If you’re anything like me, you have information spread out all over the place: Facebook, Linked In, paper files, photo streams, and online calendars. It’s exhausting, and almost impossible to remember where everything is (and all those logins). And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been in situations where you need that information but can’t access it because it’s at home. It’s a pretty awful feeling to need car information or medical information and not be able to get to it immediately.
But I don’t need to fret anymore. Because there’s a solution.
AboutOne is a website founded by a mom of 4, Joanne Lang, in an attempt to have one centralized app for organizing information and storing important family documentation. At its core, it serves as a digital filing cabinet, address book and calendar all in one. Instead of storing your information like medical records, car maintenance records, pictures, and pretty much anything else you can think in various places, you input the information into your page on AboutOne and voila! There is it.
Staying organized with this site is painfully easy. There are options to set up streams for each family member (human and animal!), as well as break the information down by item, category and event. And, within each family member’s stream, you can track milestones like promotions, educational achievements, and other memories. You have the ability to attach emoticons, record other people involved in the milestone or event, and group them by labels and categories. AboutOne has even introduced a feature where you can gift a child’s stream to her when she signs up for her own account.
For more information on the site and its capabilities, you can read about it or watch this video:
My favorite feature thus far is the possessions inventory. The site affords you the ability to enter all of your possessions like your house, jewelry, cars, books, electronics…everything you own. This is perfect not only for listing what you have (along with the very specific details of each) in the event that you want to minimize but if you need that information for insurance purposes or selling on Craigslist, you don’t have to wrack your brain. It’s all stored right there for you.
The other feature I really like is the contact list. AboutOne gives the option to import your entire Facebook contact list as well as manually input entries. You’re given the option to group your contacts (family, kids’ friends, people never to talk to again…things like that), set up emergency contacts, and keep your managed contacts separate from the general list.
There are some downfalls to the site. For instance, there is no iPhone app. Although that app is currently in development, it doesn’t exist yet. Since I have an iPhone, I couldn’t access the information I had stored while away from home (without logging in to the site) which kind of defeats the purpose of the mobile feature of the site. However, if you have a Windows phone, there is an app for those so you’ll have more success than I did accessing the information on the go.
The other downfall is that the calendar feature is still in development. This is probably what I would rely on the most. I do have a calendar in my kitchen and I set reminders on my phone but it would be nice to be able to input everything once and then have it there, stored and saved for the future. And, since the site used Cloud technology, even if I upgrade my iPhone later on, that information will still be accessible. I’m looking forward to the caledar feature becoming live.
Lastly, I couldn’t figure out how to share information with someone should I need to. For example, let’s say someone is babysitting for my child. I’d love to be able to send that person a secure link or even just a data page with the information ahead of time. I can print what I’ve saved, or copy it onto a piece of paper but it’d be nice to be able to do it electronically (note: this might be possible, I just couldn’t figure it out).
While this site is most beneficial for parents (of human kids and furkids), it really can be beneficial for anyone. Business owners can use it to track milestones, inventory, clients and events. Landlords can use it to track rental properties and their renters in each home. And those caring for aging parents, particularly parents who might live far away, can use it to help when talking to doctors.
Note: I received word from a representative at AboutOne that the calendar and iPhone app will be released this fall, along with the Shareables functionality.
I highly suggest giving the site a try. It’s free, has bank level security features and, if you don’t like it, you can always delete your account. .
I was compensated by AboutOne to review their online organizer. All opinions and text are my own.