Sweet Plans: Homeschool Planning – BONUS!!!

I just couldn’t leave the series alone yet!  The series thus far has focused specifically on homeschool lesson planning, and sure, that’s important to us.

But that’s not the sum of our lives.  Just because we’re not what people traditionally think of when they think back-to-school,  doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with similar organization challenges.

We also have sports practices, scout meetings, doctor’s appointments, family activities, and a host of other things going on.

In the last series post, Final Touches, I touched on how I loosely integrate these things into our schedule.  They’re added in after the uber important stuff is.

That’s all well and good.  That works.  But there was always so much more I wanted to do with that information:

  • Share it with family – The three of us are the only ones in AL and I don’t have time {anymore} to put together emails detailing pictures from field trips, outings, etc.
  • Keep a log of things – Yes, I’ve got the pictures.  No, I’m not a scrapbooker.  Yes, I’m a tech geek.  No, I won’t sit there and digi-scrapbook.  All equals dilemma.
  • Have the ability to create quick reference sheets – This is specific to Babydoll and the pets.  On the rare occasion Babydoll’s not with me, or the several times a year the pets must be boarded, I want to know I’ve covered everything to ensure their well-being.

And I wanted to be able to do these things without reinventing the wheel {you know, having to sit at a computer for a day or two and enter in every last detail and contact information stuff from our entire lives} and from a variety of locations {my phone, my laptop, away from home, at home, etc.}.

Yes, I’m a hard girl to please.

Enter AboutOne.

This program does a great job of showing you how to get organized, and how to do it easily.

At first glance I wondered how this could really help me as a homeschool mom.  I’ve got my planner and I’ve got my laptop.  But after a closer look, I realized it’s a digital filing system and more, oh so much more.

This thing is phenomenal!  It allows me to enter the information I want to enter from a variety of locations.  Superb!

But what it does with that information is the really awesome thing.  The stuff AboutOne does shows me how to declutter a certain aspect of my life I really didn’t have the time or desire to declutter.

To make this easy to read and to highlight the really important stuff, here’s a list of things I love about AboutOne:

  • I can enter information bit by bit as I choose.  Once I set up my account, I wasn’t bombarded with the need to key in every last bit of family information.  The program told me what I could do, and made suggestions, but I was actually able to get up and walk away as soon as the account was created to tend to something else.  I came back, and it was there waiting for me.  Next time I need the insert-not-used-very-often-document-name-here, I can find it {after looking through several filing locations}, scan it, and upload it into AboutOne.  It’s now much easier to find.

It’s so fun looking to boot!

They’ve got nifty videos to help you, too.

  • I can create caregiver sheets for the pets and Babydoll.  Babydoll has a pretty bad penicillin and penicillin-derivatives allergy.  I’m still getting used to it {just sprang up in the last year, and I don’t often recall that info}, but once it’s entered into AboutOne, it will always appear on her caregiver sheet.  Special needs, diets, oddities the pets might have, all goes on that sheet.  No more freaking out that I forgot something.
  • I can send out monthly newsletters to our family.  As events {such as field trips}, pictures, and other relevant information is added into the program, it automatically  creates a monthly newsletter for me.
  • All family members with account access can send stuff to the account to be included such as pictures, appointments, events, etc.  That way I can share the burden, I mean, responsibility.
  • I can assign labels to my contacts.  I might have certain contacts that I need for homeschool business, but not for personal party invitation business.  I can assign labels to my contacts so that when I go to pull info to send party invitations, I only pull the people I want to invite.  Which leads to another cool feature…
  • I can send cards and invitations from my AboutOne account.  And we’re not talking ecards.  We’re talking real addressed and stamped cards and invitations.  Sheer awesomeness.
  • Pictures can automatically be converted in online scrapbooks or printed photo books.  Again, just sheer awesomeness.

There are tons of other features; AboutOne is so intuitive and they’re improving it and adding stuff everyday.

Plus, as a former military wife, I love that they provide some really neat stuff for military families.

I really can’t recommend this product enough; I’m smitten.  I want to just sit here for hours playing around with it and setting it up specifically for my family!

And oh my goodness, there’s a sweet giveaway!!!

One winner will receive a $500 AMEX gift card, an upgrade to a free AboutOne subscription, AND a $250 donation to a school of their choice.  Everyone else who enters will receive an email with a code for 25% off a one year subscription!!

Here’s what you’ve got to do to win:

Sign up for an AboutOne free trial {no credit card info required!!} AND fill out this entry form – You MUST sign up for the free trial AND THEN fill out the Google Doc to be entered!!!

One winner will be chosen at random.  This giveaway ends September 9th at 11:59 p.m. ET and is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older.

The 17 day Free Passport gives you 17 full days of usage with no expiration date (requires no credit card information).  Use each of your 17 days whenever you like.  The Yearly Plan gives you a full year of access to AboutOne for the low price of $30 per year.

True Confessions:  I was compensated by Global Influence Network for my participation in this program.  Despite this, I still really love AboutOne and think it’s a great program.