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Chores? What chores? No more excuses!

Are you using a FamZoo checklist as an online chore/job chart for your child? If so, you may have wondered: when do upcoming chores appear on the chart? The truth be known, the answer to that question wasn’t as obvious as it should’ve been. That is, until this week. We’ve just rolled out some checklist improvements to make the behavior of upcoming chores much more natural.

Upcoming Chores on a FamZoo Online Chore Chart

Here are the new rules that describe when upcoming chores will appear on your chore chart:

  1. Due Today ViewWhen you’re browsing your list in the DUE TODAY view, you’ll see all chores due on the current day — no changes there.
  2. Due This Week ViewWhen you’re in the DUE THIS WEEK view, you’ll see all chores — whether past-due, due today, or upcoming — with a due date that falls within the current week. (Note: surprisingly, this is actually new behavior. In the past, you wouldn’t necessarily see upcoming chores in the remainder of the week. That was understandably confusing. Doh! Sorry ’bout that!)
  3. All Open ViewWhen you’re in the ALL OPEN view, you’ll see upcoming chores that are within an “appropriate” time horizon. Here’s how we define “appropriate” for the different types of repeating chores and situations:
    • For chores that repeat daily, you’ll see a week’s worth of upcoming occurrences. So, you’ll see what’s due through the next 7 days.
    • Similarly, for chores that repeat weekly on certain days, you’ll see any upcoming occurrences that fall within the next 7 days. There’s one exception: if you use the “Every N Weeks” option to skip some number of weeks between occurrences, you’ll see the upcoming chores that fall within the next N weeks.
    • Chores that repeat monthly or yearly follow the same pattern as weekly ones, but the time horizon is a month (or N months when using the “Every N Months” option) or a year, respectively.
    • Whenever you add a new chore, you’ll always see its first occurrence — even when its start date is way off in the future. Otherwise, you might add a chore and not see anything appear on the list. That would be confusing.
    • And finally, whenever you check off or delete the last occurrence of a chore, you’ll see its next occurrence. That just feels right.

Got all that memorized? Of course not! The good news is you shouldn’t have to think about those rules at all. Assuming we’ve got them right, things should just feel natural as you’re adding, browsing, and checking off your chores.

If not, just give us a holler!


Unknown aka The Blog Post Author

My children are pre-checking their chores. Is there a way I can make the checklist for the children only viewable for that day and they can only see one day of chores?


Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Hi Cindy,

I'm afraid there's no way to truly prevent the kids from seeing the upcoming horizon of chores, but if you have them sign in and set the viewing mode to today, that will reduce the chance of inadvertent check-offs:

To monitor more closely, you can be alerted upon check-off as follows:

And, you can roll-back prematurely checked items as follows:

(BTW: sent this info via email in response to your customer service request earlier today - perhaps it ended up in your spam folder or GMail promotions tab)

Unknown aka The Blog Post Author

I'm new to the chore list and I understand the 4 ways of viewing the checklist. But, it seems like the view is limited to the specific checklist selected only. For example, if I wanted to see every task/chore that is due this week, I would have to change the dropdown to each checklist? What if I wanted to see everything that is due this week for all checklists made? Does that make sense? I'm new so i'm not sure if that is viewable somewhere else other than the checklist tab.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Hi Jocelyn, You're correct, we don't have a consolidated view across checklists, so you have to navigate with the drop-down unless you combine the kids' chores on a single family-shared checklist (annotating each one with the child's name in the description - like "Johnny: pick up clothes"). Being able to see a consolidated view would indeed be nice. We'd probably have to let people choose the individual checklists to include in the consolidated view since people can use checklists for such a wide variety of things - from a grocery list to a chore chart. Unfortunately, that makes the enhancement more complex.

Wyc aka The Blog Post Author

I also would like the ability to not allow the checking off of future/past events.

Seeing a week's worth of tasks for daily events also seems excessive and unneeded especially because the last rule is "whenever you check off or delete the last occurrence of a chore, you’ll see its next occurrence"

That last rule is really all I want but there is no way to have a reoccurring task without also having a repeating interval. It would be nice if you could have a repeating event without it being a daily event. i.e. If you do a load of laundry you can check it off but it reappears so you have the option of doing a second load of laundry that same day. Because of the last rule, you can kindof do this by setting the repeat interval to weekly/monthly if you ignore the date but it would be nicer if you could have a repeating non-dated event.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Hi WYC, thank you for the thoughtful feedback and suggestions.

