Previously, I wrote about some free tools that you can add to your custody sharing arsenal. I do still have a post in the hopper about some paid tools. But in the mean time, here are even MORE free tools. Because who doesn’t like free?
Google calendar – is well, a calendar. But what makes it special is the ability to share the whole calendar (so that it can show up in someone else’s list of calendars) or to give someone access to see your availability – which previously, was only really accessible via MS Exchange.
To create a parenting time calendar, create a calendar and call it something like ‘parenting time’. Then share the calendar with your child’s other parent with the level of permissions you’d like to give them. Now the other parent will be able to see or contribute to the same calendar you see and use.
In previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about skype because it’s kind of the standard. But there is a new (ish) tool from google that I’ve used with internet visitation with pretty great success – Google Hangout. The down side to google hangouts is that you have to have a google plus account. But if you already use google, it’s not so much a down side as a great big plus.
It works pretty much like you’d expect – you invite each other to do a hangout, and you join the hangout. Inside the hangout you do web cam chat, share your screens – or the most novel feature, I think, watch youtube videos together.
And lest you think I’m a slave to google (I am) here is an entry from their arch nemesis, MSN :
MSN Family Safety
– Long distance parents have a unique (or maybe not so unique, these days) situation of having kids who need to be on the internet at far younger ages. And with that responsibility comes great power – which is where tools that protect our kids from the big bad guys of the internet come in. This gem came to me c/o Windows 7. It uses tools that come out of the box with windows 7 and expands them with a suite of settings and configuration options available via MSN. It’s free. If you have Windows 7, you probably already have it. Here is how to use it.