Honey, there’s a problem with the free online calendar

If your family is like mine, you have calendars and todo lists everywhere. Online, paper calendars, on clipboards, refrigerators, whiteboards, kids folders you name it. In a recent post, I discussed ways to configure your calendars on your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch). This is a great start, but it’s solves only part of the problem.

Before my wife and I built the Skedi Family Calendar app. We tried centralizing our family calendars on a free online calendar. It seemed like a great idea at the time until we encountered cracks in the system.

See, my wife uses Microsoft Exchange / Outlook at work, and she had no way to sync with the free online calendar. So, her true availability was inaccurate. I use Apple and Google calendar software for work and home and we both had difficultly keeping the free online calendar up-to-date.

Here’s the rub, we had a major communication breakdown one day. I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.

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Skedi Lite Beats Mom’s Daily Planner Calendar Features Hands Down

Searching the App Store using the keyword family calendar will yield many results, but near the top will be Mom’s Daily Planner. It’s a family organizer app that includes shopping lists, to-dos, and a calendar.

This post only compares their family calendar features to Skedi Lite, which is our newest product in the App Store.

Bottom Line: We believe if you’re looking for a truly useful family calendar app, Skedi Lite is far superior to Mom’s Daily Planner’s calendar. In fact, it’s virtually no comparison because their calendar does so little for the price.

Mom’s Daily Planner calendar has none of the features a busy parent will need to start sharing and planning events with family members. For example:

  • Events are unavailable to other family members
  • There’s no way to send or receive invitations or assignments
  • Family member availability is unknown

Check out the comparison chart for more details.

 Compare Skedi Lite Mom’s Daily Planner Skedi Lite
 Price $2.99 $4.99
 Family calendar sharing in the cloud unavailable feature
 Events saved in cloud (or cloud sync) unavailable feature
 Send invitations and assignments unavailable feature
 Real-time family member availability unavailable feature
 Email notifications unavailable feature
 Export events via email unavailable feature
 Send events via SMS unavailable feature
 Unlimited “real” human support unavailable feature

If what you’re really looking for is a great family calendar app with the features you need at low price, Skedi Lite is by far the best choice.

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What’s The Difference Between Skedi Lite and Skedi Family Calendar?

Skedi Comparison

Macworld reported on Skedi Lite’s debut yesterday here; and since we released Skedi Lite Monday, a lot of people have asked me, so what’s the difference between it and Skedi Family Calendar. For starters, Skedi Lite is an economical alternative to Skedi Family Calendar. It’s only a $1.99 (introductory price); and is packed with nearly all of the features of Skedi Family Calendar, but a much lower price. Moreover, unlike other family organizers, it’s free of advertising that just gets in the way of your productivity.

Skedi Lite has the essential family calendaring features that most parents need. However, if you’re looking for more advanced features such as syncing with Google Calendar and iOS calendars (Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo!, and  iCloud), then I’d recommend downloading Skedi Family Calendar.

If you have any questions about our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us or add a comment to this post.



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Importing and Assigning Family Activities and Tasks Using Skedi Family Calendar

Calendar Sync

Let’s begin with the scenario. You have an activity that conflicts with a family event.

If you followed the steps in my previous post, the hard work is already done. You have all your calendars on your iOS device; and now you’re ready to unleash the power of Skedi Family Calendar.

Skedi Family Calendar makes it easy to import activities from other calendars. In this installment, I’m going to show you how to import an event and assign the activity to your partner.

My wife and I use these features a lot. Let me know what you think.

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Skedi Family Calendar 1.3 Is Now Available in the App Store

We just released Skedi Family Calendar 1.3 in the App Store. Now you can securely update your Google password and export any event. Here’s the details:

  • Now you can securely update your Google password in the app. So, family members who linked their Google calendars when they signed up for Skedi, can now easily update their Google password by tapping Settings > Update Google Account.
  • We’ve added event exporting. Tap any event to view its details, then from the toolbar, tap the action button, and tap Email Event. The events are exported as an iCalendar (.ics) file, which can be imported into any calendar application that supports this format such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCal, and Google Calendar.
  • We fixed a minor bug with the toolbar in the event detail screen.
We have an upcoming product announcement for you this week, so stay tuned.
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Control Your Hectic Family Schedule With Calendar Management Tools

When we built Skedi Family Calendar, we were always thinking about productivity to save parents time, so they can recapture that elusive free-time to pursue a hobby, hang out with friends, play sports, whatever.

