Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Getting my organizing on

I am hopelessly disorganized. I'm the type of person to have Post-It notes on every flat surface to remind me to do everything from buy the groceries to scratch my own nose... Except I'm not organized enough to buy the darn Post-Its. So I had high hopes when the Parent Bloggers Network asked me to review Cozi Central, free (Free!) organizational software that you download to your home computer.

The download itself was ridiculously easy. The interface is pleasing to the eye and simple to navigate (note: if the younger members of your family can work a computer, they can access Cozi Central) and once you have Cozi installed you can use your main computer as the home base of organization operations or you or the rest of your family can access everything online when you're on the road or at work.

The calendar is simple but effective. Every family member can be entered by name and by color code, and everyone is represented at a glance at the top of the calendar. The color coding feature really stood out for me, Miss Disorganized herself. Let's say my daughter is purple (In the calendar. If she were purple in real life I'd probably have a bigger problem on my hands.). With the each family member represented by a different color I don't have to search for my daughter's appointments among the other things entered in the calendar, I just look for the purple dots. Easy peasy, rice and beansy.

Speaking of beans(ies), the shopping list function of Cozi Central was an interesting addition. Cozi has added almost every food that you could imagine so all you need to do to prepare your weekly grocery list is point and click on the items you need. Ketchup? Check. Asparagus? Check. Celery salt, chicken noodle soup, and refried beans? Check, check and triple check. And if Cozi doesn't have what you need you can easily type it in yourself. And it doesn't have to be just groceries, you can add any shopping list. School supplies, Christmas lists, if you have a list of things to purchase you can add it to Cozi. And the best part? You can either print it out or you can send it to your cell phone. Or your husband's cell phone. Hint hint.

I liked that I could send email notifications - or as I like to call them, Honey Do lists - to everyone I had entered on my email list (also a feature of Cozi, email lists for your entire family) as well as the calendar and the grocery lists, but what I felt was lacking from Cozi was pre-dated notifications. I had really hoped that I could schedule pre-dated reminders to be sent to myself, because for someone as hopeless as I am it's not enough to have the calendar. No, I need to be reminded to look at it. So notifications, either pop-up alerts or email reminders, about important appointments would be a feature I would love to see added to Cozi.

*(I just noticed that if you have Microsoft Office Outlook installed on your computer - which I don't - you can sync Cozi and Outlook and some of those things can be done. Like letting your family know if a meeting is going to run late. This feature is still in beta at time of writing.)

Strangely enough, the best part about Cozi had nothing to do with organization, but everything to do with family. The photo collage screensaver was fantastic. There were times when my laptop would be sitting open next to me on the couch while I was watching television and once the screensaver kicked in I became more enthralled with what was going on on my screen than what I was watching on TV. Great feature, Cozi!

Cozi Central lived up to its end of our bargain. It provided me with one tool where I could save important dates, meetings and appointments, as well as my shopping lists, and allows my husband to easily access everything, too. Now, if only it would hold my hand and remind me to actually enter the important dates and shopping lists it would be perfect. And I would finally stop forgetting to buy milk and arriving at appointments ten minutes late. But I'm not expecting miracles to happen any time soon.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm in love... with a diaper

It's early in the morning. Your eyes are only half open as you approach your child's room. Your child, of course, is fully awake and raring to go but you are still semi-comatose. The last thing you want to find before you've had your morning cup of coffee is your child soaked head to toe because their overnight diaper just couldn't handle the load.

But that's what you find. Again.

So you strip her down, start a bath for her and remove all the bedding from her crib, including her favorite spot-clean only lovey bear. None of this was on your agenda for today.

Does this routine sound familiar? Then it's time to get Huggies Overnights. Seriously, go now. I'll wait.

I could tell immediately after removing one Huggies Overnights diaper from the package that nothing was getting through these suckers. And I was right. An entire package of Huggies Overnights used and not one leak. Not one!

(No, that's not enough emphasis)


(That's better)

There wasn't even that thin band of wetness at the top of my daughter's pajama pants that I normally found almost every morning. For me, that was the true test because my daughter is quite acrobatic when she's asleep. So either the absorbent pad in the diaper did its job or the diaper moved with her really well. Or maybe both.

Does it sound like I'm gushing? (Ha! Gushing!) Well, I am and I'm not ashamed. I may be in love with a diaper.

The only negative thing I can say about Huggies Overnights is that the diapers were a bit more fortified than other diapers my daughter has used, so the first time I put one on her she was confused by the extra bulk. But she got comfortable with them very quickly. I think she may be happy with the dryness, too.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I base my satisfaction with a product on how many people I would recommend it to. I'm fairly certain my girlfriends are sick of hearing me sing the praises of Huggies Overnights, but I know for a fact that a few of them have tried them on their kids. The verdict so far? Not one negative comment.

With all this raving about a diaper you're probably wondering if I think Huggies Overnights is the second coming. Well, I don't think Huggies Overnights are going to save the world but I think they'll, at least, save you some washing. In my busy life that's enough.

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