On Technology for Family Organisation

We use Android and Window 7 exclusivly, both DW and I have a Nexus 4 and Moto G, they are excellent phones, I can’t envision us upgrading for a while.

I used to have a Nexus 7, but DD1 uses that now for youtube and really poor ad riddled games. DW used to have a Nexus 7 too. Sadly, though, she left the top off a water bottle put in her shoulder bag and flooded it shorting out the nexus 7.

I was really pissed-off by that, the thoughtless stupidity of it,  it irks me to this day. I still haven’t fully got over the resentment of it. It could have been preventable. It happened because during our year of hell, she was resorting to alcohol abuse to paper over the cracks in our finances.

It wasn’t made easier by having to bin a four month £250 nexus and we didn’t have insurance. I never really can understand why someone uses alcohol in that way. There is a time and a place for it, plus she is a total lightweight when it come to alcohol. Two bottles of wine and she’s really out of it. I used to know people where two bottles of wine was just a pre-parandial to bottles of whiskey or vodka (and I mean bottles).

Anyway, I digress. Does technology really help in organising a family? I think it has to start with the self, can you get into the habit of noting things down, diarising events, communicating information and radiating around the people who need to know.

The internet is the real tool we use, like the TFL site, except their recent update has messed up the live updates leader board. We used that a lot to check bus times (London Traffic being what it is). SMS and hangouts we use, but mostly its calling each other to update one another.

I have been using a paper diary quite a bit, but I’ve fallen out of the habit after DW’s stay in hospital last week. It’s pretty true that it takes around 66 days to emplace a habit, but only 45 minutes to loose it.

Thinking about it a combination of gcal, and a journal is much the same as a handwritten appointment and journal diary. I have an A5 filofax, but i don’t like the diary, appointments refills, the page to a day bit annoys me with the multi-lingual day names, the appointments one is in two columns, plus it doesn’t really do 24 hours, sometimes I need to note when one of the DDs’ woke us in the early hours. As for the journalling part that’s easy, lined blank pages slotted in between the days.

I’ve started using a few apps on my phone, agenda, SMS tracker and call tracker to punt entries into gcal as to when I get a call or a text. I bought Out of Milk but I hardly use it, the same with Any.do. The most frequently used apps are the banking ones, using them to check our bank accounts.

We sort of use gcal, but not as much as we should do. The thing that is most frustrating is the real lack of mobile data connectivity. The providers don’t really provide.

I’d like to get a 4G LG G pad 8.3 and a 4G mifi dongle so I can be more effective mobile power user. I would also like to get a wifi pineapple for devilment and fun.

DW rather fancies a Lenovo Thinkpad yoga for work purposes, the different postures suit her working style, plus it’ll be tax deductible.

Frankly, we’re moving away from desktops and even laptops. I was upset that the Canonnical Ubuntu phone project never got its Kickstarter funding. A phone with hdmi and 4gb ram would have been suburb as a mobile workpoint. A screen and a bluetooth keyboard and a good text editor and I could write code anywhere and do sys admin on the go too.

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