Category Archives: Love it!

Meet Emily…blogger, mom and Jooners user.


I recently had the chance to connect with fellow blogger, mom and multitasking extraordinaire, Emily Dickey.  Her blog is great — it’s packed with clever DIY activities, candid posts about life as a Chicago mom, product reviews and giveaways.

What inspired you to start your blog, Baby Dickey?                       Emily:  My baby! My husband and I lived out-of-state when we became pregnant with our first so I wanted a way to keep our friends and family in the loop… you know, because no one has ever had a baby before 😉

Fill in the blank:                                                                                     Before I was a mom I showered every day, now I’m lucky if I brush my hair before leaving the house.                                                                                                       

Favorite recent quote by one of your kiddos?                                   Emily:  I was making my morning coffee and Ryan said, “Oh my goodness, what would you do without creamer, mommy?!” He knows my world would be over.    

Words you life by?                                                                                         The days are long, but the years are short…. wake up and live!                                  

What about family dance parties?  What music are your kids “into” these days?                                                                                               Emily:  Haha, my 3-year-old son actually loves B.o.B and Bruno Mars… and he can sing “All I Do Is Win” and “Gangnam Style.” Is that something to be proud of? I’m not quite sure.  I think absolutely….

What is your favorite type of party?                                                   Emily:  Anything that gets everyone together! I love our annual family reunion.

Thanks Emily for chatting!  Did I mention Emily recently reviewed Jooners Premium?    Have a look.


More Options!

Curious about giving a try to Jooners premium membership?  Now’s the time!  

We are pleased to announce that we now offer a monthly payment option for premium Jooners accounts for only $5.95 per month!

Why go premium?  Here’s the lowdown:

  • Unlimited sign up sheets.  Free accounts are a great starting point for basic organizing. If, however, you are a person who is organizing quite a lot and quite often, premium is a better option for you.  A premium account allows you to create unlimited sign up sheets; with free accounts you can create up to five sign ups.
  • Private sign up sheets.  These are great for times when you need to know which slots are taken but would rather not say who.
  • Get notified!  This is an awesome time saving feature.  Of course you can always login to your Jooners account and check out the action on your sheet.  But, with a premium account, there’s no need!  We send you a notification when volunteers sign up.
  • Ability to change commitments –  You can let your participants modify and change their commitments on all sign up sheets.

I like to think of a premium account as the cherry on top.  Free accounts are fabulous, but if you really want to get serious about organizing and save time, I recommend you give it a try.  We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Happy Organizing!

“Your kids grow up way too fast”

Today we talk with Tanya K. a super member of the Jooners community.  Her comment about kids growing up too fast, hit home with all of us moms here at Jooners.   Enjoy her wisdom!

Jooners:  Hi Tanya….Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tanya:  I am a work from home mom with two boys, ages 9 and 11.  Like most kids their age, they are involved with soccer, church, basketball, Adventure Guides and Future Problem Solvers.  We live in San Clemente, California but my kids attend a private school in Laguna Niguel, about 22 minutes away.  Accordingly every time I can communicate or collaborate with someone at school in a way that avoids a round-trip, it is a blessing to me.  I tend to be a fairly active parent in all of my kids’ activities.  Off the top of my head … I have coordinated 6 book fairs, been a team parent more times than I can count, a room parent six times, teach at Sunday school and volunteer to provide technology help for all of the major school fundraisers

Jooners:  How did you first hear about Jooners?

Tanya:  Four years ago I was a room mom for my second grader.  Half-way through the year I became convinced that there had to be a better way for parents to sign up to help out in the classroom than the “reply all” method we were using on a monthly basis.  Despite the email box explosive “reply all” method that especially irritated many working parents, many shifts would have double volunteers and others would remain unfilled.   Initially I wanted to create my own on-line service just for our classroom so I called a company to see if I could rent some space on their server.  As the customer service agent was typing in my order, she innocently asked me why I was renting the space.  I explained to her my intention and she said “Oh no.  You have to use Jooners!”  As she described the service to me, I quickly cancelled my order and searched for Jooners on the Internet.  The rest is history.
Jooners:  What do you use Jooners for?

Tanya:  EVERYTHING!  I just checked my account and have created and published 45 sign up sheets – monthly volunteers, snack schedules, book fairs, meal preparations for families in need.  I have also responded to countless sign up sheets used by the 20 plus other parents at our school.  It is the organizing tool of choice at our school.
Jooners:  Has using Jooners made your life easier? If so, how?

