Is there an app for this?
November 14, 2021 7:21 AM   Subscribe

My family has a vacation home that is in frequent use by many different groups of people, and on most of those trips at least one thing breaks. Is there one iOS-friendly app or website that will let us track stays in the house and keep a running task list? (Maybe something targeted at airbnb/vrbo hosts, though that is not our situation.)

Ideally this app would have the following features:

- A calendar that can only be edited by certain people, but that many people could view, so everyone can see at a glance when the house is available but only the people in charge can actually dole out dates (best case scenario would be the ability for the "many" to be able to request dates in the house, but if we have to continue arranging that by text it's fine)

- A task list that anyone with access to the calendar can add to, so that if e.g. the oven breaks, Jack can write that on the list even if he's not one of the people in charge of the house. It would be even better if there were also space to add more information about each task, like when it's scheduled to be fixed and who's taking responsibility for it.

- If the app is paid that's fine, but only if it's paid by one person (subscription or one-time is fine). We don't want every visitor to the house to have to pay for an app, we want this to be as seamless as possible so that people actually use it. This is also why we'd like to have one app that does all this stuff, rather than a Google Calendar + some separate solution for tasks.
posted by goodbyewaffles to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine uses a service called SharedKey to manage her vacation home. It definitely has a calendar function.
posted by suelac at 7:23 AM on November 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Google Calendar does scheduling and tasks. Realistically, for making sure repairs and tasks get done, one person should check status regularly, assign tasks, etc. That person gets 1st dibs.
posted by theora55 at 10:10 AM on November 14, 2021

A Google Calendar account that only allows one person (profile) to add appointments will probably only let that same person add tasks. What you could do is have people send an email to that account and then the person managing it can add those to the Tasks. This assumes people can view the list if the calendar is shared with them. I am not sure about that.

This is how you add an email to a task:
...Add to tasks icon at the top of the screen among the options that let you trash a message or mark it as unread. It’s the one that looks like a circle with a check mark and a small plus sign. Click it, and your thread (or threads) will move to a list of tasks that appears on the right side of the screen.

Then you want to make sure people know to check the tasks list to see if an item has already been reported. They should use a descriptive title so people browsing the list can see at a glance "Bathroom Sink" instead of "fix this".
posted by soelo at 10:23 AM on November 14, 2021

That sounds exhausting - can you just make a set of guidelines for each party to take responsibility, like:

1. If anything breaks during your visit, you're in charge of fixing or replacing it during your visit.
2. Please email the Owner immediately to let them know what happened.
3. Please book the repair / replacement to happen during your stay. Please CC Owner on all messages.
4. If the item can only be fixed after your stay is over, email Next Guest and Owner, to let them know what to expect.
5. For items broken through negligence (like a baseball through a window or a twist tie in the dishwasher), that party covers the entire repair cost. For items that break through wear and tear (like the washing machine motor failing), the cost of the repair will be split 6 ways and 1/6 th will be added to the rental fees for each party's next visit.

Here is a list of local contractors we trust.

Thank you for taking responsibility to help keep the property running smoothly! Managing the maintenance is a big task and arriving to find broken amenities is no fun. If any party breaks an item and inconveniences the next guest, that party will get last dibs for choosing a weekend next summer.
Thanks so much for understanding!
posted by nouvelle-personne at 12:55 PM on November 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

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