Keeping organized OUTSIDE the home

One big benefit of home organization is being able to find things quickly; “a place for everything with everything in it’s place”. In fact, I saw on Jennifer Jones terrific site that “for every minute spent getting organized, an hour is gained”. That’s a phenomenal investment!

Couple the time saved with the high-cost of many of the things our families carry around these days, and it’s clear that we not only need to be organized IN our homes, but we need a way to keep track of things OUTSIDE our homes.

That is the basis for why we created FOUNDio. We’re web developers with kids…kids who have expensive phones, tablets, games and, of course, school items. We’ve had a few close calls where some of those high-end gadgets have almost been left behind.

The interesting part is that not only do we have expensive phones/tablets with us at all times, everyone else does too! Why not take advantage of this free army of “Finders” to help recover a lost item?

All that is needed to avoid losing expensive items are the following:

  1. A way to mark our phones so a Finder knows what to do to notify us
  2. A simple, web browser based notifying system available to the Finder
  3. Honesty by the Finder

1) Marking our phones

phone_4acesIf someone finds your phone or other item, there are very few options available to the Finder. If the phone still has power, maybe you have an “owner” screen that will notify them. Hopefully you do not have the screen locked!

A more effective way that seems so simple is to mark your phone so that a Finder knows exactly what to do with it. Give them what they need to take action now so you can get your phone back quickly. Most people lose things within 10 miles of their house so the faster a Finder can reach you, the better. Look at the Tag on this phone and ask yourself what would you do if you found it and knew someone was desperately looking for it? Now, that label is a rough, hand-written one…but it would still work!

2) Notifying System

Of course, we are talking about FOUNDio as the central notifying system. There are 2 main pieces of information needed for FOUNDio to work…a Tag ID and an associated Email address. These are both defined when someone creates their personal Tag ID.

Once the Tag ID has been registered, it can be put on any number of items like the phone above. The key point is that the Tag ID does not give away any personal information like your name (especially for kids), cell phone number, address, etc.

The FOUNDio notifying system is always available for a Finder to use via their phone’s web browser (no “app” needed). They would simply go to, enter your Tag ID and give you instructions on how to get your phone back. For example, “I left your phone with Jim at the customer service desk at the Giant grocery store on 1st avenue”.

The FOUNDio system will email you that information to your web based email account which you can check from a friend’s phone or your laptop at home.

3) Honesty

This is the best part. It lets honest people shine!

Virtually every person today is walking around with a smart phone with a web browser and most people are honest. If they find a phone that is “locked” or “dead”, it’s very unlikely they would keep it.

However, if there is no easy way for them to notify you, they may not take the time to track you down. Don’t let a Finder toss your phone because they don’t know what to do with it!

Help others be honest and Tag it with FOUNDio!


Losing stuff stinks…the genesis of FOUNDio

I’ve been asked several times, “Why did you start FOUNDio”?

The answer is simple: We’re web developers with kids.

They (and us) periodically misplace expensive things like phones, tablets, laptops, school books, keys and even coats. We decided to create a service for our own use that would help us recover our valuable items without being a security risk to us or our kids. The service needed to be easy to use, work effectively and protect our identity.

Since I already run a web-based development company, we set out one Friday with a whiteboard and a few basic ideas…

  1. It needed to be easy to use; no special labels or tags to buy
  2. It needed to be free…forever
  3. It needed to be safe for kids to have on their things
  4. It needed to be personal so you could use one easy to remember Tag ID for all your stuff
  5. It should not require an “app” any phone browser will work

FOUNDio was born.

With our base service up and running, we decided to open it up to the public for free. If you like it, please tell your friends and family about the service so we can get lots of people (and their stuff) protected.