Tanya:  By all means, it has cut down the time I spend each month as a Room Parent by 50% or more.  I just set up the monthly sheet at the start of the year (15 minutes) and copy it every subsequent month (5 minutes.)  The automated reminders are fantastic and help people remember what they signed up for weeks before so you get fewer people not showing up.

Jooners:  What are the three most important things you have learned in your volunteering efforts?

Tanya:  Your kids grow up way too fast.  Spend time with them instead of the computer and you will be blessed. 2) Assume that at some point in your venture someone will be upset or offended by something you do as an organizer.  95% of the time it is a reflection on the other person so just shrug it off.  Apologize sincerely the other 5% of the time.  3) Don’t sign up for things if your heart isn’t in it.  “God loves a cheerful giver.”  You don’t get credit in your after life for the other stuff.

Jooners: What advice do you have for those new to organizing?

Tanya:  Be sure to explore the sign up sheet templates.  They can save you quite a bit of time and effort.  Also, don’t feel the need to fill in every unmet need.  You are already giving of your time and talents.  If for some reason there is a party with red jello cups, but not green ones – life will go on!

Tips on Volunteering as a Family

I love this….a mini tutorial on how to how to volunteer with your whole your family!

10 Steps to Family Volunteering Fun!
(This comes courtesy of Generation On)

  • Pick an activity all can enjoy.
  • Ask about: ages, safety, dress & training.
  • Try it before committing long-term!
  • Be prompt, courteous & eager to help.
  • Praise & encourage little ones’ “big” efforts!
  • How was it? Swap thoughts & stories.
  • Celebrate! What a great achievement!
  • Scrapbook memories & keep a volunteer calendar.
  • Ready for more? Brainstorm ideas together!
  • Invite other friends & families along next time!

Why I love Highline Park

High Line Park is located in an unusual place. You can only get to it by climbing a very steep set of stairs. But once you are there, NYC becomes a movie, playing just for you.  These photos don’t do it justice.  Here is the food. Here is the art. Here is the park.  This is a great place for local teens to get their hands dirty.  Efforts like this, sing to me and I hope that they are using our sign up sheets!

If you are planning a visit, start here.  And bring back photos to share, ok?

Pinterest: love’s in the air….

Suddenly everywhere you look the little P is peeking out and winking at you. It is unique in its flounce-y retro red and it stands out in contrast to all the greys and blues of Facebook and Twitter.

What is Pinterest all about? If you are curious….

  1. It is visual.  You don’t have to write or be smart. Just point and click and the pictures show up on your boards.
  2. It is lovely.  Is someone back there coordinating colors?  Do they know that it is late winter and warm whites and cafe latte browns are giving way to peeks of bright young green?  Or are they just coordinating with Pottery Barn?
  3. It says something about you.  No two pin boards are alike. Just like snow flakes. Just like humans. It is YOUR board and it may just become your billboard! Are you ready?
  4. Do you have a board that you’d like to share?  We’d love to give you a shout out.

Need an invitation?  Email me ( and I will invite you.

Best group gift ideas … and easy money collection online

Wedding shower.
Surrounding that special friend with a thoughtful gift that really honors the individual is an exciting and meaningful prospect.  Often it’s so hard to do.  The great thing about a group gift is that it can save everyone money.  In the sum, these smaller $ offerings turn into one gift of greater impact.

For really memorable gift ideas try to think outside the box.  There’s no “Oh wow!!!” in gift cards, the next sweater or the latest book.  Think about:

–  Photo album of lots of things your group has done together.
–  “Dead Poet’s Society” reading picnic in a glorious spot.
–  Yellow lab puppy named “Brulée”!
–  A necklace the group got together and hand-made.
–  Air ticket to a nearby city with an overnight hotel included.
–  Video of friends telling stories about you — uploaded to YouTube for group watching!
–   Each person delivers a “comfort food” dinner to the friend over several months.
–  The gift of health…  yoga, pilates, aerobics classes.
–  Write a book.  Each chapter from a different person with a story about the friend.

For more great ideas we loved these on Today’s Mama.  And if you’re a group just too pressed for time, consider a VERY unique hand-made gift from!  Then let Jooners make the group money collection way simple with our online service.  Just watch how easy it is!