• Gen­er­ate pop-up, email and/or SMS reminders on a flex­i­ble, per-user basis.
  • Syn­chro­nize with PDAs and smart­phones.
  • Have the abil­i­ty to enable remote access via the inter­net.
  • Share cal­en­dars and do group sched­ul­ing.
  • Print good-look­ing cal­en­dars in var­i­ous sizes to go on the fam­i­ly bul­letin board, in the kids’ note­books, pock­et orga­niz­ers, etc.
  • Share con­tact files. Some are for the whole fam­i­ly, some are par­tic­u­lar to one indi­vid­ual in the fam­i­ly.
  • Cus­tomiz­able data­bas­es of com­mon infor­ma­tion — med­ical records, cloth­ing sizes, gift wish lists, etc.
  • Assign and mon­i­tor tasks.
  • Vari­able secu­ri­ty lev­els so that, for instance, the chil­dren can view but not acci­den­tal­ly delete or change sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion.
  • No expen­sive serv­er soft­ware required. Most fam­i­lies can­not afford to run Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes or sim­i­lar servers — the cost, the sys­tem over­head, and the time required to do that prop­er­ly are unrea­son­able for this appli­ca­tion. We have a Lin­ux serv­er in our home. That isn’t unusu­al for our social cir­cle, but I don’t hon­est­ly think it’s going to be a very com­mon thing in your aver­age house­hold any time in the next decade.
  • Flex­i­ble import/export capa­bil­i­ties.
  • Must play well with word proces­sors. When it’s time to print mail­ing labels, we don’t want to have to tedious­ly export to CSV files and so on. We want to tell MS Word what con­tact man­ag­er we’re using, have it pull the rel­e­vant records, and go.
  • Prefer­ably open source. If com­mer­cial, licens­es must be rea­son­ably priced for home users. We would be using this pro­gram on at least five PCs in the house, and we actu­al­ly try to stay legal on our soft­ware licens­es.

Back to Fam­i­ly Group­ware.

Last updat­ed June 17, 2006