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Monday, February 27, 2017

One of our favorite apps

One of our current favorite apps is called Our Home

We were searching for a good, free app that we could use to keep track of points.  At home we have been using either a whiteboard or a paper chart but if points were earned outside of the house, we would often forget to add them at home.  Plus, the motivation isn't quite the same when you hear "when we got home" versus "here's your point!".  S found this one in the app store and thought it looked like just what we needed and he was right!  At 11 he's starting to take more responsibility around the house and for himself so he has the app on "his" phone (my old phone loaded with some games he doesn't want his siblings interfering with) as well as mine so as he completes tasks, he can check them off.  He also sometimes checks off his siblings tasks.  We use it to track chores as well as random good behavior points (positive reinforcement--Miss Iz is still bragging about the three points she earned at PlayLand for being a great big sister to Baby W and Colby).  They can use those points for prizes at different levels.  Miss Iz likes to hoard her points because just having them makes her happy.  S likes to turn them into money.  My Busy Little B just wants toys.

The kids were really excited about setting up the app because you can assign a different animal to each person and then choose a color.  Miss Iz insisted everyone get an animal and a color, even Baby W--she absolutely loves clicking off his chores when he does them (he puts away his own shoes, puts laundry in the dirty clothes basket, and is very quick to pick up liquid medicine syringes if they fall on the floor).  I'm pretty sure she's more invested in him earning points than in her own.

I really like the fact that I can customize the task list.  They have preset chores listed but I can input my own to tailor the lists to our needs.  Tasks can be set as a one time thing or on a schedule.  I use the scheduling tool for S because as the oldest, he has a set list of things he does everyday and then "extra" things he can do if he wants to earn more points.  I tend to add things as we go for the younger kids because while they often do the same chores as part of their routine, their age and attention spans and need to randomly nap sometimes interfere with chore time ;) The only complaint I have (and complaint is too strong a word--its more of a minor inconvenience) is that when I am adding a new task and start to type in a chore, the app's suggestion list only has their preset tasks.  No matter how many times I add the exact same custom chore, it never pops up in the suggestion list so I have to type it in full every time.  Like I said, a minor inconvenience but it sure would make me smile if in a future update, it saves and suggests my frequently used custom labels!  I tried just using the present label that was closest to what I wanted done but my kids tend to be extremely literal and it threw them off to have the chore listed as different from what it was supposed to be.  So I'll continue to type them out every time.

So far, I only use it for kid chores but it has more features (tasks around the house, groceries, etc) that look useful and I'm hoping to slowly incorporate them into my organizational arsenal.  My schedule can be so hectic and I rely on various apps a lot to keep track of things so it would be nice if I could consolidate all those different tasks and apps into one!

And in case you are wondering, this is not sponsored, I have not been asked to review the app.  I doubt they have any idea who I am ;)  But it has been so useful to us and we like it so much, I thought I'd write about it!