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Mission control for busy families

Work & Lifestyle

Following our coverage of Bizzyboard, a whiteboard calendar for coordinating family schedules, one of our spotters came across Cozi—one of those solutions the web was born to provide. Launched about a year ago, Cozi Central is an online service that helps busy families manage schedules, appointments, shopping and communications from wherever they are—the kitchen, car, office or even the grocery store. Available both as a software download and in a online version, the service gives the entire family access to shared calendars, shopping lists and reminders from any computer or mobile phone. Cozi’s colour-coded calendar module tracks appointments for everyone in the family, while the message function helps family members coordinate via phone or e-mail. A downloadable Cozi Outlook toolbar helps parents stay connected while at work. Centralized shopping lists are available for access remotely, and a photo collage screensaver lets family members enjoy and share their digital photos. Best of all, the service is free for users, funded by Cozi’s relationships with co-branding, advertising and affiliate partners. “The American family has never been busier,” explains Mari Baker, former president of BabyCenter and a board member for Seattle-based Cozi. “In the majority of households, both parents are working and kids are involved in so many extracurricular activities that moms spend much of their time coordinating, chauffeuring and juggling. Cozi Central is family-ready—it can handle the hectic nature of family life and provides an easy method for managing the day-to-day madness.” Cozi families have an average of 2.8 computers in the home and a median household income of USD 91,375; their moms are part of a group (women 25-44) that controls USD 2.1 trillion in annual US household spending, the company says. While Cozi Central can be used anywhere in the world, functionality is limited outside the United States. How long before this gets fully rolled out elsewhere, catering to the specific needs and wants (and media opportunities) of families in other parts of the world? Spotted by: Margaret Czeisler



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