Organize your domestic life on the Web: ChoreBuster

Set up chores and more with ChoreBuster, a chore management system that runs in your browser.

Chores are an unfortunate side effect of domestic existence. Things need to be done, people need to do them, and dolling out who does what, and when can lead to an exasperating amount of effort for parents, roommates, and authoritarians. Everyone has their own system, and many rely on a piece of paper, or in some cases a homemade Wheel of Fortune-like spinner that decides whose fate it is to clean the upstairs bathroom or scoop up the dog poop from the back yard.

ChoreBuster is a service that mixes these two ideas, providing a free, Web-based scheduling tool that can also randomize who has to do a chore.

ChoreBuster lets you set up chores for multiple days and users. CNET Networks

As administrator, you can create your family or chore participants one by one and begin building a chore list. You can set recurring chores, on a daily, weekly, or custom basis, along with adding odd one-time chores as they come up. This schedule is then made available to everyone online, and can be easily printed out to get stuck on the fridge or other common area. There are also e-mail reminders, a mobile version of the site, along with a Yahoo! Widget that can show each user what they're supposed to do that day.

After testing out the site this morning, my one qualm is that adding several tasks and assigning them is cumbersome, more so than it would be to simply open up a spreadsheet and start writing things down. Maybe I'm just used to scheduling things in Google Calendar and Outlook, but I found it took too many steps. However, for power users, and those looking to really dig deep and add 30 or more tasks--I can see learning ChoreBuster's management system paying off. With enough effort and foresight, you can set it up to swap up tasks on a daily basis continuously for several months with little or no effort on your part.

ChoreBuster could be a lifesaver for big families, and large communal group living situations like fraternities, sororities, and summer camps. It also offers some great integration features for a free service like the e-mail reports and the desktop widget.

When naming a chore, ChoreBuster will pull up a quick list of chores it thinks you're about to add, similar to Google Suggest. CNET Networks
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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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