Protecting future/past items from kid meddling is a good suggestion. It can be a bit unforgiving of mistakes though, so would need to be coupled with some reasonable "undo" capability. Alternatively, you might like the approach of accumulating earnings into a separate IOU account for weekly review before payout as described here: http://blog.famzoo.com/2017/08/approve-chore-earnings-before-payment.html

Getting the time-horizon window "right" is actually kind of complicated. If you're at the beginning of the week and you have a daily task ("walk the dog") and you're in the THIS WEEK view, it's unnerving not to see it appearing each day through the end of the week.

Totally agreed on supporting a new flexible repeat interval of "repeat-when-checked-off".

Wyc aka The Blog Post Author

I see no problem with a kid being able to undo a task that was recently checked but it makes sense to me that only a parent should be able to undo a task that was checked on a past day.

Hulfam aka The Blog Post Author

I'm a new user still getting our family bank set up. I want to set up a chore called "Empty Dishwasher" where the reward is $.25 for doing it, or a penalty of $.10 if a parent does it instead. This task repeats at irregular intervals, so none of the existing interval options are suited to it. "Repeat when checked off" would be ideal.

You signaled support for this option in a comment on 1/2/19, but if it's been added, I'm not finding it. Is this feature forthcoming, or abandoned? I can't think of a workaround for this kind of task. I don't want to have to manually enter such a frequent task every time, but neither reward nor penalty should be triggered on days the task was not available to complete. Some tasks should always be visible and repeat "as needed", not on a rigid timetable.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

"Repeat when checked off" is still on our feature wish list and it will be a higher priority now that we finished our massive user interface overhaul (see https://blog.famzoo.com/2023/01/a-new-look-for-famzoo-in-2023.html). In the meantime, I would model your scenario as two separate chore items: (1) "Child emptied dishwasher" with a 25 cent reward to Child's account repeating daily expiring after 1 day, and (2) "Parent emptied dishwasher for child" with a 10 cent penalty to Child's account repeating daily expiring after 1 day. On any given day, you can check off one or the other or just let both harmlessly expire. If the opportunity can happen more than once a day, you could have AM and PM versions of the pairs.

Hulfam aka The Blog Post Author

Thank you for the update and suggestion. After posting my comment, I realized one of my built-in assumptions was wrong. I was thinking if I set up the task to repeat and expire each day, with the penalty assessed "when item expires", that could incur unwarranted penalties. If I leave both reward and penalty set to "when checked", though, then I could accomplish the same thing as your workaround, but in a single item, right? That is, if neither box is checked before it expires, then nothing happens, so ti would work like a standing task and either possible consquence would happen if a box is ticked before expiration.

I'll still look forward to a "repeat when checked off" as a more elegant way to handle that, but as long as the penalty isn't made automatic if the child didn't check off the reward yet, I can achieve the same purpose...I think. I'm still setting it all up, so have yet to confirm it'll work the way I expect.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

They have to be two separate checklist items because when a given item is checked off, it fires all rewards and penalties associated with it that are triggered by a checkoff (no matter who checks it off). So, you have to set it up as described in my original comment above. In my original description above, I should have included that the reward/penalty is "when checked" (as opposed to "when expires") as you point out above.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Just hit the CONTACT US link in FamZoo if you have any trouble getting it set up and we'll help you out.

Heather P aka The Blog Post Author

Hello, I am getting ready to set up chore checklists but cannot find an answer to a question. I have 3 children that have similar but not identical chores and different earning amounts. How do I set up their separate lists? I cant imagine they want to see each other's checklists, do I just name them per child and they only pull up the relevant one? Also, can I copy a list and just modify as needed or do I need to create each one from scratch? We have been using a monthly chart and certain chores rotate. That is easy to do on a manual list, I am not sure how to do it here though. Hopefully once I figure it out, it will be easier for all of us!

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Hi Heather, you can create additional separate chore charts for each child with each child as the owner and "share with" set to the parents. That way, each child sees only their own list and they can each have slightly different items/amounts. We do not have a copy-list action, so you'll need to create each from scratch up front.

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