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Jooners !

Original post made by MidtownMom, Midtown, on May 19, 2009

This was bound to happen sooner or later - Jooners got the schools hooked onto its calendar/planning website with the heavy advertisements of it being "Free" - and now have sprung the $9.99 fee ..

I have used Jooners for events before. Its neat .. my dilemma is: When I send out an event, am I sort of asking the other parents to pay the $9.99 fee???

Comments (24)

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Posted by jooners life sentence
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 20, 2009 at 1:28 am

I've signed up for Jooners before, too. Now I can't get off. They have a glitch in their system where they CANNOT REMOVE YOU once you're in. That's their explanation, not mine. You can deactivate your account, but you can't get it deleted. Buyer beware.

I dread the year when a room parent asks for parents to join Jooners for classroom communication. I don't think these well-intentioned parents realize what they're asking their fellow parents to get into.

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 7:03 am

Yes .. if the room parent asks all parents from the class to join Jooners .. it is like asking the 20 other families to pay $9.99 or $19.99 !!

Jooners basically used this marketing gimmick .. I have heard that their representatives went to each and every PAUSD school and offered hands-on tutorials; they created class accounts and so on and so forth .. a very underhand way (not enough disclosures) to get people to pay.

I certainly am not paying the $9.99 .. I just don't agree with their underhand way of operation.

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Posted by
a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2009 at 10:52 am

Hello everyone Tina here from Jooners....

I want to clarify that Jooners is completely FREE for the volunteers.

The only person who needs to pay is the organizer of the sign up sheet. The volunteers signing up to contribute items, time etc. access the sign up sheet completely FREE and don't need to pay.

In the case of schools, there is a group discount program and a fundraising program. Please email me at if you are interested.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to clarify this and I apologize for any confusion.

Tina Berger
Community Manager

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Posted by Lana P.
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 11:12 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Marci Reichelstein
a resident of Downtown North
on May 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by stanford mom
a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm

I want to respond to Midtown Mom's comments. The world changed a lot last fall when the market crashed. Advertiser's dollars don't flow like they used to be. The assumption in the post is that there was an intent to mislead - maybe the situation just changed around Jooners. Given what's happened it's easy to pin bad intent on businesses (and it has been all too true in the financial sector), but if it's not true, it sure can hurt a small start up that is just trying to make it.

I didn't know Jooners had started to charge the coordinator, but I have used Jooners in the past and it's an excellent service. It's the best for recruiting volunteers to bring things in an efficient way. I organized some potlucks with hundreds of people and it was the simplest, most painfree organizing experience I ever had.

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm


I am an organizer as well as a volunteer .. there are plenty of us in the same boat due to the multi-tasking. How is Jooners planning to address this situation?

You have mentioned group discount for the school - could you elaborate on it, please? I can send you an email - but I have a feeling that there are others who will also benefit from this information. If it is a group discount, is it limited to room-parent type of activities only? What about other smaller activities we plan for the school - like games, pot lucks etc?

@Stanford Mom - yes, I am very well aware that the market crashed and advertising money stopped flowing in. Many many of us are affected by this downturn. Quite a few are not fortunate enough to even have a pay check flowing. Like any other business getting affected, Jooners probably is experiencing the same downturn. Tough luck ..

I personally like Jooners. I hope to use it in the future ..

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Posted by stanford mom
a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Nice post Midtown Mom. You have gotten a good discussion going.

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Clarification - I don't mean to imply that Jooners mislead anyone.

Jooners probably had a fine print in there somewhere saying that it could turn into a membership site in the future. I don't recall the representative mentioning that in the "tutorial" session ( I am sure she did not mention it, since other wise, plenty of "sharp-mom-ears" would have caught it )

I run quite a few events for our school and community. A lot of times, work gets delegated - we all use Jooners. With the "co-ordinators pay" approach, I cannot request someone else to take up a task and see it through - since this other person becomes a co-ordinator and is expected to pay .. I am interested in knowing how the other co-ordinators plan on addressing a situation like this ..

Its a very nice and useful product and I hope the company succeeds ..

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Posted by Tina
a resident of College Terrace
on May 20, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Hello again...

Our school discount program is for schools or teams with many Jooners' accounts. Below is the pricing, but as you can note the pricing is not as good as the two-week offer we have in place until June 1st for $9.95. So if your school/team would like to subscribe to multiple accounts, I would recommend doing it before June 1st and locking in the $9.95 per year offer for as long as you have the account (i.e. the price for the accounts that subscribe by 6/1/09 does NOT go up to $19.95 per year).

Additionally you had asked about delegation and how the volunteer/organizer relationship will work. We recommend that you create an account per classroom from which all activities for that classroom can be conducted. This way when someone is organizing a field trip on behalf of a classroom, they can use that account. It won't be a personal account, but it can be passed on year after year from room parent to room parent.

