The pot name describes the contents of the pot and can be chosen freely by the creator. It is recommended to choose a concise and informative title in order to avoid confusion among participants. Examples: Apartment costs, Vacation Spain 2011, etc.
The optional pot description can be used to communicate further information to the participants. This description can have a maximum length of 256 characters.
Provide your name as it should be displayed in the pot. For a clear representation make sure to keep as short as possible.
When creating a pot you need to provide an email address. This address will be used to send the creator the access information to the pot. On the one hand, the creator will receive an email containing the link to the pot, which can be distributed to all other participants. On the other hand, the creator will also receive an email containing the link to the pot's administration area, where pot settings can be edited or the pot deleted.
When creating a pot, a base currency must be chosen for the pot. This currency will be used to settle the pot and hence will be used as the default currency when adding new items. Items using foreign currencies will automatically be converted into the base currency in the overview. The pot currency cannot be changed retroactively.
The item overview is the main page of the pot. All items and the corresponding consumptions of the participants are displayed in tabular form. An involvement of a participant is marked underneath the participant's name with an orange checkmark. Further information regarding the consumption is displayed when hovering over the checkmark with your mouse.
The item overview will only display the latest 10 items by default. The submenu above the table allows you to change these settings. You can also set a specific date range of the items to be displayed.
As soon as all items have been registered in the pot or when the participants decide to close an open pot, a resolution suggestion with the open debts can be displayed. An algorithm calculates the optimal resolution with a minimal amount of transactions. However it is up to the participants to resolve the debts in according to this suggestion.
This creates a snapshot of the pot's current status in form of a PDF.
It is inevitable that rounding errors can occur when calculating the consumed, paid and difference amounts. For instance, this can happen when an amount of 10.00 is split by three people. In order to reduce subsequent errors, calculations are performed and amounts are stored on the database with a precision of 8 decimal digits. This ensures that the imprecision of the displayed amounts will never exceed one hundredth of the corresponding currency (1 Cent to the Dollar).
The description describes the contents or reason of the item. Example: Groceries, dinner, internet bill, etc.
The date field can be used for registering the date of an item. This date will be used for currency conversion when using foreign currencies. Today's date will be loaded by default.
The total amount of an item is entered here and is the basis for splitting it up among all consumers.
This page allows you to add new participants to the pot as well as delete or edit existing participants. Please note that only participants without any registered consumptions can be removed. Additionally this page shows which participants are linked to a myIOU account.
The admin area contains options, which are only available to the creator of the pot. Access is granted by following the admin URL, which is sent to the creator of the pot by email (e.g. www.iou.ch/jgs5w09i84zg231frse43879/admin).
Change pot settings
The settings of the pot can be change here. This includes the name and description of the pot as well the name and email address of the creator.
Delete all items
This option deletes all items in the current pot. The participants are not deleted. This action cannot be undone.
This option deletes the current pot. The pot including all items and participants will be irrevocably deleted. If a pot is not accessed within 6 months, the system will remove it automatically.
Apart from the basic IOU functions that do not require registration, you have the possibility to create a personal myIOU account. Regular users of IOU have the possibility to have an overview of all the pots they are using, as well as the consumed and paid amounts.
Linking to account
To add (link) a pot to your myIOU account, you simply need to access the desired pott while you are logged in. On your first visit, an option window will allow you to link your account to an existing participant or create a new participant with your account details.
You can unlink your account from a pot when in the participant overview of a pot when you are logged in.
Sign in with Facebook
If you have a Facebook account, you can directly create a myIOU account with Facebook Connect. This will save you the effort of having to remember new login credentials.
The great advantage of IOU compared to other applications is that the whole functionality can be used without logging in. This makes it possible to settle shared costs with other people (e.g. a weekend trip with a larger travel group) without everyone having to sign up. In order to keep everything secure, a unique random address is generated for every pot (e.g. www.iou.ch/lkskldgjlaksjdflkja). It is the responsibility of the participants not to share the address with people who are not involved.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions