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A Great Time To Create A Family Group On iZoca.

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As they say in that television jingle “its the most wonderful time of the year…” No, not that time of the year, the other time. You know, the one when all the kids go back to school! While the idea of having the kids back in school might evoke visions of a return to peacefulness and sanity at home, it does bring with it some challenges of its own. All of a sudden there is a need to get organized again.

While summer is often a time for relaxation and forgetting about the calendar and clock on the wall, the return to school life is a return to organization, schedules and an attempt to keep family on the same page. Between homework, after school activities, dinner coordination, TV rules, shower times, etc.., family life with kids in school requires a bit more structure and thought than the lazy days of summer.

A fantastic way to cope with these challenges and keep them fun and creative is to create a family group on iZoca.

Each iZoca group has its own calendar where you can coordinate everything from morning shower schedules to after school activities. Does mom have the after school basketball pickup duty on Monday or Wednesday? When was that open house?

Often in my house, we have attempted to carry on “coordination discussions” over dinner. It’s a great way to bond and feel connected to the goal of family success. But, very often, it’s been tough to follow up on any of these dinner discussions. Unless dad takes out the Blackberry during dinner (which is not allowed right?) he is never going to remember that he committed to after school practice pickup. And, if you’re like me, with kids that are of college age, the whole “family dinner conversations” might be logistically impossible. iZoca discussions are a terrific way to continue these conversations away from the table. There is no substitute for family bonding over dinner, but how do you manage to remember what people committed to or started conversations about?

It is often tough to get everyone engaged in a family conversation or decision. Somebody has dishes, somebody has homework, someone is showering, someone is watching their favorite television program. And yes, somebody is doing something online. Teenagers do more of their homework on family computers these days. Mom and dad pay bills online, research and make household purchases and even stalk their kids on social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Additionally, with cell phone browsers, including iPhones and Blackberry’s, more and more of family life has an online connection.

With an iZoca family group, you can take advantage of today’s connected world. Whether it’s the follow up discussion from dinner, the morning shower schedule or sharing summer photos, an iZoca family group is a fantastic way to stay connected, organized and have fun. Additionally, with iZoca features like “My World On The Go” family members can have access to their family schedules on their iPhone, Blackberry or other portable device that accepts calendar subscriptions.

When you create your family group on iZoca, you have complete control over who is invited and its level of privacy. Its easy:

  • Choose “Create a Group”.
  • Under the “Visibility”, choose “member only – group content is only available to members”.
  • Under “Membership”, choose “invite – an invitation is required”.
  • If you don’t want others to know your family group exist, you can uncheck the “make this group searchable in the group directory”.

You’ll then be able to invite your family members to the group by their email address. There are other choices on the “Create a Group” page that allow you to determine if your family members can add events to the group calendar, create photo albums, etc. By choosing to create a family group with the privacy settings suggested here, you create a private environment for your family so when you post a comment, create a schedule or upload a photo to your family group, the information is shared only within your family. It doesn’t reach anybody else’s feed, wall, or roll-up.

So, as the summer winds down and classroom schedules arrive in the mail, let iZoca help. Create an iZoca group for your family. We make it easy and fun to Communicate, Organize and Share.

Scott

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Written by Scott

August 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Calendar, iZoca Groups

How to get your iZoca Calendar in iPhone, Mac, Outlook, Blackberry, Google, Yahoo, etc.

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One of the cool things about using iZoca is that you can now get your group events on any iCal compatible device or calendar.  iZoca lets you join various groups and shape how all the events roll-up to your personal MyWorld Calendar. By subscribing to your upcoming MyWorld Calendar, you are kept in constant contact with all the things going on in your groups, in an organized, effective feed directed to
the calendar of your choice.

Follow these directions to get started:

On iZoca:

Select your “Settings” link

Select the “Calendar” tab

Select “iCalendar” to get your MyWorld iCalendar URL and copy it.

iPhone:

  1. Copy and paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the body of an email and send it to yourself
  2. Open up the email you sent yourself on the iPhone and copy the URL
  3. Select “Settings” on your iPhone
  4. Select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
  5. Select “Add Account”
  6. Select “Other”
  7. Select “Add Subscribed Calendar”
  8. Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL into the “Server” field on your iPhone and follow the rest of the directions.

Apple iCal – Mac:

  1. From within iCal, choose “Subscribe” from the “Calendar” menu at the top of your screen.
  2. Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL to the desired iCalendar file in the “Subscribe to:” box and click “Subscribe”.
  3. iCal will then download the calendar and bring you to a screen which allows you to give a title to that calendar. Check the “Refresh:” checkbox and select “every day” which will instruct iCal to check for updates to the calendar on a daily basis.
  4. That’s it. Your new calendar will appear, and you can choose to show or hide it by selecting or deselecting the calendar’s title in the “Calendars” screen.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 – Windows:

  1. In Outlook 2007 Go to the Tools menu and click on Account Settings.
  2. Click on New from the Internet Calendar and Paste the MyWorld iCalendar URL to the desired iCalendar file.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Type the name of the calendar as you want it to appear in Outlook in the Folder Name box and then click OK. The calendar will be listed under “Other Calendars” with the name you chose (it does not merge with “My Calendar”).

Blackberry and Other Mobile Devices – Other Options

If you have a Blackberry and are using a version of Outlook that is older than 2007, Google has a number of free options you can use to get your iZoca MyWorld Calendar to your device. After following the steps to deliver your MyWorld Calendar to your Google Calendar, select Google’s “Sync” link at the top right hand side of the Google Calendar page to get started.

Google Calendar

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/calendar and sign in. If you do not have a Google Account create one using the link provided at the bottom of the page.
  2. Click on “Settings” located at the bottom of the My Calendars box on the left.
  3. Under Calendar Settings > Calendar click on “Import Calendar.”
  4. Select “Add by URL” and paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the field and click the “Add” button.
  5. When you browse back to your calendar you will see it populated with the events from iZoca.

Yahoo Beta Calendar

  1. Go to http://www.yahoo.com/calendar and sign in. If you do not have a Yahoo Account create one using the link provided at the top of the page.
  2. Click on the “+” sign located next to Calendars on the menu on the left, select “Subscribe to Calendar”.
  3. Paste your MyWorld iCalendar URL into the field, and select “Next” on the top menu. Add text to “Display As” and select “Save” on the top menu.
  4. The new calendar will now appear and is accessible from the Calendars menu located on the left hand side of the screen.

Written by Jeff Goronkin

July 31, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Calendar