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The Household Wiki

My wife and I have been making an effort to move away from the TV. The winter weather in Seattle makes it easy to sit in front of the tube and eat Cheetos all day- which we both agree is a bad, bad thing.

We’re finding that without TV we focus more on computers in the house and getting more things done via wireless Internet connections. I think we’ll have a laptop with a wireless Internet connection in our immediate vicinity from now on.

This sets us up for an experiment using wikis in the household. We’ve been using a wiki to organize travel plans lately and it’s been perfect. We can update it at home or work or anywhere we’re connected. This experience has me thinking about other ways we can use a wiki in our house.

If you're new to wikis- see this entry.

Wikis and To-Do Lists

We are incessant list keepers and often have multiple note-pads for our various lists. The problem is that the pads get mixed up, redone, lost, etc. Plus, they don’t travel well- my wife doesn’t take the to-do list to work, so she keeps a separate one and then has to merge them on paper. There has to be a better way to keep up with these notes to ourselves.

We’re going to try using a wiki to keep up our multiple lists and see if we can wrangle our to-do’s in one place. My hypothesis is that a wiki may be a more efficient way to keep track of our lists. Here are some of the reasons why I think it may work for us:

Update-able From Any Web Connection

We can manage common lists from Internet connections at home, work, hotels and even wireless devices. Paper can’t be everywhere at once.

Lists Become Living Documents

Instead of having multiple pads with to-dos crossed out, we have a single document with to-dos that are managed over time and in a changeable format. A grocery list becomes a persistent document that serves as a reminder for future trips.

Sharable with Others

In cases where we compile a list of activities for a group, we can just share the wiki with the group and let them provide their own input. An example may be a camping trip list.

My bet is that there will be a number of unexpected problems and opportunities once we get going on this experiment. I’ll report back in a while to let you know how it’s going.

How would you use a household wiki?