CoParenting Online Resource: reduce family conflict with online calendars
Online shared calendars can take the heat out of co-parenting
Below are a range of online resources to help separated parents manage care of their children.
These tools can help you and your child’s other parent communicate more effectively by managing schedules, contacts, events and much more online. These can be particularly effective if you and the other parent find face-to-face communication difficult to manage.
Cofamilies is a free online calendar program for co-parenting families. The color-coded calendar pages make it easy to identify at a glance which days the kids will be with you, and which days they’ll be with your ex.
Learn more about Cofamilies by visiting their Web site at http://cofamilies.com or their Twitter feed.
Cozi is another free online calendar program that’s ideal for co-parenting communication. In addition to shared calendar pages, it also offers free mobile options, shopping lists, meal planning, to do lists, and more.
Cozi offers both a web-based and downloadable calendar system. The calendar includes a different colored tab for each family member and has a very simple and straightforward interface for entering information. Cozi also has a built-in family messaging system and shopping and to-do lists that family members can add to or change. You can also host your family journal or blog on Cozi Central. It syncs with Microsoft Outlook and also has a cell phone interface for accessing it from your Blackberry or Treo. Cozi Central is free to subscribers.
Learn more about Cozi by visiting their Web site at www.cozi.com/ and/or their Twitter feed
Split Schedule: Free trial period but then there is a subscription cost. Combine the activities of multiple families into one schedule. Always know where your kids are and where they need to be next. Plan activities, vacations, and holiday parenting time without the worry of conflicts. Share school activities and schedules with your co-parent and reduce conflict and friction. Keep a permanent, private, and secure record. Rely on our technology, not your ex’s memory. http://www.splitschedule.com
The Family Time Planner is a very flexible and colorful tool for your family calendar. Once you have a subscription, you can have unlimited user ID’s for family members and friends. And you can limit different user ID’s to only some parts of the calendar. You can interconnect Family Time Planner calendars with other families as needed. Family Time Planner also syncs with Microsoft Outlook. It is a fee-based system ($16 for the first year and $12 per year thereafter) but there are no advertisements, which for many is a good trade-off.
Facebook is another way to communicate with your ex online. It’s convenient because many parents are on the site quite often , and way, but using this tool to communicate with your ex would necessitate remaining “friends” online, which isn’t an option for all co-parents.
Learn more about Facebook by visiting the Web site at www.facebook.com or following their Twitter feed.
Google Calendar is another convenient way to coordinate schedules with your ex. Simply create a calendar and share editing permissions with him/her. Note that you can also schedule regular events, like weekly visits, to repeat automatically.
Learn more about Google calendar by visiting the Web site at www.google.com/calendar/ or following their Twitter feed.
A part of My Yahoo, the Yahoo calendar has lots of great features. First, it is easy to manage and has quick options for adding appointments that don’t need a lot of detail. And you can share the calendar with some friends and family members and give others rights to modify the calendar. Your friends do not have to be Yahoo members, so it can be flexible for both immediate and extended family. The whole My Yahoo suite including email, calendar, notepad, an address book and customized web portal is a free advertiser supported service.
30Boxes is a simple yet powerful tool. It ends up being much more than a family calendar. It also has an interactive to-do list and a message center that can get messages from Facebook, Flickr, or any RSS feed for that matter. The calendar sharing feature is based on a “buddy list” for individuals, or if you are really wanting the calendar to be public, it can post events directly to your blog or your social networking home page. 30Boxes is a free online service.
Our Family Wizard® is an online calendar designed specifically for co-parenting families. It allows parents to manage all aspects of their shared parenting agreement online and in one place, and there’s even an iPhone app to go along with it.
The cost is $99 per parent per year, and child accounts are free. Subscribers gain access to a full set of co-parenting tools, from color coded child custody calendars, to shared visitation schedules, secure messaging, family information storage (for things like immunization records), shared expense payment and management, and more.
According to the company, judges in over 45 states and 4 Canadian provinces have ordered families to utilize the site in contested cases!
To learn more about Our Family Wizard®, visit their Web site at www.ourfamilywizard.com or follow them on Twitter.
In many ways, Home Convenience reminds me of an electronic and full-features Day Planner. The calendar is very simple to use and review, using color coding for each family member’s activities. There is a to do list, an address book, a list manager and a family journal like many other programs. But what sets Home Convenience apart is it’s database features. Think wine list, fitness tracker, medical records manager, vehicle maintenance program, home inventory tracking and the like. If you are really looking to manage and organize your home via the web, the Home Convenience is the program you’ll want to explore. There is no free version of Home Convenience other than a 30 day trial; the cost is $9.95 per month.
Lots more than an online family calendar, Fircle will also let you maintain and print shopping lists that will remind you when you’re running low on specific groceries, manage children’s allowance and maintain household chore lists. There are places in Fircle to record your children’s growth and keep records of medical information. You can also store your family history, keep and share recipes easily, create personal journals, family newsletters, organize your play groups, create a poll so you can have family members vote on family decisions. Fircle has a free advertiser supported version, or for $39.95 per year, you can enjoy Fircle ad-free.
Another in the full-featured line of online calendars is Famundo. In addition to a very colorful and easy-to-use online calendar, Famundo will let you store important family documents, host a family webpage, keep shopping lists or wish lists current, post to a message board, and scan documents directly to Famundo’s family library or secure vault. The basic, free program has some limitations, but is adequate for most families. A $99 per year upgrade allows more storage and eliminates advertisements.