Email problems

April 25th, 2010

I am sorry for the ongoing email problems that we are experiencing. I am still trying to work with the hosting company to get issues fixed after the upgrade this week.

We’re back!

April 21st, 2010

I am so sorry for MyChores down time for much of today. The hosting company did a server upgrade and something must have gone wrong because it failed to come back again afterwards.

However, they have been very good and fixed it for us, as far as i can tell things are back to normal. Please let me know if anything seems wrong.

Many thanks for your patience today, and i do apologise again for the inconvenience.


Logo contest - it’s time to vote!

May 4th, 2009

With thanks to, here is the poll where you can vote for your favourite new logo (or vote for the current one if you want to keep it the same).

Click each entry to see a bigger version. It will open in a new window/tab.

It’s not too late to get your submission in if you want to be included in the contest. Just send it to (click for email address) and i’ll add it to the poll.

Everyone can vote for one entry. I am mainly announcing this to people who actually use MyChores, but there is nothing to stop anyone else from voting if they want to.

I will announce the results in 2 weeks time: Monday 18th May.

Contest to design a new MyChores logo!

April 14th, 2009

A major new version of MyChores is in the works and i’d like to have a new logo to go with it. Since i have very little design skill i’ve decided to open it up as a contest. Design your logo, submit it, and everyone will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite!

Here’s how it’s going to go:

  • Design your logo. I can accept Photoshop and Gimp format.
  • The logo should say ‘mychores’ (lowercase, one word) or ‘MyChores’ (uppercase M and C, no space).
  • Email your submission to (click for email address) or upload it somewhere and send me the link.
  • Deadline for submissions: 30th April 2009.
  • Voting begins on 1st May 2009.
  • In keeping with the open source ethos of MyChores, you must agree for your logo to be used, shared and adapted, with attribution. See Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
  • Please use only free fonts and images that are available for reuse.
  • No prize or reward offered, apart from the good feeling if you are chosen! You will of course be fully credited and welcome to add your design as a reference on your portfolio.

Although there is no prize, i will give site supporter status to every member who enters. That’s not to say that non-members can’t enter - everyone is welcome!

For reference, the original logo looked like this:

Original MyChores logo

The current logo looks like this:

Current MyChores logo

It would also be good to have a little ‘mascot’ icon to use for Twitter and Gravatar. The original mascot was the joyful child and the current mascot is the house.

Jumping child mascot House mascot

If you don’t wish to participate in the contest, please help by spreading the word around so that as many people who might want to participate get to hear about it! Thanks! :D

MyChores domain model diagram

April 13th, 2009

If you’ve ever wondered how MyChores all works behind the scenes, here’s a little diagram to explain it:

MyChores domain model diagram

I have spent the Easter weekend working very hard on a new version of MyChores. I’m tidying up the code significantly, and implementing a few nice tweaks along the way. I have freshened up the user interface with some new icons (thank you famfamfam!). Here’s a sneak peek at how it might look (feedback appreciated)

A preview of how MyChores might look

If anyone wants to join in the effort, either on design or code, you can fork the project on github. I’m working on the branch called ‘major_new_version’. You could also follow the progress of the new version on lighthouse.

Happy Easter!

MyChores in UK Wired Magazine

April 4th, 2009

Wired UK

The Wired magazine has relaunched in the UK and MyChores is in it! John O’Reilly has written an article about life-tracking, the new trend to use the internet to track your life in numbers and statistics. Nine websites are reviewed, including MyChores. The summary for MyChores was as follows:

Mary Poppins sold her charges domestic chores as a singalong game. You can use cold, hard numbers to put pressure on yours as you chart tasks.
Positive: Good charts mean good housekeeping.
Negative: There’s no escaping the fact that it’s your turn to clean the bathroom.

Due to the nature of the article, a lot of it is focussed on numbers. It is actually quite personal for me and the way that i use MyChores. It has a few other general usage statistics that i provided. It mentions the satisfaction of having a way to measure the chores you’ve done. It mentions the team-based nature of MyChores for monitoring each other’s progress. Overall i should say MyChores comes out very well in the article, though it would be nice if it had mentioned that MyChores is open source.

The new UK Wired magazine looks good, with many interesting articles, so if you have a chance to buy it, do! I’m on pages 148-149. :)

iCal feeds from MyChores?

February 25th, 2009

Has anyone managed to get MyChores icalendar feeds into the iCal application on a Mac? Is there a special trick you have to do to make them work?

I must confess, i have only tried it with Google Calendar and kCalendar. Since they worked, i assumed that it would also work on the iCal application. Then i got an email from someone who said it wasn’t working. I just tried it, and i can’t make it work either. So is it broken, or are we missing something?

I love statistics!

January 19th, 2009

So far this month we have completed 3,827 tasks between us, which is already 135 more than last month, and we’re only 19 days into January! The projected total for the month is 6,244 - way more than have ever been completed in any month before!

Tasks completed by month

Last January we completed 3,166 - which was a record number for the time. January is obviously a good month for doing chores! :)

Resetting forgotten passwords

January 19th, 2009

I apologise to anybody who couldn’t log in recently due to the reset password functionality being broken. It is now fixed.

I am slowly going through the code bit by bit, tidying things up. Now that i’ve started, i’m finding more and more that i want to refactor. I know the importance and value of writing tests, but sometimes it’s hard to restrain myself - i just want to get in and fix it all up NOW!

The good news is, the functionality of resetting forgotten passwords is now well and truly tested, so it should never go wrong again. For anybody who is curious how the testing works, you are welcome to view the test script: forgot_password.feature

I write a stories like these describing exactly what is supposed to happen, and run them through a testing tool called Cucumber. Obviously, i cannot test every feature by hand every time, but Cucumber can run through these stories extremely quickly. The more stories i write, the more confidence i can have that everything is working as expected.

Spotting patterns!

January 16th, 2009

It has been interesting to watch the statistics this month. I see some patterns emerging:

Tasks completed in the last 28 days

Very few chores were done on Christmas Day - and so it should be! :) The beginning of the year showed a flurry of activity, with many new people signing up, presumably having made new year’s resolutions to get organised! The whole of January has seen a significant increase in the number of tasks ticked off, although i see the initial enthusiasm is slightly diminished, heh!

Most interestingly to me is what appears to be a peak around each weekend, and a dip around mid-week. This has been the first time i’ve noticed any kind of weekly pattern, so i find it quite intriguing!