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We were elated to make it through our first soccer season with a crazy amount of practices and games each week (14). We wouldn’t have been able to do it on our own, but luckily car pools came together after a month for the two club soccer teams my girls joined. Still, there were challenges in setting up a car pool. Luckily a friend turned me on to Jooners, an online sign up sheet and organizational tool, to help busy moms.
Jooners serves as a consolidation tool automating tasks that would otherwise be cumbersome and confusing. The process is user-friendly and very simple. Basically with three simple steps you create a signup sheet and engage all other participants via email.
For our soccer club teams, the scheduling challenge was that the practices kept changing. We switched again and again from town to town, from one day to another day, and the times shifted as well. Now that the Fall season is over, life is easier. Still, the soccer continues with optional soccer skills sessions. They are held a few towns over — about a 30 minute drive each way – but include both boys and girls in a wide age range.
This is good and bad. My girls are hesitant to practice with kids they don’t know and yet, we’ve paid for them as part of the club soccer fee. The exercise would also be great and it IS a nice way to keep in touch with teammates.
But how to organize a carpool of optional practices??!
My friend Nathalie introduced me to Jooners, a free electronic organization site for moms. Her friend works for Jooners, was visiting her and we all ended up doing a yoga class together. It’s a great solution.
I’m using Jooners‘ online sign up sheets (Collect Information) to set up a tentative soccer carpool. Six moms in my neighborhood can indicate interest without obligation. This way, we all can check a few hours before the session and quickly email or phone anyone who might want to car pool that day. When sessions are optional, kids change their minds frequently, so it’s nice to have some flexibility.
Jooners was very easy to set up. I used the free version to create a sign up sheet listed the moms, their email address, their cell, and a box to fill in interest level by practice session. Because I was new to Jooners, it took me two tries to get the sign up sheet modified to work for our particular needs which are not a typical use scenario. I think this will work beautifully:
Column 1: Name
Column 2: Cell phone/Email
Column 3: Interest level
Column 4: Practice Session
I sent them all this note:
Hi Bolts Moms,
Please sign up if you think your child might go to a session and you might want to car pool. You are not obligated to go but if someone else is thinking of going and wants to car pool, they can check in with you directly a few hours before the practice.
Using the Jooners sign up sheet has some added bonuses:
This Saturday is the first optional skills session that one of my kids will attend. And I am thrilled that we are going and we’ll be in a car pool! How about you? Are car pools easy or challenging for you to set up this winter?