Allotment association software

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Sprouts

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Allotment association software
« on: September 26, 2012, 18:37 »
I am secretary of our allotment association I have seen this on various sites www.mycolony.co.uk have signed up for the free trial but seems a bit pricey when the trial ends

Anyone used it or any other software?

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 18:56 »
Gosh, someone is trying to make a bit of money out of allotments  ::)

I too am the secretary of an allotment association and would never have even imagined that I would need a piece of software to do it.

So no - never used or tried (ore even heard) of it.
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Yorkie

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 19:27 »
I use Word for the minutes, and we use Excel for the accounts.

Why would you need anything more complicated?

Edit: have now looked at it.  I see what it covers.  I'd spend the next 14 days finding out what features it has, and then put it into Excel to manage. 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 19:28 by Yorkie »
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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Goldfinger

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 19:36 »

Sounds just like a 'simple'  ??? managment programme, with the words allotment   ::) added to bling it up to sell it.

Like where you can hi light days in a calendar to remind you to do something / send a letter?

Surely there'll be a free app/programme out there to do exactly the same thing?.....  :nowink:   ::)

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simonwatson

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 08:36 »
I don't run an allotment, but I do help run the local community centre. I created a dedicated Gmail account for it. It's free and has email, calendars, task lists, reminders and Google Drive, which you can use for documents and spreadsheets.

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 18:03 »
I have a comprehensive spreadsheet which runs on GoogleDocs, which is good not least because all my committee members can see or update it in real time.  It is good not least because it automates the calculation of rents, and can answer questions such as if rents go up by so much then what is the effect on the bank account.  It includes a visual map of the plots with the names of who rents each plot.

Andy

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Baldy

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 22:02 »
Andy,
Could you provide a link or a couple of screenshots?
Ive heard great things about google apps and can grasp the spreadsheet side of things but a visualization of how you do the 'extras' would be nice.

Cheers,
Balders

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 22:20 »
I hope I can do better than pictures.  If you send me an email at andyswarbs at gmail.com then I will invited you to a copy that I will call EAA Demo Spreadsheet.  I will spend a bit of time sanitising this to remove a lot of personal information to protect my plotholders before sharing.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 22:36 »
Please remember that anything offered on our forums must be foc. or for a non monetary swap.

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Baldy

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2013, 00:03 »
 ;)
Thanks Andy _ have mailed you...
Might send you an artificial bitcoin...  ;) (though I understand the need for the warning)

Cheers,
Balders

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Aidy

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2013, 11:51 »
The Blackpool Federation of Allotment Associations which manage six sites across Blackpool use Colony, we find it very good but then  we do have a lot of data to manage.
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LilacSandy

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2013, 12:18 »
We have over 300 plots on our site and I would not want to explain to the plot holders that we were using 210.00 of their association fees a year for a piece of software.  I have been secretary and am now treasurer and have always used Word or Excel.  I would be wary of sharing on Google docs any personal info on the plot holders as this is subject to the DPA.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 13:56 »
I have written my own MS Access database to manage our allotment site.  It was simple and free :)

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andyswarbs

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2013, 14:31 »
It is good to raise the issue of the Data Protection Act.  I would ask if you have any concerns of sending any details, say via Email?   Also if a committee uses MyColony what is its DPA risk assessment?

I would argue that many, if not most committees will share personal data by sending an email attachment, for example as a word document.  Also I would argue that the difference between sending an email is equal to the same DPA aspects, and in many ways is a more risky solution.

As for MyColony that is an online solution, and so probably has a similar DPA profile as GoogleDocs.

Sharing with GoogleDocs has at least one advantage that I can share with a group called "EAA Committee" and as those members change over time they have access granted or taken away automatically. I use same group to send out emails to the committee thus if I am sending committee emails out to the correct people then de facto my GoogleDocs eaa committee folder is protected correctly.

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Yorkie

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Re: Allotment association software
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2013, 17:44 »
The council is considering going onto dedicated allotment management software for its 16+ sites and 1200+ plots.  I have seen a demo of the full Colony suite.  Whichever software is acquired, it will be hosted behind the council's firewall with secure log-in details.  As one of the site secretaries for the council, I will only be able to access data about my site and not the others.  Neither will I have access to the sensitive data e.g. concessionary rates for the tenants on my site.

GoogleDocs is as risky as email as it is on the internet and thus less well protected than the council's firewall.

In the meantime we use email to advise the council when plots are allocated to individuals, and the council likewise uses email to notify us of new people onto the waiting list.

When the software is up and running it will be far more secure than emails.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 17:45 by Yorkie »



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