Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: AboutOne.com

I know it's such a cliche in the parent world, but kids really really do grow up too fast! I have such a hard time believing that my tiny babies have turned into little people. Little people with opinions and who have conversations and lots of ideas of their own! I worry sometimes that I'm going to forget the cute things that they say and the fun activities that we do together, especially now that they've outgrown the baby book stage. And as my kids get older, life is getting busier and more complicated, and we have to stay organized to stay on top of things.

So I was really happy to get to review a website called AboutOne. This site is amazing- it really does it all. It's a place for storing family memories, for getting organized, a photobook, a digital scrapbook, and a place to store online health records- to name just a few things. Here are some details about AboutOne.com.

AboutOne is an online family information management system; ONE place, accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device, (you don’t have to be at home, and you don’t have to be on your own computer) where in just seconds busy moms can store, secure, and manage household information, including health records, possession details, education records, contacts, and family memories – both text and pictures.

AboutOne stores the information with bank-level security. Then, the system automatically uses the information you’ve entered to save you time on family administrative chores like completing school forms, college apps, caregiver instructions, and tax returns, creating family newsletters and scrapbooks, and automatically creating and mailing holiday cards (coming Dec 1). The information is also available, at your fingertips, to make informed decisions and respond quickly to an emergency. (Also coming soon is the ability to automatically create hardcover photo memory books from the memories and stories you’ve entered in AboutOne.)
This website was designed by Joanne Lang, a former software company executive who is the mom of FOUR boys under 6 years old.  I'm tired just thinking about having four boys under 6! She's definitely someone who knows something about an organized family, for sure!


I've been using the site quite a bit lately, putting in our basic information (birthdates, birth places, etc.), as well as recording medical information and scanning some documents for storage on the site. I've also been making a point to briefly jot down fun things that my kids say or special outings that we go on. I love logging on to AboutOne and seeing our virtual family bulletin board full of memories! I have found the site to be very user-friendly, easy to enter information and easy to edit too, when needed.

The thing that makes AboutOne special is that it's not just a storage site for your information, it can actually help you do something useful with that info! Christmas time is coming up soon, which means Christmas cards and newsletters for many people.  With AboutOne, you just choose which memories and events to include, click one button and a newsletter is generated for you! Do you have kids applying to college? AboutOne makes it easy by organizing all their education and volunteer experience in one place and putting it into a generic college application.  Getting ready to go out for the night and leave the kids with the babysitter? AboutOne has a printable with all your kids' vital health information, address, age, contact information for your emergency contact, and a space for notes.

AboutOne is also special because it's something that you can access from whereever you are.  Last month my family was back East visiting my parents, and we ended up having to fill out some urgent forms for my son.  You've never seen so much wracking of brains as my husband and I were doing, trying to remember all the things that we needed to know! It would have been very handy to have AboutOne back then and have everything recorded and accessible from 3000 miles from home.

The other super cool feature of AboutOne is that you don't even have to be at your computer to record a memory or store a photo. Just use your phone or other device to make a note or take a picture, email it from your device to your AboutOne inbox, and it's stored on your AboutOne page! 

So, for an easy tool for family management and digital organization, check AboutOne out! And for more information, check out this YouTube video about AboutOne.

Disclosure: I received access to this site, thanks to AboutOne and Maven House Network. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

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