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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