Make a family dashboard
May 16, 2021
In my family there are a lot of people and a lot of information that needs to be shared. Between the adults that’s easy since we both have smartphones. With the kids, not so easy – they don’t have smartphones or smart devices, and even if they did they wouldn’t have 24x7 access to them. So, I decided to make a family dashboard. All the dashboard is, is a google sheet displayed on an old monitor. It’s powered by a 10-year-old laptop but you could use a raspberry pi or something else.
What does everyone need to know? AKA The FAQ
What does everyone need to know? Or, what questions am I tired of answering all the time?
- What’s for dinner tonight?
- Which parent is “in charge” (as opposed to which parent is working, since COVID = work from home for us)
- When is whichever extracurricular activity happening?
- What holidays are coming up?
- What time is it?
- What day of the week is it?
- What’s the weather forecast?
Template for you to copy
Check out this Google Sheet: Here is my dashboard template you can use!
Why Google Sheets? Because everyone knows how to use it. That’s it.
Enhance - beyond Google Sheets
My goal was to “ship” as quickly as possible. After all, the ultimate requirement here is to get household members the information they need ASAP. And, since our house is small enough that we only need one dashboard, I didn’t care about scalability. So some things I added beyond the spreadsheet:
- Sports scores. I use ScoreStream to make a widget for MLB scores because that’s all we care about. You can make your own. I have the widget refresh every few minutes.
- Weather - I use MSN Weather because frankly we liked the display most. We refresh this page every five minutes.
How does it get pulled all together? It’s literally three Firefox windows with tab auto refresh add-on configured.
This is how the final product looks:
I am so cool.