As parents, our personal well-being usually falls victim to our daily responsibilities, which can fluctuate throughout the day, especially when those unknown or surprise tasks come knocking at our door. Like your spouse just called,

I need you take the kids to the dentist at 2 PM, because I forgot that I have an important meeting and can’t make it.
You do it because you have to, but something will have to come off your plate or get delayed. So how can a busy parent eliminate these little surprises and get control of their schedule? First, we need to lay the foundation by bringing together all the calendars that impact our daily schedules.
  1. Compile a list of calendars that pertain to you and your family, e.g., sports teams, school events, group meetings, work calendars, and so on.
  2. Go online and see if you can subscribe to these calendars. Many organizations, schools and groups have adopted standards for calendar sharing that are compatible with most calendar applications such as Apple iCal and Microsoft Exchange.
  3. Subscribe to each calendar in your online calendar, e.g., Google Calendar. If you don’t use an internet-based calendar, try subscribing on your smartphone.
    • Click here to see how subscribe to calendars on your iPhone.
    • To subscribe to a calendar on your Android based phone, you first need to subscribe to the appropriate calendar in the Google Calendar account that is associated with your phone. Since all Android phones need to have an associated Google account, this should not be a problem. Once you have subscribed, the calendar should appear in the native phone calendar application.

If you’ve completed these steps, your smartphone’s calendar app will now reveal your hectic schedule in all it’s glory. In future posts, I’m going to talk about harnessing the power of this information and getting your productivity groove back.

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Skedi 1.2 Now Available – Plus It’s 50% Off for the Holidays

Our latest version of Skedi, 1.2 which was recently released, involves some new and exciting features. This is one of several updates we’ve put in the App Store since the first version of Skedi in September. So, what’s new in 1.2:

  • Email or text message any event, just tap the Action button in the event detail screen
  • Import events into your Skedi calendar, tap the Action button > Copy to Skedi Calendar

Send Event Screenshots
We’ve done a lot more since our debut:

  • Added family member editing for subscribers (or account owners), tap Settings > Family Members
  • Family members receive email notifications for all new invitations, delegations, and cancellations
  • Event organizers receive an email whenever a family member accepts or declines an invitation and delegation
  • Now you can send emails to family members, tap Settings > Family Members and tap their email address
  • Provided iOS 5 compatibility
  • Optimized FAQs for viewing on your device

Do you want to see new features? Please let us know here. And stay tuned, we’ll have more product announcements soon.

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Family Holidays and Talking Politics. Eat. Smile. Repeat.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We will gather around delicious plates of food, perhaps some wine and reflect upon what we are all thankful for with people we hold dear in our lives. Perfection, right? Well, as long as we remain thankful for benign things like Indian Summer days and how much we are looking forward to the Prep and Landing sequel. If, however, we allow the conversation to drift towards how thankful we are for, say, President Obama’s foreign policy, things can take a decided turn. Nothing stirs a good old holiday dinner like the blues and the reds drawing lines over the repast. The sides often stake the same old landscape: young vs. old, ideals vs. reality, rich vs. not so rich, cranky Uncle Lou vs. Goth Sister Sue. Years ago my father-in-law declared martial law against discussing politics at the holiday table although I find he manages to work his two cents into his blessing. Regardless of what color you paint your state of mind you have to be mindful of the roles played by others at the table. One is the agent provocateur. He doesn’t want to play, he just wants to watch the mayhem. They casually toss a body politic grenade onto the table and hope someone jumps on it. Secretly, I think they want your mother-in-law to send you home with the “leftovers nobody wants plate.” Cream-sauced pearl onions, mandarin orange lime jello, and thigh meat. All they have to do is get you to say something like “old rich people should pay more tax” and they are the ones going home with the candied yams. Not only do these debates tend to soak the fun right out of the meal, nobody has ever looked up from her food and said, “I see the error of my thinking and the wisdom of yours.” The wise diners stick to the low hanging fruit of tree lightings, pumpkin pie recipes, and online holiday shopping techniques. They know they have a month to fight about the economy, poverty, taxes, immigration and who is better equipped to lead this nation before they gather at Christmas to do it all over again. Ignore the provocation, relax and keep it simple. Eat. Smile. Repeat.

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Skedi Sale – Get Organized This Holiday Season

Skedi is having a Thanksgiving Week Sale. Until Saturday, November 26th you can get the best family calendar app available today. Skedi keeps your family organized and makes you “feel at home” in whatever calendar you choose. Visit Rodaxsoft to learn more about how you can and get this app at a 50% savings.

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