Tag Archives: calendar

Get Cozi With Your Family

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

The old-fashioned family lifestyle: kids do the chores, mom writes her shopping list, and everyone puts those important events on the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. Coordinating a family is a process. A particular Seattle startup is very aware of that process and what better way to make it easier than providing a web service for it – a service for your family.

Cozi is a startup that’s main goal is to “simplify family life.” The feature’s it provides help to organize your family in the traditional fashion, but in a modern way, using the power of the Internet.

On Cozi’s website, you can create a family calendar and utilize widgets to access them from your desktop. You can send the week’s agenda out via email. You can create shopping lists to access from your mobile browser when you get to the grocery store, or create a to do list for your teenager and send them their chores via text. You can setup reminders for important events, or just sync your family calendar to your outlook calendar at work so you’ll remember that recital you need to get to after your meeting with the boss. Cozi offers a simplified solution for family coordination.

Along with the full website, there is also mobile site and iPhone app available to take with you so you can always have access to your family’s agenda. The Cozi founding team included veterans from Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia, and that expertise and team member experience is really shown throughout the site, providing a great user and design experience. An experience that makes me feel…..Cozi.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Sync Your Information With Agendus for the iPad

Keeping track of your Calendar, Contacts and Task List can be a nightmare. Too often, there is entirely too much information to plow through and keep up with. The new Agendus app brings it all under control right on your iPad.

All of your Contracts are automagically populated in the app. It accesses the native contacts database and then enhances the built-in iPhone Contacts app. You can even add contacts to certain events within the app to make it easy for you to know at a glance who will be attending what.

Along with this you will find a very full-featured task management solution. This allows you get things done quickly when you’re on the go. There are advanced features built in to the task function, including the ability to set icons for tasks and events, view upcoming birthdays, retrieve your weather forecast and more.

Agendus also has full calendar support. It makes use of over-the-air synchronization with your Google Calendar. Forget having to minimize one thing and open another just to figure out what day it is and where you’re supposed to be. Agendus does it all for you.

How to Build Your Community Using Open Atrium

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Gregory Heller was an attendee at Gnomedex this past summer. During our open mic session, he talked to us about the Open Atrium service, which is a free (and apparently better!) alternative to Drupal. It comes with six features – a blog, a wiki, a calendar, a to do list, a shoutbox, and a dashboard to manage it all. Open Atrium is completely customizable. If you want a feature that’s not on that list, you can add it yourself.

The fun really starts when people start sharing the features they build for their own Open Atrium with everyone else. Then everyone doesn’t just have access to six features, but also a bunch of others that are easy to plugin to the basic package. Open Atrium is built on Drupal. This makes it easy to add other Drupal modules to the package and to build new features for it.

If you’ve ever tried to build something with Drupal, I’m willing to bet you got frustrated in a hurry. Open Atrium is so simple to use out of the box that you won’t have to worry about whether you’re getting it right anymore. It just… works.

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How to Synchronize and Coordinate Schedules

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On an average morning, I wake up and check my email. Then I worry about going about the rest of my day. There are many times when I need to coordinate my schedule in order to accommodate other people and meetings. I can never get anywhere with schedules, because I end up with an email thread that is 14 pages long! Have you ever noticed how some people are insanely focused on setting up a phone call to talk about something you could have already covered in an email? When it comes to coordinating schedules and getting people on the same page, you may want to Doodle!

Doodle is a free service that you don’t even have to sign up for! Use it to schedule an event, such as a meeting, business lunch, conference call or even a family reunion. Create a poll with your choices, and email out your link. Then, watch as the votes come in so that you can choose the best time for everyone!

You can also use Doodle to choose what movie to see, or find the newest hot restaurant to visit. You can use Doodle with your calendar (Outlook, iCal, etc), on Facebook, or even from your mobile device.

Doodle may not be a drawing service, but it certainly does make it much easier (and more fun!) to get something scheduled.

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How to Export a Facebook Calendar

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Of course I’m on Facebook, aren’t you? Both of my brothers are there, and even my Dad asked me about it! It’s a good resource for networking with others. Did you know you can take your calendar out of Facebook and put it onto your desktop? It’s easy to do with fbCal.

These days, your family and friends are putting all of their life events into the Facebook calendar. You’ll find birthday party invites, Tweetups, conferences, record parties – you name it and you’re going to be asked to show up to it. Heck, you will even likely be asked to attend virtual events via Facebook’s calendar feature, as well. You NEED this information to be visible in whatever calendar you actually use, y’all. You need to export this stuff!

With fbCal, you can get your events and friend’s birthdays in Apple iCal, Mozilla Sunbird, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook or in your RSS reader! The process can be done in less than a minute, and it’s free!

You simply sign in and allow the service both online and offline access to your Facebook account. This is very useful, so you don’t miss something important! You can find out who’s birthday it is, or make sure you don’t forget an event you wanted to attend! Heck, it’s even a good way to help keep track of events you yourself are organizing.

It’s the easiest and cleanest way to export data from your Facebook calendar to another device or program!

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How to Let Time Tell You

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Look at your calendar, if you have one handy. Pretty boring, right? Check out this new app, ECOcal – now available in iTunes. It’ll make your day (or year, potentially).

The calendar runs in a linear fashion, and shows what’s going on in nature at that time of year. With beautiful pictures and fun facts about nature, the calendar changes during each season. This calendar is five years in the making. It started out as a wall calendar, detailing things about the moon phases, where each planet is in conjunction to the moons and constellations, and so forth.