Alternatively, you can have 5 or 10 (or however many) Jooners accounts for your school and give them out for projects and activities as needed.

I hope this helps answer your questions. Thank you for wishing our company well. We are working very hard to earn AND keep your trust. Thanks for providing the opportunity to serve you.

Here is the bulk pricing:
1 account = $19.95 per year
5 accounts = $79.95 per year (20% discount)
10 accounts = $139.95 per year (30% discount)
15 accounts = $179.95 per year (40% discount)
20 accounts = $199.95 per year (50% discount)
Unlimited accounts = $249.95 per year


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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm


Thanks for the details ..

Clearly, the money for the school program needs to come from PAUSD - i.e. room parents and other individuals with children in the school cannot subscribe on behalf of the schoo.

Does Jooners have an agreement for the bulk pricing from PAUSD?

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Posted by Momofthree
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 20, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Hi all-

I have to jump in here and mention that Center'd (Web Link) which does much of what Jooners does and more is completely FREE to all and never will be a paid service. It is also being used by local schools and teams (public and private) both locally and around the country. Center'd provides ready made sign up sheets and plan templates for just about any school related activity or event or you can very easily create your own. It handles recurring tasks well and enables you to have as many co-administrators as you want. All your volunteers will be reminded of their tasks in advance as well. The only requirement on Center'd for you to make a plan (be an organizer) is that you sign up for an account with an email address (which, by the way, can also easily be deleted if you don't like the service or the site.) Please check out the school event page at the following link and see for yourself

Web Link

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Posted by momofthree
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

posted a non working link - this one should work, my apologies

Web Link

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Posted by Shomla
a resident of Stanford
on May 20, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Actually there are quite a few sites that do group collaboration - and do it well. Try out Wiggio (Web Link) and Qlubb (Web Link). Both are also free so no worries about any fees. Good luck!

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Posted by MidtownMom
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Thanks for the information about similar web sites ..

I looked at Center'd - looks promising. Will be checking out the other two sites tomorrow ..

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Posted by So many kids activites
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I have used Jooners for planning activities (carpool, potluck, parties, etc.) and love their convenience and the nice interface. I haven't used the other tools that are mentioned above so no comment there, but the Jooners planners are definitely very helpful. I can see that if a school standardizes on this tool it can potentially be very helpful for the parent coordinators and volunteers.

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Posted by CaliforniaMom
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on May 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Another alternative free resource to explore is BigTent ( which is a FREE online platform that supports the activities and communication of parent and school groups. Palo Alto Mother's Club uses BigTent which offers easy and intuitive tools like event sign-ups, group email announcements, member management, dues and donation collection, and more. May be worth exploring -

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Posted by Bait and Switch?
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm

When you respond to an ad and the merchant says it is out of stock and offers you something more expensive it is called Bait and Switch. Or they show you something better, pointing out that the one they advertised is inferior.
Whatever the circumstance, starting to charge for a product that was free for a while so that you become dependent on it, is standard corporate planning / manipulation.

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Posted by maryann
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

This is ALL marketing and diluting the conversation.

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Posted by North Palo Alto mom
a resident of University South
on May 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Jooners has been a wow for the events I have organized in and volunteered for. It's hard for me to imagine going back to paper for sign up sheets. For the price of 6 coffees at a local cafe I am able to line up volunteers for an entire year. It's a shame that the down economy is moving sites to "paid" but for me it's definitely worth the service Jooners offers. It seems like a trend in the industry. SurveyMonkey and ConstantContact are charging too. I think we'll see more of this and we should all plan to put our money behind the sites we user regularly. For instance, if starts charging I'll be the first in line for their great recipes.

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Posted by North Palo Alto mom
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I used Jooners for the first time last month. I am never going back. I delayed trying it because I thought it would entail a high learning curve, but I was wrong. I love it, and although I wish sites like these didn't have to charge a fee - I think the good ones, the ones worth using, are going to have to. Jooners customer support was instantaneous and I find great value in knowing that I'm taken care of - I hope it can stay in business.

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Posted by Roommomextradonaire
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 26, 2009 at 11:45 am

I started out using Jooners to coordinate room parent events like Halloween parties and field trips. Now I use it for my personal life too - potlucks, camping weekends - it really helps anything that needs sign ups, and does it easily and intelligently. Yes, I am dependant. And yes, I'll pay the fee; the $10 is more than worth the time I gain and the frustration I loose...

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Posted by HighTechMom
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on May 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

How about using Google Docs & Spreadsheets? It's easy enough to create a quick signup spreadsheet (you could even create a template for volunteers signups and upload it so other volunteers could use it). I don't see Google changing their policies anytime soon...

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Posted by LoTechMom
a resident of Woodside
on Apr 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

I think the point of Jooners is that it is easy for anybody to use. And the cost is about the same as a single glass of wine at pretty much any eating establishment in this area. Get real people!

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