Lil’ Scout only has five days of school in June, so we’re barreling toward the home stretch of the school year. I’m hoping the following tech resources will help me streamline(and remember!) all the phone numbers and names I’ll collect at the upcoming end-of-year programs as well as the summer activities that will follow quickly after…
Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a commitment on a paper sign-up sheet and forgotten the details once you had a quiet moment to yourself to put a reminder in a meaningful place…Let’s just say we’re just lucky we live in a city with stores that are open late!
SignUpGenius is a big improvement on the volunteer coordination program that flopped at Lil’ Scout’s school last summer. The professional look will motivate volunteers, increase accountability and lessen no-shows, miscommunications, and 18 trays of brownies with no napkins.
The step by step wizard helps you customize your template with logos or pictures, and the fields that suit your group. It has a recurring feature to set up hundreds of future dates instantly. There are plenty of privacy settings, so the right people are privy to the information they need, and updates are funneled through a key contact.
Volunteers sign up online, and enter what time, place and materials they will be responsible for. You can preview who’s attached to what before you commit, so you can carpool with your neighbor or avoid that Type A Mom (that’s me) from last year’s class.
I love the bulk e-mail function for thank you notes, invitations, and updates. Finally, I’m saying goodbye to the “Reply All” e-mail threads that plagued me with others’ back and forth
arguments discussions. No more worrying that my thank you note is still sitting at the bottom of a 1st grader’s backpack!
Automated text or e-mail notifications are easy for the admin, and seems less like nagging and more professional. Each user has a list of all signups, and it integrates with Pinterest, Facebook & Twitter, as well as Google calendar & Outlook for further utility. Preview the list of features at this link to decide if this site suits your group’s needs.
The free version pays the bills with banner advertising (no annoying pop-ups), but if you opt to pay, it is ad-free. Many underwriting organizations have specific advertising rules that you wouldn’t want to violate, so be sure to check with the brass. Either way, they will not sell or share your e-mail addresses, so you can notify the conspiracy theorists that their information is safe.
The Ringya app for iPhone and Android
Tired of digging for an obscure computer file to locate contact info for your kids’ classmate who needs to carpool to pottery class? Maybe you just haven’t gotten around to inputting the info from the lengthy contact list from the company retreat into your phone. You need the Ringya app to do the heavy lifting, and you can ditch those extra papers and files in minutes.
Just take a photo of a document or e-mail a digital file and the app will digitize the information into rings, or organized lists. You can email or text individuals, sub-groups or the whole ring. It also allows for manual input and updates, so any changes are automatically shared within the ring.
The key benefit for me is the contextual caller ID, that tells you at a glance whether it’s Sandy, Mia the goalie’s stepmother, or Brandy, Maya from swim team’s mom. Onscreen you’ll see the name, title and ring name(s) the number is associated with. Since I am getting progressively worse at putting names to faces, I can only imagine this becoming more important as time goes by.
Still not sure if Ringya is for you? Skim the Frequently Asked Questions, to see how it could simplify work and home contacts. The kicker…You can download the iphone version from the AppStore or get the Android version on Google Play…both are free, with no ads!
I dropped my phone in a giant cup of coffee, so I’m temporarily back on my old phone. Does anybody know of any new apps for BlackBerry?…Anybody?…Please drop me a comment, I’m dying to spice up the old technology!