ECOcal is an immersive daily calendar of the Earth and sky with extensive scientific information about astronomical and terrestrial events. Instead of a grid-based calendar, ECOcal shows the days running from left to right, with tides, flora and fauna then the sky and stars represented above.

  • Scroll through the Sky Chart to find out when the next meteor shower will peak or when there is going to be a lunar eclipse.
  • Zoom in on a constellation to see the magnitude of a star.
  • Tap on the richly detailed images of animals and plants to read about how they adapt to winter’s cold or summer’s heat.

This is a very cool App. There’s honestly nothing else like it available. I have it on my iPhone – do you have it on yours?


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Is the iPhone a Good PDA?

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Robert is a regular viewer of our videos, who happens to be a very busy man. He relies heavily on his iCalendar in order to stay organized. Overall, Robert is happy with his iPhone, but laments some loss of functionality for him. He likens the iPhone to a “super sexy secretary who isn’t very good at her job”. Keep in mind those are his words, not mine. Here are his top 5 things he’d like to see Apple improve to make the iPhone a better PDA.

  • Speed Compared to other devices, the iPhone is just slow. It takes 7-8 seconds for the phone to ‘wake up’ and open the Calendar feature. This is just inacceptable.
  • Copy/paste functionality When Robert meets with a client, he enters the date and specific notes about the meeting. Each time, he has to retype the same information over and over, since he cannot do a simple copy/paste.
  • More iCalendar capabilities He wonders why we can’t have the real iCalendar installed on the iPhone. He wants the ability to drag and drop appointments. Robert also wasn’t aware that you can change the calendar view from daily to weekly or even monthly. Lucky for him, I showed him how. Strike one small thing off his wish list.
  • Connectivity between contacts and appointments Robert wishes to be able to open a contact, and make an appointment from there. He also thinks that notes within that contact area should be hyperlinked to other information about them.
  • Moving of Email This isn’t really PDA related, but it is annoying. Ever notice how if you try to move an Email from the trash bin back to the Inbox… it simply disappears? It’s no longer in either place. It’s just gone. Not very cool, is it?

Excellent list, Robert. Who knows? Even if Apple doesn’t step up and answer some of your wishes, a third party may. Very soon, there will be a SDK (Software Development Kit) coming soon from Apple. This will allow developers to create more things for the iPhone.

Editing to add another Top 5 ways to improve the iPhone, sent in by another community member!

Okay Chris, I had to send in a top 5 list. The Iphone is a truly unique device, however here are my top 5 improvements for it.

  • Copy and Paste Feature. How could this basic computer function be missing? I used it a lot when I emailed from my blackberry, Apple should add this simple computer function to the next version.
  • No MMS built in? A BIG oversight by apple. It’s a big hassle to picture message anyone. There are work arounds using email to phone email addresses, but when using a phone as media rich as the iPhone, MMS should have been present, no doubt.
  • GPS Feature. Almost all new phones have the GPS built in now, the Iphone does not. Now, the google maps function is really great, but many users long for GPS. For me, it don’t make much different, but it would be nice to have.
  • Video Capture. Another thing Apple overlooked when releasing the Iphone, was video capture. The camera, despite not having a flash, works very well, however I would love to be able to take videos on the next iPhone.
  • Storage!!! At only 8Gigs, the iPhone forces me to leave about 500 songs at home, along with half of my podcasts. Now, the reason I went to iphone was to “Combine” my Ipod and Blackberry into one device, but I don’t like being choosy about the music that goes on my iPhone. With Ipods now at 80gig, why don’t the Iphone have more storage, or AT LEAST a way to add external storage?

That’s my top five list, I figured I would send you one since you ask for them so much 😉 The iPhone is a great phone, and I am proud to have it, however like EVERYTHING else, it’s not perfect, so these are my top 5 improvements. There are more than 5 if you really want to picky, but these are in my opinion, the most significant.



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Syncing Outlook, OS X, Google with Ease

Not sure how it happened, but I ran into The Holy Grail of Synchronization – how to synchronize Microsoft Outlook (multiple locations), Google Calendar, Gmail, iPod, and mobile phone with Funambol, ScheduleWorld. I took the time to dig deeper, largely because I’ve been wanting to sync Outlook with Google (and Google with iCal) for a while now – and I’m still using Outlook 2000, which keeps certain syncing tools out of reach.

Standards to the rescue! Engtech, as described, pointed me to ScheduleWorld: “An experiment in a new kind of rich Internet application, built on the foundations of open standards that enables you to access your data from virtually anywhere using a growing number of interoperable devices and software.” Yes, it’s absolutely free – and absolutely 100x more useful than you may realize:

  • Sync between countless devices, platforms (iPod included!)
  • Simple and fast Calendaring, Scheduling, Tasks, Notes
  • Global address book (LDAP!)
  • Java Micro Edition (JME/J2ME) Client for mobile phones

Whoa. As recommended, I downloaded the Outlook SyncML client (which runs independently). Took a small bit of troubleshooting to get going, but the problems were remote – and cleared up quickly by Mark Swanson (ScheduleWorld mixmaster). In no time at all, I was able to do what I’ve always wanted to do – sync calendars, tasks, and notes through simple software, as well as have a network-accessible address book. Dude, ScheduleWorld is absolutely amazing – and free.