I don’t have a very good memory – and like most people with a family of five, I have many things going on. Some routines are repetitive – medical appointments, school sports, pet related chores, grocery shopping and home maintenance. Some tasks are personal health, well being and organizational – exercise, diet and Getting Things Done (GDT). We also have an occasional big family events that take a massive amount of work, months, to coordinate – Bat Mitzvah, graduation party and college application/selection to name a couple. Coordinating with everyone in my family is a big challenge – there are many moving pieces, late breaking changes and necessary communication.
Fortunately, my entire family is very technology oriented – everyone has a cell phone, email account, online calendar and our own social network; we utilize many of the typical online services such as shopping sites, travel portals, media sharing and financial management tools. Things quickly get complicated when we spread these services across five people. While we’re able to gain some efficiency within some of these individual services, many of them lack coordination across our social networks and they fail to roll up across our real life events in any type of comprehensive, manageable container. Over the years, we’ve tried many tools and techniques – paper, Covey organizers, refrigerator calendars, spreadsheets, Microsoft Outlook, Google docs, Evernote and Cozi; all come with some number of short comings, silo issues and lack of integrate actionable data. Stress builds and my brain hurts.>
These problems are exactly what Spring Partners set out to address with Springpad. My entire family shares an account that we use to remember stuff, integrate actionable data across other online services and leverage our trusted social connections as we manage our real life events. We’re able to aggregate “My Stuff” in meaningful combination and coordinate calendar and communications across multiple channels – TXT, email and mobile interfaces to Springpad itself. There is a light social network integrated within Springpad – the usual “follow” other Springpad user and includes the typical “share” your stuff with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Springpad also attempts to solve the empty notebook problem by offering many pre-built, pre-organized applications around many common life events like getting organized, meal planning, maintaining a home, parenting, traveling, celebrating, exercising, learning and working.
I’ll use a simple example. My plan in life was to simply enjoy wine, not ever invest in learning the elaborate details and subtle nuances that yielded good wine and more importantly wine that I like. Yes, I planned to simply follow others in this life pleasure – ride the coat tails of others, lean on my friend’s investment in wine knowledge. In general, this plan was working well. But I still had the memory gap problem; how do I remember the great wine at last Friday night’s dinner party. Back in the day, there was only good old paper and pen – not often in my pocket at a party and a frequent washing machine victim. More recently when I’m able to sneak the smart phone past my wife’s what not to wear review, I’m able to electronically note the wine. Still a pain to type name, vineyard and year – but if the wine is good, this was my only shot at remembering later. So this was a perfectly sufficient solution – but I realized that I really like almost everything that certain friends liked. Unfortunately, I’m not always with my friends when they’re drinking wine, so I’m not there to note the ever expanding collection. I’m off the coat tail – FAIL. How do I keep up with this important endeavor?
One of Springpad’s nicest applications is a Wine Notebook sponsored by Gary Vanynerchuk. Using Springpad’s Wine Notebook, I am able to collect, organize, share with followers, include in my own plans and act on the information. I am also able to follow my other trusted friends, who also share their favorite wines. I am even able to see what Gary is recommending. I am able to “spring” a wine into my collection and use it in many ways. I can reference that info on my phone while at the store and I can use it later in my party planning notebook where I am keeping track of shopping list and things to do. Even better, my friends can see what wines I like and bring it along when they come to my house for dinner. I able to add comments to my wine data, categorize, note vineyard and pricing information or even attach a video presentation by Gary.
The power doesn’t stop there. While, it is great that Springpad lets me continue riding wine enthusiast coattails, I think the real power is that I’m now able to reuse “My Stuff” in managing my other life events. In planning my next Napa visit, I can reuse all this wine data to organize my vineyard tour, using a travel planner notebook, and work diligently to verify everyone’s comments on nose and palate. I can search and include information on my travel schedule, car rental, hotel stay, restaurent reservations and local area friend meet ups. I can keep track of details on my trip, include picture, videos, comments and share with my followers so that they can plan a similar time later.
Finally, less stress and fewer brain cramps.