Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aboutone.com (review)

When you're starting out your family, there is a lot to keep track of! Marriage certificate, SS cards, birth certificates, baby books, immunization records. On top of that, you have to update the baby books! Fill them with sweet memories and milestones. There are also life milestones you want to record but may not have a place for them - buying your first house, your first date, your engagement story, moving nightmares or changing job tales. There is a lot to remember and track when beginning.

I have had the opportunity to try the website Aboutone.com. This is one cool site, let me tell you (read more of their story here)! There are varying categories that you can record just about anything under, but the very first thing is to make profiles for your family members. From there you record birth days (and birth stories so you don't forget!) and other milestones.

The relationships tab seems a little confusing until you delve into the other categories. Basically this is a place to record any relationship: doctor, hospital, high school, grandparents. These contacts are then used in health fields (emergency contacts), education (schools), etc.

Under the education tab, you can record where you went to primary, secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and even post-graduate schools. I think this is a very neat thing if your children will be going to varying schools (elementary school, middle school, high school) so that you can track where everyone is (including phone numbers, addresses, and websites of each school). Also something to think about if you have multiple children going to multiple schools - so much easier to track them online than offline. If you plan on homeschooling, you can still track their grade level, GPA, and other school milestones just as if they were going away to school. You can also record volunteer time.

The health tab is probably my favorite feature. I can put the boys' immunization records under this tab. Squirt has a penicillin allergy so I can record that, too. I put their doctor's information here, too. I like to keep all of these things in the same place so that I don't have to look in my wallet for immunization records, baby books for birth facts, and our safety box for birth certificates. I can even scan a picture of their birth certificates to place on aboutone.com! Then if I lose them, I have at least a copy available. Your insurance information (#, type, & phone number) can also be saved on here.

You can put other files on Aboutone.com, too. Marriage certificates, birth certificates, work-related documentation or certificates. This is a great feature, too. Too often these things get lost in moving or cleaning or just life, so it's nice to have them backed up somewhere safely. There is also a feature that you can take a picture on your phone, email it to your aboutone.com email address, and upload it to your site. That's nifty if your phone is capable of emailing (mine is not).

I don't use this tab (yet) but you can also put your house purchase(s) on this site. Details about the purchase, the address, a picture, sale details, dimensions, and your realtor's information. Very cool when you buy your home!

There are printables available through your Aboutone.com account. A family newsletter (great with Christmas coming up), caregiver sheets, volunteer & education activity sheets, and capital gain sheets. I love the caregiver sheets - I'm always scrambling to write down any pertinent information before leaving my boys with any sitter (grandma or otherwise). Then they have all the information they need about my boys - allergies, their sizes (height/weight), age & birth date, doctors, medication, and insurance information. I always like to be prepare for the "what ifs" in life and I want those caring for my sons to have all the information they would need in the "in case" scenarios.

I will say that this site takes some maintenance and time. I wish it was something I would have had when we first got married or even just before Moose was born. Because I don't have the time to go back and type in all of his milestones, or even all of Squirt's so I almost feel this is incomplete of our family history because it doesn't have those things. However, I do feel that it is helpful in recording the now. It doesn't take a lot of time to type things in one at a time, but if you have a few things to type in (immunization records, for example), it will take some time. However, it would take probably more time to record them elsewhere. I think the best thing about this website is keeping everything together. Whether you use the printables, you have copies of your important documents and memories recorded at your fingertips.

If you have family members in the service or someone who travels a lot, this would be a great way to share memories and the day-to-day of what's going on in your family. Anyone can send an email or picture to your Aboutone.com email address. Then it can be uploaded to your family bulletin board and shared. I think that this is something I'd love to share with my sisters (one is deployed and one is at college), so they can be updated on pictures and just things happening with the boys. MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS: Please see here about details about military service discounts.

There are a few ways you can check out Aboutone.com: you can try Aboutone.com for FREE for 15 days if you go here. Monthly plans are $5/month while yearly plans are $30 per year (i.e. only $2.50 a month). I think it's definitely worth the money if you want to organize your family's medical, educational, and personal milestones and memories. Want to learn more before you dive in? Please take the Aboutone.com product tour. There is so much about Aboutone.com that I'm just learning!

Disclaimer: I was provided a year-long subscription to Aboutone.com in order to facilitate this honest review. All opinions are my own. Others may or may not have the same experience(s) I have with the product and/or company.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Thanks for the review. I wanted to mention that you don't have to own a house to use that area. You can put in info about places you rent too. I used to to keep up with our rental agreement and my landlord's phone number as well as some home repairs I had to do while he was out of town.

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