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July 16, 2011

Get organized

When I volunteered to set up an online calendar that our group could use to list upcoming events I planned to use Google Calendar. It's free, you can share your calendar with others, and it works. But it's clunky and ugly, like other Google software (Groups, Docs, etc.).

I have this love/hate thing with Google products. Love the free access to powerful software. Hate the ugly and unfriendly look (user interface). But I'll use them until I find something better.

A quick (Google) search turned up something much better than Google Calendar: Cozi.

Cozi is almost perfect. Almost.

Here's a quick look at the two contenders, each showing the same event on Tuesday.


Screenshot of Google calendarPros:


Functional, backed by huge company.

Hour-by-hour format.


Spartan appearance; not user-friendly.

Detail panel only pops-up when you click on the event.

No option to add related photo, comments, lists.


Screenshot of Cozi calendarPros:


Attractive and understandable.

Large dates and current time at lower left.

Details pop-up when you move mouse over item.

List at left shows options for various kinds of lists and Journal, which lets you upload photos, comment on events, etc.

Can automatically pull information from other online calendar (note two entries of "Classical Revolution"—one is from my test Google calendar.


Banner ads are annoying.

New company with unproven track record.

Limit of 12 people who can share calendar.

And the winner is...

The last "con" item above is the only thing that's keeping me from going with Cozi. Sadly it may be a deal-breaker. Even by combining names for couples (Al & Joanne, Anita & Jared, etc.) we've already used all 12 slots. If we add even one more person to our group he/she won't be able to share the calendar. Big problem.

I emailed Cozi early today and within a few hours got a response (in itself another plus) saying that currently 12 is the limit but that they'd forward my request to the development team. It seems like a fairly trivial job to allow for more family members, but I doubt that this will be at the top of their list.

But maybe we work around this. Because Cozi can automatically share events from a Google calendar we can start with Cozi, hoping that they'll soon increase the number of people who can share. If we add more members before that happens we can switch to Google as needed, still letting those already using Cozi see the same events on their calendars.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the development team fixes this to make me a happy camper.

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JULY 2011