is the option I chose.) The only way I found to do this was to create a shared Google calendar that is linked to our Cozi calendar. So, when I make an Outlook meeting invite for a personal appointment that occurs during the work day, I add the family calendar as an invitee. The meeting is then automatically accepted by our Google calendar and it appears in Cozi. I wish I could just invite the Cozi calendar, but that isn’t currently an option in the app.

Lists

I have loved using Cozi’s lists feature. There are shopping lists and to-do lists. We mainly use the shopping lists, which integrate with our Alexa. I just ask Alexa to add bananas to the grocery list or eggs to the Costco list, and it appears! (Though, my kids have figured this out too. Last weekend, Mr. 4-year-old asked for apples while my husband was at the grocery store. My husband saw they were added and picked them up. At least my 4-year-old made a healthy choice!)

Cozi also has several pre-made lists you can easily add to your account. For instance, Cozi offered a Thanksgiving meal preparation list, which we used as a guide.

We’ve also made our own lists that we can reuse, like a list of everything we want to pack for a family camping trip. As we pack, we check items off the list, and both of our phones update with the progress we’ve made.

Meals

There are a few things you can do with meals. You can add recipes to your recipe box, either your own recipes, recipes Cozi sponsors, or ones you find online. It’s a great way to keep your recipes organized. Though, I found I haven’t fully leveraged this feature yet.

More often, I’m using the meals section of Cozi to meal plan. When you visit Cozi’s meal planner, you can type in what you’re planning to eat or pick a recipe from your recipe box for each day’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or snack. We don’t plan meals with that level of specificity. But, when I can get my act together enough on the weekends, I like to plan out dinner meals at least. My favorite part of the meal planner is that whatever you select for dinner shows up in your calendar and daily agenda. Everything integrates.

Family Journal

The last Cozi feature we really use regularly is the family journal. It’s sort of like a family-only social media feed where you can write text or share images that are listed chronologically. Everyone in the family can add to it, so if my husband takes the kids to the trampoline park, he can add a cute photo. Or, when my son makes a funny joke, I can document it.

What makes the family journal fun is that you can have its content either posted to a public webpage or emailed in a monthly newsletter. We opted for the monthly newsletter because we could specify who would receive the emails and keep the information more private.

I took the family journal a step further though. We have the monthly newsletters going out to more than just grandparents. I set up email accounts for our sons and have the monthly newsletters going to their inboxes as well, so they will have a copy of these family memories to enjoy when they get older.

That’s the rundown on how we use Cozi. We’ve been using it for about six months now, and I don’t see us dropping it any time soon. I’m thrilled we’ve found a tool that works so well to meet our needs while keeping it simple.

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