Modern technology doesn't have to get in the way of quality time with the family. In fact, tech savvy parents and developers are making the most out of mobile devices and apps to create helpful tools to help harried parents keep track of chores, groceries, to-do lists and shared family events. Check out some of the most helpful family calendars and organizers available for Android and iOS devices.
Cozi Family Organizer (Android, iOS) can help busy parents organize and coordinate all of their family events, appointments and to-dos in one helpful app. Parents can set up a color-coded family calendar, with each colored dot matching a particular family member, with filters for easy sorting. You can set up to-do checklists for individual family members or groups for things like chores, and a shared grocery list and recipe box helps with shopping for and planning meals. A built in journal allows you to easily save pictures and special moments. Your schedules and lists can be synced across multiple devices.
Hub Family Organizer (Android, iOS) is another popular all-in-one option for tech-savvy parents who want to coordinate events, tasks, groceries and more. Hub features shared calendars, and it plays well with your existing calendars, whether you use Google Calendar, Outlook or Apple. You can also share to-do & grocery lists, which can be ticked off one by one and assigned to people in the family. Shared social media features like built-in messaging, photo sharing and comments help you keep in touch and serve as a private space to share your special moments with each other.
Family Wall (Android, iOS) is another all-in-one family organizing and calendar solution that serves as your own little family social media site, providing shared events and calendars, to-do lists and contacts, as well as your own wall for sharing photos and videos. The app features a built-in messaging system so you can chat with your family members in-app, and a location check-in feature so parents and kids can tell everyone where they are. Upgrading to a premium subscription takes this one step further with real-time location tracking, SOS alerts, more online gallery storage space, and support for HD photos, and audio and video messaging.
FamJama is another all-in-one family calendar and organization center, though one major difference is that it delivers through a web app rather than a mobile one. Users can create and manage calendars and events based on each family member's schedule, set up grocery and to-do lists, custom groups, announcements and even view the weather report. You can set up custom groups, create general announcements and leave notes for people. About the only real complaint is that it doesn't have a dedicated mobile app, instead defaulting to a mobile site, which some users will find a pain, but can be worked around with a home screen bookmarklet.
Chore Monster (Android, iOS) is perhaps a bit more narrow in scope than other family organizers in this article, but it does a great job at its main task: gamifying your childrens' chores, homework and other household tasks. Parents set up a list of chores for each child along with how many points they're worth, as well as a list of rewards that they can spend their earned points on, like a dessert treat or an hour of video game time. Once your kids have done their chores, you approve them to make sure there's no cheating, and they can trade in their points for rewards, as well as tickets to the app's Monster Carnival where they can engage in minigames and collect pet monsters.
While schools are usually judicious with sharing details of the academic calendar to busy parents, it doesn't always turn out perfectly. Notification slips can get misplaced and important dates can be overlooked. Enter SmartCal, an online service that provides academic calendar information for more than 250 school districts and 75 universities. Subscribers can sync their school calendars to iOS, Android, Google Calendar, Outlook, or any calendar service that supports the .ics format.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a to-do list and chores management tool that's got less fluff and gets right to the point, you can also try more traditional tools. We've praised Any.do (Android, iOS) for its clean, no-nonsense approach to creating and sharing to-do lists, checklists, and grocery lists, all with timed or location-based reminders that you can share and collaborate with. Just share your lists and tasks with your spouse and children, and you've got a clutter-free family organizer, all for free.