Family calendars fill up quickly. Vet appointments, piano lessons, that once-a-month pre-K parents meeting. Oh, and a date night with your partner. With each child comes exponentially more meetings and appointments and dates, so early parenthood is definitely the time to get your schedule together. You could resort to a shared Google calendar, but there are better modern calendar apps out there that are tailor-made for growing families and allow you to efficiently organize your schedules to get everyone on the same page.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up our all-time favorite family calendar apps. Some of the calendars here have beloved fan bases. Other options, while lesser known, offer a near-equal product with either a better price point or a killer add-on feature (grocery list integration; one-time event sharing to non-family members). Finally, there’s a third category, the calendars that, while not explicitly designated for parents, can still be a great tool for people trying to manage their family schedules.
Whatever family calendar app you choose, the sooner you start inputting, the sooner you’ll have a handle on your ever-growing schedule.
Best Family Calendar App: Cozi Family Organizer
The perennial family favorite, the Cozi Family Organizer is a near-perfect calendar app. One shared calendar is accessed through any desktop or mobile device (Apple Watch is not currently supported). Individual schedules, accessed through email accounts, are segregated by color, with custom emails sent to respective members at the beginning of each week or day according to personal preference. There’s lots to like here, but we especially dig its “Recipe Box” and shopping list features, which make meal planning a snap. The only critique we have is that in order to access its features, each family member must have an email address — something younger children may not yet possess. Free (with ads), $30 (ad-free version).
Best Free Family Calendar App: FamCal
In short, FamCal solves the Cozi problem of kids without emails. With the app, parents and kids have color-coded events — and access — with or without email, eliminating this potentially critical bottleneck. Grocery lists and tasks are here, with a novel shared note feature. (If recipes are your thing, look elsewhere.) Oh, and did we mention? Free.
Best Family Calendar App for Ruthless Organizers: TimePage
TimePage is the organizer for those who rule their family’s schedule with an iron fist. While there’s no sharing on this Moleskine-branded (read: legendary notebook-maker) product, we loved its “heatmap” visual reminder of the busiest times during your day, an at-a-glance representation of when you’ll be running around like mad. For families on the go, there are departure reminders, which automatically calculate travel time, and a built-in weather widget, which alerts to inclement weather (and to dress appropriately). Android users, take note: At present, TimePage is an Apple-only affair. $2/month or $12/year.
Best Family Calendar App For Dinner Party Hosts: TimeTree
With a variety of ways to send invite-based access — email, Facebook Messenger, text, and more — TimeTree makes it simple for your entire family to see what’s coming down the pike. Event reminders can be delivered via the same myriad platforms. A date-optional notes section, which can incorporate pictures, is a nice touch for reminding your far-flung family that you’re thinking about them. A feature we really loved: one-time event sharing, which is great for pinging non-TimeTree-member dinner guests without revealing that soccer practice ended a mere 30 minutes before. Free.
Best Family Calendar App For Big Families: Curago
Curago’s niche is big, complicated, and extended families. With seemingly no limit to the number of members, individual access can be granted with or without an email address and shared by a number of means. Events are customizable with photos, lists, notes, and themes, and they even include a quick weather summary. For the head of the house, its layout is less clear due to a lack of the color-coding, but it nevertheless excels in organization. Alas, this is another Apple-only app. Free.