Today we have a guest post by Lisa Hendrickson.
Thank you Lisa for your wonderful article!
Lately I’ve been getting calls from parents who are struggling to have a “family calendar” that can be synched on all computers, kid’s phones and parent’s phones….and not interfere with their own calendars. This can happen!
There are a few solutions for you, some are free, some are not. It all depends on your goals for your family and how much you want to spend to get it setup. Usually the free synching apps are that…free. So if they break, hiring a tech like me to figure it out can cost a few bucks, but worth it for what you get in the end….synched data between multiple devices.
Or you can spend a bit to invest in a “family domain” and share an exchange mailbox for the family and this solution, does not break much.
Example: Let’s say you are John and Betsy Jones. You have 4 kids all in Jr. high and high school. Keeping a family calendar to schedule all the events of the family is critical these days and how many devices are you using? Probably more than 10. John has a work computer and a home computer, Betsy the same, so that’s 4. Then well wait…John and Betsy have also 2 phones and tablets, iPads, so hey…John and Betsy alone can have 8 just between them. The kids? All have phones and probably tablets/iPads and maybe school computers and home computers! 4 kids and 4 devices? Maybe? So we are looking at MANY devices to synch a calendar easily.
Next question is everyone using the same platform? Some use Apple, some PC, some iPhone and some Android/Windows Phone, some use Android tablets and iPads.
Listed below are my free recommendations, then I will offer advise on a “family domained” exchange account (set up is a breeze! ) = example: thejonesfamily.com
Outlook.com is a like a free exchange server. Might not work great on Android or Android tablets. Works great on iPhone/iPad, works great in Outlook on the pc, not sure about the Mac. It will not conflict with your other calendars as it has it’s own. Always will work on a website browser.
Google calendar synch apps, will not work with Outlook on a desktop without paying for a 3rd party app and it might conflict with your work calendars, not recommended, but if you use the web browser, then sure it will work and apparently has a iPhone app.
iCloud….very hot mess there, but it will work. Family needs one account and everyone uses that on all devices, you might be able to share it but this I found is not easy to do with iPhone because everyone needs their own iCloud account for their phones.
Those are the free ones.
Now if you want a paid one, that will work nicely on all computers, phones, tablets and iPads, etc….consider buying your family a www.com. Example: Thejonesfamily.com can have it’s own exchange server for about $60 per year and setup on the computers, etc…is very easy and it will not break often. I know that this is a necessity for families and eventually as kids move on to college, scheduling breaks and holidays, etc.
Lisa Hendrickson is the owner of Call That Girl Technology Support. She is a Remote Support Technician, Outlook Expert, Office 365 Consultant and Technology Blogger. Lisa is also of the author of five eBooks/guides for computer repair businesses including the most popular “Call That Girl’s Guide to Remote Support” To read and learn more, http://www.callthatgirl.biz/publications
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