Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AboutOne Review

I was really excited, and still am, that I was chosen to do a review of the AboutOne website. So I immediately set it up. It was fairly easy, like any other website you would sign up for. Basic information, enter families information as well.

But here is the cool thing.. I have a "household" notebook at home that I use for family management. This is that, but online! And since I just had twinfants *OK. so they are almost three months old. But we are still catching up with the world* I have had little time for anything! And this has been a fun comparison to my notebook.

It has features like:
Now some of these features will not apply to everyone, for instance, "applying to college" does not apply to me for at least another two years. And the "photo book" is something easily accessible on my computer without having to log onto a website.

I LOVE the online health records. I have a million files, and it is nice to be able to have the information just a click away.

Here is what AboutOne has to say about the site:

"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 Video

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 short video gives a good overview of what one customer loves about our service: AboutOne Youtube.

Joanne Lang, AboutOne’s founder and CEO (and mom of 4 boys under the age of 6), is a former software company executive. She’d seen how cloud-based computing allowed businesses to gain new levels of efficiency and wanted to bring these same benefits to moms and families. In this short video overview, Joanne shows how fast and easy it is to enter information in AboutOne: AboutOne Youtube.

These are a few of the features that make truly unique:
  • It is One highly secure place, online, to store household information and family memories – no more worries about losing important paperwork or losing data, pictures and contact information because your computer crashed. Also, no need to worry about backing up your data – AboutOne does that for you.
  • Our emphasis is on speed of entry and intelligent use of the data entered.
  • Data entry takes seconds, and can be completed on your computer, via cell phone, or by scanning directly into the system.
  • Data can be entered in small pieces, via wizards and templates to streamline the process.
  • Each piece of data must be entered only once. AboutOne then automatically updates fields throughout the system where this data is needed again.
  • Other manual/paper-based filing systems, PC-based apps, and web apps focus on entering information for future emergency use only.
  • Entering information in AboutOne makes it available for both daily family admin AND emergency access.
  • The system can automatically create a hardcover photo memory book including user selected photos and written back story (other photobook sites include photo captions only) (avail Dec 1)
  • The system can automatically create and mail greeting cards and invitations, using the Connections aspect (available Dec 1)
  • The system can automatically prepare an education report for use during the college application process.
  • Users can maintain “gift logs” for contacts using the Connections aspect
  • The system generates alerts and reminders about appointments, birthdays, and anniversaries – including suggested gifts from the gift logs, and reminders of other details you want to follow up on.
  • The system can automatically create a caregiver report for families to give to babysitters and caregivers for elderly and special needs family members.
  • The system automatically generates a monthly family newsletter which includes photos, web and video links, and text memories.
  • If you ever need help while using the system, just click on the “Live Help” button on the top right corner. Our customer service reps will be there to help you. If they aren’t immediately available, they will get back to you as quickly as possible."

Since using the site for a few weeks, I have gotten accustom to waking up in the morning, checking my calender and dinking around it for a while. It is just as useful as my household notebook, if not a little more. I would have to recommend this to on the go mom's who need a little more organization in there life's, and want it all in the click of a button.

I have yet to access it from my blackberry for this occasion, but I have A LOT of doctors appointments that my twins go to. What if I needed something from there medical records and hubster was not home to grab it for me? Or some kind of information that I don't carry in my thirty pound diaper bag?

**Imagine just for a second, little 5' nothing me, carrying two car seats and a diaper bag, and the whole time I am holding a five year old's hand. Sheesh... Maybe I am supermom!**

It would be awesome to access that website in that kind of situation.

There are things that I have used, like the "printables" I have printed the Babysitter/Caregiver instructions ***For Fun... I have a phobia of people touching my babes :-)*** And we are planning on using the "family newsletter" for Christmas.

It does take a while to enter all of the information, so if you are going to sign up I would wait until you have an hour or two on your hands to make sure you put all of the information in. I didn't went I signed up, and there where a lot of gaps for a while making it a little frustrating to do anything.

Something I just realized to, keep a hard copy *obviously* of anything you input here, unless  you plan on renewing your subscription.

All in all it is worth the couple tens to put down on it, I may just keep my household notebook hanging around in case my computer crashes though.

Here are some fun links associated with the site:

AboutOne Blog:
YouTube Video Channel:
Twitter: @AboutOne

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