Categories
News

Survey results – mobile app development

Recently we ran a poll of our most involved users, asking for their ideas and feedback about what features they’d like a ChoreBuster mobile app to have.

Most people want to use ChoreBuster on their phone in order to help with the day-to-day running of the household by keeping track of what needs to be done soon and what has been finished. So the first release of a mobile app will concentrate on that and leave making changes to the chores for the future.

This preference makes a lot of sense because having a larger screen, as on a laptop / desktop, makes it much easier to see more of the schedule and see the effect of your changes. Even the best-made mobile app is going to be hard to use for editing a complex schedule involving a few people, simply because of the small screen.

We will begin working on a mobile app in the very near future, as soon the current batch of work is finished. There will be an announcement on what that work is very soon – it’s a big change and fixes one of the longest-running limitations ChoreBuster has so we’re pretty excited about it.

Categories
News

Manual override

For a long time Chore Buster was fully automatic – you would specify how often chores need to be done and the schedule would be generated for you based on that.

Sometimes it doesn’t come out perfect. For those times, just click on the arrows to move the chore to someone else.

screenshot

Categories
News

Chore Icons

Each chore can now have an icon associated with it, making schedules more attractive and easier to understand, especially for those with low literacy due to young age or disability.

screenshot

At present the icon library you can choose from is mostly household furniture and places, with a few cleaning actions mixed in. If you find nothing suitable for the chores you’re creating, let us know and we’ll see what can be done to accommodate you.

Also if you find the icons messing up the formatting of the schedule, speak up. There may be situations where text-only is more suitable but without seeing your schedule and situation it’s hard to know.

Categories
News

Blended families – better chore vacation and days off

One of the assumptions ChoreBuster made was that people involved would be living at the same location most of the time. There was a ‘Chore holiday’ field on each person so they could have a once-off break from chores but if someone was regularly coming and going this field would need to be continually updated.

This didn’t work very well for blended families where children move between households often. So now ChoreBuster has been improved by making it possible for someone to have multiple chore holidays with easy creation of new holidays by copying old ones and automatically shifting the dates.

Some blended families use the ‘Give this person no chores on these days’ feature a lot, but when that person returns from being away they have a large pile of chores to do in order to catch up with the work they missed while gone. This could be seen as unfair, especially if they did chores in their other home too.

Quite often it would be better if when Peter returns on Thursday he gets the same amount of chores as everyone else, more like this:

There is a new setting to change to the second method:

This checkbox is unticked for all new accounts but if you have been using ChoreBuster for more than a fortnight then you might like to visit the settings form and untick the checkbox.

Older accounts have this setting enabled by default, to preserve existing schedules and expectations.

Categories
News

Notifications about chores

If you’re not using email often then receiving a reminder about chores in your inbox is not very helpful. So we’ve recently added popup notifications, similar to those produced by various apps.

On Android, they’ll look something like this:

screenshot

On a Windows PC, like this:

screenshot

You can click/tap on the notification to view the entire week of chores.

One big difference from email is you can’t simply put in someone’s address and then they’ll receive the notification – you need to ‘opt in’ by browsing the site using the device you want to receive notifications on, and tapping a button. To facilitate this, the notifications page (at View schedule → Notifications) doesn’t require a log in to use.

To set this up, log in to ChoreBuster then click on ‘View schedule’ in the main menu, then on ‘Notifications’. Choose your name from the list, then click the blue button. Send the URL of that page to other members of your household who also want to receive notifications, so they can do the same process on their devices.

Categories
News

New: finished chores

Once you’ve completed a chore you can cross it off the schedule, like this:

screenshot

By using this everyone will be able to see who has done what and it might not be necessary to print out the schedule.

Chores can be crossed off by clicking a link in the daily chore email or by going to the ‘Finish chores’ menu option under ‘Edit chores’. No login is needed to access this page so you can give everyone a link to it and they will be able to do what they need to without sharing your login details with them.

Categories
News

What makes this better than pen and paper delegation?

The new chat widget in the bottom right is bringing in a flood of great questions, leading to many small improvements!

Today someone asked the above question, about how this differs from assigning chores manually, on paper.

When you use pen and paper the schedule is the same each week and some chores that should be done infrequently can get left out or done too often.

Also to keep the number of chores to a number than can be manually assigned they need to be quite large chores (e.g. “Clean kitchen”), whereas if the computer does it they can be many small chores, possibly done by different people at different times, e.g. “Clean benchtop, clean oven, mop kitchen floor”.

Another thing is that when you sit down and write the schedule manually, you are the one responsible for being fair. If the computer does it, you are not the person at fault for any perceived unfairness.