Spendji is an excellent online application which aims to take the hassle out of arranging group activities. You know, things like joint vacations, parties, family or friend reunions, even things like weddings and home improvements. What makes it cool is the thought that has gone into incorporating all the tools you might need to get things done as a group. Collaborative budgets, money movements, best price search, as well as the usual stuff like to-do lists, calendars and group messaging. Mind you, the usual stuff is very well done too, e.g. the To-Do lists are actually useful, with email reminders et al.
Once you’ve created your activity and added a few tags you go through and add-in all the details of budgets, responsibilities and the other people who will share the organisation with you. It’s all very nicely done, with lots of discrete Ajax boxes and clearly designed information pages. The designers have also done a great job in making it easy to add data, by supplying sets of commonly used stuff (like taxi fares, airfares etc) you might need for your activity based on your initial tags. Neat feature.
There are one or two areas which could do with a little improvement. For example it’s pretty illogical not to feed the To-Do completion dates automatically into the main activity calendar, and while the create online pages feature is great (you create a page with anything you want on it relating to the activity for everyone to peruse at their leisure) there’s no obvious way to make particular words live links via cutting and pasting a URL. It would be a cool way to add value, sort of like a small wiki.
One feature definitely worth noting is the fact that anyone involved in the project can subscribe to an RSS feed of all the activities going on around the organisation, complete with who’s doing what. So at any time people can see that Dad has booked the taxi, Mum has packed the sandwiches and Uncle Fester has shipped the cat off to Mabel’s Hair Care Hotel. It’s a superb feature which is a terrific way of keeping everyone involved as the due date/s come closer.
Small niggles aside, this is a sweet application in a lot of ways. Lovely clean design, super fast sign up (you can be up and running on a project in a matter of a minute or two) and of course the fact that it’s free of charge is a bonus. There’s a bunch of ways they can keep the service free too, the commercials are obvious and some of them are already in place with the tie-ins with online services like Shopping.com and Kayak. Very nice application indeed guys!
You may ask, what is this Spendji anyway? It’s a brand new website that helps you plan your spending and manage all the details for activities, events, projects and general mayhem (well, avoid the general mayhem perhaps). Use it for yourself, or collaborate with friends, family, colleagues and groups you belong to. No more “did we get everyone to agree on the location or not?” No more “this kitchen renovation is costing way too much, am I in over my head?” No more “but I thought you were supposed to pay the caterer.” No more “did Uncle Bob chip in his share yet?” Family reunions, home improvements, weddings, vacations, parties, etc. – Spendji will help you budget for, plan and manage them.