Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Negative Review of the My Well Planned Day Software


I have searched and searched for a negative blog review on the My Well Planned Day software that was released this past summer. While there are plenty of complaints to be found in forums and social media pages, there has not been one official negative review written....until now.

Back in May when I first heard about My Well Planned Day's software, I was excited. I could not wait to try it out. One of my favorite planners was coming out in digital form!

I purchased the Beta-version at a reduced price (the full version was going to be about $25 more beginning in August). Knowing it was in Beta, I was able to deal with a lot of the glitches as I assumed they would continue to get better. The potential of this program was fantastic and I waited for each of the promised updates to come to pass.

Sadly, the honeymoon is over. Not only for me, but for many users, as evidenced by Facebook and various forums.

At the beginning, communication was fantastic. E-mails, webinars, updates on the MWPD site about recent and upcoming updates were plentiful. However, since August, those things have dwindled to almost nothing.

While I first looked forward to each update, I began to dread them. Each new update seemed to bring about five new glitches. Every time a spokesperson would reveal what would be included in the next update, I would set myself up for disappointment as many of those things would not (nor have they, yet) come to pass. It now seems that most of the updates have been reduced to fixing each new glitch that pops up.

Where do I begin with the list of annoyances? There are several.

1. While the notorious IT is making updates, they may want to consider updating their main website. Back in August, it was announced that the program was no longer in Beta. Nor were the "updated" versions being dubbed "1.0, 2.0", etc., but, rather, that is was fully launched and would be continually updated throughout the year as so many computer programs and apps are. So, the software went from Beta to full-release with little change. To this day, almost 2 months later, the website has the software labeled as Beta. It announces the full-release to take place in August. Not only is the version outdated, but so are the "recent" updates. The last one listed is dated July though several have occurred since then.

2. At first, if I had a problem, it would be fixed almost immediately. However, I've had an issue with not being able to delete certain things for almost 6 weeks. I mentioned to them twice. While they've definitely tried fixing it, they have obviously given up on it. Clue #1,578 that they have way too many problems to fix.

3. This was a small issue to me earlier, but, small things are magnified when added to with other things. It takes a tremendous amount of time to set the program up. Curriculum and books are required to be added in before you can lesson plan. With seven children and the fact that the program has to "think" about each item added, it is extremely time-consuming. I have seen many people mention this, but, like me, they were patient as we hoped it would pay off in the end. I am guessing that this may be one of the reasons people are so very frustrated at the lack of progress in this software. So much time invested with little return, at this point.

4. I have kept up with updates, news, and problems with the software on the. MWPD Facebook page. If I had a problem, that was the first place I would go to see if anyone else was having the same issue. When the problems seemed to mount, so did some of the negativity on the site. The solution the MWPD staff had for that was to announce that any technical problems brought up on the site would be deleted as they felt all of those things needed to be e-mailed directly to their IT department. While I understand that the FB moderator is not able to answer all the tech questions, this didn't seem an appropriate way to handle such things. I've seen this method of handling things on FB before, and it's usually a major defensive move on the part of a business who is embarrassed by their failure in an area.

I must say, I liked how it was coming along. Many of the problems others were dealing with never affected me. My biggest disappointment is the fact that it is so very time consuming and many of the nicer features seem to be forgotten. Understandably so, with the amount of time they require to fix what should already be working. However, it just seems to be becoming more bother than I have time for.

In general, however, I am more disappointed with how the whole project seems to have gotten out of control and I have begun to pity those in charge. If one has paid attention to the various things said throughout the past few months, one would realize that the head of MWPD has simply bitten off way more than she can chew. Mrs. K publishes a major homeschool magazine, does interviews for an on-line homeschool convention, home schools her own children, moved to another house in August, and is now trying to develop what could be the most complete homeschool planning software ever. There are just too many balls being juggled and this one keeps being dropped. Either someone else is going to have to take over this project completely or, I fear, it will be given up.

I hope, for many of us, this planner will meet all the hopes and dreams of its developers and users. With time, it may very well do that. However, I think any one trying to rely on it this year may be severely discouraged. Maybe if we all backed off with our expectations, MWPD could really concentrate on making this thing great without having to put out so many fires. Then, when it's right, they'll forego the 2nd year subscription fee to all those who bought it this summer.

In the meantime, I'll post tomorrow about the new planner I've begun using.

18 comments:

LisaAnne1976 said...

very well said! I actually have the 4 year planner and I don't really use it much because we use only 1 curriculum. Not a myriad of many, which my brain doesn't handle very well. So though I might not use it, I do like the format and for those who use different curriculums, God bless your amazing brain!!

Dori said...

Just want to thank you for an honest review of this! I've been searching for the "low-down" on this software since I first heard about it, months ago, and didn't understand all the positive reviews in blog posts while frustrated users are complaining away in forums, etc...Like so many other moms, I REALLY want this to live up to its expectations! I'll be waiting on it for now, though...

Jamie Parfitt said...

