This month I’m thinking of spring cleaning and organizing not just my house and my life, but my words as well. That’s why I’m pleased to recommend two very special and useful smartphone apps: Cozi Family Organizer and Crossword. If you’re the mother or the father of a family, keeping it all together can seem like you’re herding cats, to quote a famous analogy. An “organizer” can help you herd more than just cats and leave you with greater peace of mind. Organizing words to solve a crossword puzzle, on the other hand, can strengthen your mind. With those two thoughts in mind, I think you’ll appreciate these smartphone apps.
The raves are in… Cozi won the 2012 Appy Award Winner for Best Family/Parenting App and was Voted #1 Productivity Android App for Moms (by Babble). That’s not all. Parents Magazine called it “An online calendar we love.” Better Homes and Gardens called it “Incredibly helpful.” PC World said “Cozi is, in short, ridiculously handy… and without a doubt one of the Web’s best freebies.”
So, what is Cozi anyway? It’s a free app and website that keeps your family in the loop and totally connected. It turns your mobile device into the ultimate family organizer with a shared calendar, grocery shopping lists, to do lists and a journal the whole family can access on the go. It basically does everything Mary Poppins could do except bake and fly.
Cozi’s shared calendar feature makes planning a snap. Every time you add an appointment, it automatically syncs with your Cozi account and shares it with the rest of your family. No more missed soccer practices or dental cleanings.
You can share your shopping lists and easily cross off items and add new ones while you shop. You’ll no longer need to return to the store to pick up what you forgot to get the first time. Whether it’s a honey-do list or chores for the kids, you can create and manage a shared to-do list. Set due dates for family tasks, so that nothing falls through the cracks. Best of all, no matter which family member accesses Cozi, he or she will see the same information.
In the words of one Cozi user: “Best Calendar ever! Lets me keep my whole family in order in one spot! Gives everyone their own space! Covers mom, dad and the kids! And I can take it with me!!”
Crossword: Available on Android.
It’s a nine-letter word for stimulating your brain and staying younger. It works both horizontally and vertically. And it’s known for being wordy. Give up? The word is “Crossword” and now you can play crossword puzzles on your smartphone. Studies show that doing word games, such as crossword puzzles, is an excellent form of exercise for your brain. Plus, it can help delay or counter negative effects of aging on your memory.
Crossword is a US-style set of crossword puzzles, similar to puzzles used in the New York Times, with no hanging letters. Simply pinch to zoom in on a grid. You also get a clue list view, as well as answer checking. Mistakes are highlighted to make sure you’re on the right track. And there’s no advertising to distract your attention. No wonder it earns a 4.3 rating on a 5-point scale from Android users.
You get 35 free puzzles and can buy additional puzzle packs for about three dollars. Improve your vocabulary, reasoning, and spelling, and still have loads of fun. What’s not to like?
The next time you’re sitting in a lobby waiting to see a doctor, to get your tires changed, or to hear your name called at a restaurant, go ahead and work on a crossword puzzle or update your appointment book. It’s a great use of your time and so easy to do. May the Apps be with you—and your family!