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Looking for time-planning software for a busy dog walker
November 3, 2009 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Looking for time-planning software for a busy dog walker

My girlfriend's dog-walking business is busy, and it's taking a long time each night to plan the next day's walks. I'm looking for any kind of time-planning software that can help. Essentially the problem is to find the best solution to a set of constraints:

Dog A has to be picked up between 10am and 12am and walked for 1 hour
Dog B has to be picked up between 10am and 1pm and walked for 30 minutes

etc.etc.

At the moment she is planning her schedule by hand which is taking a long time. It seems to me that this is a job for a computer. I'm kind of resigned to writing some software myself to solve this problem, but any hints would be appreciated.
posted by primer_dimer to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would use something like Google Calendar. Create two calendars, one for "Must be picked up time" and one for "Walk Time" then you can visually arrange them, and see at a glance what fits.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:56 AM on November 3, 2009


Seconding Google Calendar. I use it to keep track of personal and professional engagements and it does a really good job of it.
posted by reenum at 10:22 AM on November 3, 2009


Hmm, I think I have not explained the problem properly. The issue is not keeping track of the engagements - it's working out which order to pick up / walk / drop off the dogs to minimise the amount of travelling time. Kind of a travelling salesman problem but with extra constraints.
posted by primer_dimer at 10:52 AM on November 3, 2009


Dog Biz Manager was just introduced and received a lot of positive attention at the recent Association of Pet Dog Trainers convention. It's a web-based application.

Might be worth a look. You can ask them for a demo. [Disclaimer: I know the business owner. This product was very well planned, designed, and tested.]

DogBiz Manager online business manager
posted by valannc at 12:44 PM on November 3, 2009


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