Good old one-year lesson plan books from Rod and Staff have gotten us through 21 years of homeschool with no updates! :-) I'd be glad to teach anyone how to set one up. How to stay on TRACK, now that's different on the other hand....

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your honest critique. I purchased the planner the very first day it was available, fully expecting a BETA product with a full release in just a few months. I worked very hard at patience, but by the end of August, I realized the developers/programmers had bitten off more than they could chew. My main frustration is their lack of accountability for that fact. When they began the policy of deleting technical issue posts from their FB page, I was finished. I asked for a refund, outlining the many problems with the program. It was declined, citing my original purchase date. The entire situation has left a bad taste in my mouth for this particular company. And that saddens me.

Kristy said...
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Betsy said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I too have been having many issues and also purchased the day it came out. Honestly i think they tried to do too much too fast instead of just concentrating on doing a few things really well and expanding from there. Case in point now they are working on mobile when their "regular" planner has a ridiculous amount of glitches -- this is just opening the door to more glitches and more unhappy customer. And the fact that comments get deleted from FB and most blogs have good reviews is just inviting more trouble!!

Betsy said...
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Kristy said...

I know they are banning anything they deem to be negative from the facebook page. If someone post too much they will ban that person. I was one that was banned. My thoughts are that I agree.. I think they bit off more than they could chew. They over promised and under delivered. I really feel their ambition and where they want to go with this product is great. It simply is not there yet. We requested a refund and it was granted and we were one of the first customers. I do wish them the best in this endeavor and I believe one day they may have the product they were aiming for. I have been asked by then not to ever purchase anything from their store. It did make me sad that they chose to handle the situation as they did, but in the end I was ok with the outcome and did get my money back.

Victoria said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. The fact that they are taking off all negative comments from their FB page is extremely unprofessional. They have mentioned they may begin a forum, but I wonder if they will as that will be more open to negative comments and reviews. They released their "app" this week and that has also begun to disappoint many. I am now completely done using this software.

Crystal said...

Thank you for posting this review. I just posted my own negative review. Unfortunately things have only gotten worse in the months since you posted.
http://crystalstarrblog.com/2013/01/a-negative-review-of-the-my-well-planned-day-software/

Donita Hammond said...

I am also happy to run across your review. I also signed up under beta and eventually when the "Full release" never happened got fed up and gave up. Now, aprox 6 months later I started looking again at the sight, hoping the long promised improvements had been made. But I can find no real information. All the reviews I am finding are obviously biased reviews from users given the software for free. I can find no updated info. Their website still claims that a mobile app is available when that is not true... only a mobile version has been created.

I had such high hopes for this software. I really thought it eventually would be the answer to all the things I wanted a program to accomplish. However it just doesn't seem to be able to accomplish what was promised. Now it looks like ALL user comments have been removed from their FB page and no one is allowed to post on their page. So I have been unable to find real updated info on if anything has improved. I was glad to run across your review. Thanks.

mansemama said...

Thanks for saving me a lot of money and trouble. So disappointed!

mansemama said...

Thanks for saving me a lot of money and trouble. So disappointed!

MamaM said...

I understand the reviewer's frustration, but this goes beyond honesty. It gets too personal! It's one thing to point out flaws and note areas of improvement but quite another to harp on deficiencies without relent. I certainly wouldn't promote something that doesn't deliver but let's give this company our prayers. Pray that they don't give up and continue working to perfect this product.

MamaM said...

I understand the reviewer's frustration, but this goes beyond honesty. It gets too personal! It's one thing to point out flaws and note areas of improvement but quite another to harp on deficiencies without relent. I certainly wouldn't promote something that doesn't deliver but let's give this company our prayers. Pray that they don't give up and continue working to perfect this product.

Jen C said...

My story started out just like your's. Excited. Willing to contribute input on an initially less than perfect product with the pleasant goal of helping create a tailored product for the homeschool community. I don't agree that FB is the place to vent frustrations in an unconstructive way. I did use the FB forum to assess whether or not the troubles I was having were specific to me or systemic. In all fairness, the marketing gal did a great job addressing comments and trying to bring positivity and create the impression that the goal of Well Planned Day was to hear the user well and respond with product changes. After about 6 months, and much wasted time and disappointing results, I requested a refund. It was clear to me that they launched WAY before the product was ready. They denied both my initial request and a second request asking them to reconsider on the basis that, whether it was intentional or not, they over sold and grossly under delivered. It is now almost a year later and it is still not ready for my use. Very disappointing although the concept sounded fabulous. At convention this year, I saw My Mardel has a similar on line product due to launch in beta in the next few months. I'll be eyeing that one with cautious hope. Thanks for your post.

Olivia said...

I'm still riding the planner train to nowhere. I did buy their paper planner again this year, but unless the new release, which is supposed to be a complete re-design by a new team, is truly useable, I won't buy even the paper planner next year.

I too, was very disappointed that they changed the format of their page and one can only comment on one of their posts, not make a post.

Elizabeth Williams said...

Just wondering what your review would be like now, with the new promised full release in August of 2013. It is almost November and nothing. And absolutely no communication from them. Why do I feel like I was taken for a fool?