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.
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.