December 02, 2009

Cozi’s Family Journal is a Great Way to Document Family Vacations

30 Days of Cozi 

by Kavita Varma-White

We had a fun road trip to Portland last weekend. After exploring the city and meeting up with various friends who live there, I thought the whole experience would be the perfect way to start using Cozi’s Family Journal.

It seemed to be a fairly easy application. I started by creating The Varma-White Family journal and writing the first entry.

Portland, November 27, 2009

We got into Portland after an easy three hour drive from Seattle. Staying at the Westin, which had great rates and is located right downtown. Tonight's adventure started with the tree lighting at Pioneer Square, a few blocks from our hotel. Seems like the whole city came out to celebrate. We loved watching the street acts, from the dreadlocks-wearing juggler to the blues guitarist to the lady who had a sign that read "Free Hugs" (we didn't do it, for fear it was a pick pocketing scam, but what a nice thought...) After the tree lighting, we walked around downtown and hit Finnegan's Toy Shop and Powell's Books. (The kids' section has a stellar selection of used books for $2 and $3 bucks!) Ended the evening with a scrumptious meal at Mother's Bistro and Bar, a longtime Portland institution that’s known for its great food and hip and homey, kid-friendly atmosphere.

I added a photo of my daughter and husband at the tree lighting. Then I went through the various steps to make the journal a shared website. (I love the option of “Protecting Kids” which is essentially auto-editing key words; I enabled it so that if I write my kids’ names, Cozi automatically changes the names to their initials.)

I previewed the journal, then invited a few family members to see it. When my husband received the email, it displayed our Family Journal, with the correct pictures and text. Beneath it, a line said “The Varma-White Family Journal is available at”.

Varma-White Family Journal

Here’s where I encountered a problem. Clicked on the link and a message appeared: This family’s journal doesn’t contain any stories yet. I did some troubleshooting and went back to the page where you select saving options. Turns out I had not marked the “Share all our existing files” option. That did the trick, and the link now works.

In the meantime, I’m going to finish the entries about our trip, which included visits to the Oregon Zoo and OMSI, the fabulous science museum.  When using as a travel journal, I think it would be helpful to be able to add embedded URLs, like you do in a regular blog. Hey Cozi, ya hear?

Get your family organized and on the same page with Cozi, the free online family organizer.

Kavita Varma-White is the author of The Bellevue Blogette, a micro-blog serving Bellevue, WA. A former lifestyle editor of the Florida Sun-Sentinel, she is now the Seattle editor of, a website focused on kids and families. She is also a consultant and writer for Lifestyle Insights, a firm specializing in women-friendly new media content. In service of her ongoing search for great things for families and kids to do in the Seattle area, Kavita deploys the hard-hitting analysis of her two children, ages 10 and 7.


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