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Free Productivity Tool

Discussion in 'Get productive' started by Calcul8or, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    Hi All,

    A little while ago, I posted about an app I was developing that I could use to manage my workload and prioritise projects, see what impact my estimation of the time I thought each would take to complete had on the month ahead, take and record notes for each project, and most importantly to record the time I spend on each for billing purposes.

    I built it because I couldn't find any existing system that met my needs, and I imagine there are plenty of other people like me out there, especially Freelancers and Solopreneurs, who could benefit from using it.

    So, it's called Priority-Zero!, it's up and running, and it's completely free to anyone who wants to use it.

    I'm also very keen on privacy, and concerned about its erosion on the internet, so you won't even need to enter an email address or any other personal information to use it.

    Anyway, that's my little gift to the world, and I hope it helps people be more productive!

    Cheers,
    Shail
  2. RunicConvenience

    RunicConvenience Active Member

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    looks. ok on desktop. surprised you have not gone material design on it. especially for the notification area.

    my main failing is the roles I have always worked has been call centre styled so schedules did not exist its essential work comes when it does and you must finish it as soon as it hits your queue.

    but will see if I can work scheduling around that as I know it is the main thing removing my productivity in life and test your webapp out for a few days
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    Calcul8or likes this.
  3. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    @RunicConvenience I hope you find it useful!

    Could you please elaborate a bit more on what you meant about material design? The notification area is blank at the moment because there aren't any notifications yet, but that's going to change very soon.
  4. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Shail,

    I just wanted to drop in to let you know that I saw your video and really like your App.

    Great job!

    Cheers
    Calcul8or likes this.
  5. RunicConvenience

    RunicConvenience Active Member

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    Material Design.

    basically a layout style where you use elevation and animation to show seperations. so you would have the Calander being a "card" that floats on top of the background

    then another card for the Task list and a third for the "timer"

    the hamburger menu on the right

    [​IMG]

    does not need to fill the screen it could simply show on the right.

    the use of "back" in the frame on the right is also somewhat against how most websites would work these days. would be simpler to just have it open a full screen "card" like you do with report that you can close to return to previous screen.

    would also mean it would work for mobile as well. anyway more about material design

    https://material.io/
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  6. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    Thanks Paul! I appreciate the feedback!
  7. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    @RunicConvenience aha! I see what you mean!

    All I can say in my defense is that I'm a builder, not a designer. My biggest struggle was trying to make it not too revolting to look at! Lol

    I'm going to study the link you gave, and see if I can improve the appearance.
  8. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    Hi Shail,

    You'll go nuts as a non designer trying to get your head around the full Material Design Spec...there's heaps of front end frameworks that comply straight out of the box. I've used this one quite a bit, and it may suit you as I see you're using Jquery and so do they;

    https://materializecss.com

    I'm pretty sure there's even a Bootstrap version.

    I actually really liked the logic/process of your app (and the instructional video) and in a past life it would have suited me fine as a daily driver.

    My only comment would be that if you want to commercialise it I found the UI a little clunky between "actions" and looking briefly at your code it didn't appear you were using any 2 way data binding Java Script libraries. Have a look at these, they may be of use if you;

    An oldy but goody https://knockoutjs.com/ or the new kid on the block that seems to be taking the web app world by storm https://vuejs.org/

    Not sure about about Knockout, but you can try/use Vue from a CDN without any need to install.

    Cheers
    Calcul8or likes this.
  9. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    @Greg_M thanks for your comments and feedback. You're right on both scores, I lasted about 5 minutes looking at material.io late last night, and figured I'd be much better off looking at it again with a fresh set of eyes.

    As for databinding, right again, and I know exactly what you mean about the clunkiness.This is something I want to implement in future iterations, if it gets enough traction and builds a reasonable amount of users.

    I'm also very aware of the need for style and design improvements, and will re-assess as the journey unfolds. The project was inspired by my own need to organise my work, and the process flow is one that I personally find really helpful. So the current version is more like a working concept rather than a polished MVC product.
  10. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    The process flow is very good imo, I've tried what seems like a thousand of this type of app and none of them fitted well...I think yours would.

    I used to have a lot of stuff tied to deadlines for multiple clients, usually billed on a time basis so a timer was mission critical. I found yours quite intuitive for this type of work flow.

    I think the styling is secondary to process (but hey, I'm not a designer or marketer) but UI consistency is easier with a decent frontend framework.

    Vue is worth a close look.
  11. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    @Greg_M thanks for all your tips! Your insight is really valuable, and I appreciate it!

    Sounds like you would have been the ideal user for P-Zero!
    Greg_M likes this.
  12. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    Hi Shail, It's not suitable for my type of work / scheduling, but it looks quiet good based on the video, and I could see where it may have being handy in a previous life of mine.

    My main comment is ignore those who complain about design, unfortunately today there are heaps of app's which you can tell people have spent hours and hours getting them to look pretty, but forgotten about the main reason of the app, the functionality. Personally I don't care if an app looks good, as long as it does what I want it to do. Keep up the great work.
    JacquiPryor, Calcul8or and Greg_M like this.
  13. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    I agree that too many apps sacrifice functionality and user experience for "pretty" but I think there is more to it than that, with how design specs like Material Design add a consistency to the UI.

    The move away from desktop by many "average" users to smaller devices and mobile use in particular means there's a lot less real estate to display/use for functionality. Also users are becoming more familiar with using other gestures or input methods than just a mouse click, e.g. swiping on touch screens.

    Material Design is very much a Google/Android philosophy. If you use any Google product like Gmail (both web and mobile app) you'll find they all work/display in a very similar fashion. The user get's familiar with how the menus etc work...they may then try something new, and if it functions how they expect it to (in a familiar way) the onboarding process is greatly simplified...it may look like crap but they can figure out how to use it easily.

    If your target market is Apple users, no problem, there's equivalent tools for creating familiar interfaces on the fly. Some frameworks now let you do either at build time prior to deploying.

    None of the above will fix a crap product or service though.
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  14. Calcul8or

    Calcul8or Active Member

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    @bb1 When I was looking for an existing system to use, that is exactly what I found. Most apps seem more intent on being "hip" or "cool" rather than useful.

    I normally build customised applications for specific business purposes, so functionality is always more important than "pretty", which is why the latter is hardly my primary focus most of the time. But, as @Greg_M points out, an offering to general users probably does need to be a little bit fluffy to have appeal. I'm sure the main reason someone would decide not to use it would probably be because it isn't fun enough. This doesn't really bother me, because I built it to help me work, not play.

    I'm not expecting to be inundated by people wanting to use it, and I doubt it's ever going to appeal to everyone. I'm offering it for free, so it's not crucial for it to achieve a break even point. In fact, if I started getting thousands of users, it'd probably end up costing me money!

    It is what it is, and it's there if anyone wants to use it. I'll add things now and again as I find time, but it's not going to be a commercial venture for me. At best, apart from using it myself, I'll include it as an interactive item in my portfolio for prospective future clients.
    Paul - FS Concierge likes this.

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