Family Life Ain’t No Picniic…

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Any parent will know that running a family requires just as much graft, synergy and organisation as managing the most well-oiled of work teams. In fact, it’s a farce that parents aren’t awarded with a universal project management qualification for a successful rearing. Strange then, that whilst businesses are inundated with a daily deluge of efficiency-optimising apps, families have been left to figure it out alone. No wonder your folks missed your school plays from time to time, and you had to walk home from basketball practice; forgive them, too, for that hastily assembled ‘ketchup pasta’…

This week, Picniic released their ‘Next Generation Family Organiser’ which promises to bring all of your family activities into one intuitive dashboard. The app features a number of handy features, including a Calendar, To-Do & Lists, Recipes, Group Events tool and a Family News messaging thread. Paid subscription also enables use of the Info Locker for storing useful information – the babysitter’s details, medical records etc. – and access to some clever 3rd-party integrations with websites like Epicurious and Jamie Oliver. The aesthetic doesn’t stray too far from Slack’s, and was described by Mobile Syrup as “a cheery grid of multi-colour blocks” that ends up looking “like the love child of iOS 9 and Windows 8.”

Co-Founder & CEO Michael Cole explained on the Picniic blog that he hoped that the app would “teach our kids the value of organisation and planning, keep them accountable, and most importantly, keep us all connected.” Frustrated by his belief that families were “being sold short on the potential to use technology,” he created an operating system for the home in order to harness today’s tools for a better quality of family life.

The Bottom Line: This long-awaited Slack-for-the-home is perfect for parents who want to make the most of their precious time with the kids. But beware of the emergence of the tech-smug family.

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