This is here because I cannot make a new message on PH Ship
As this hackathon comes to a close, I am excited to end this chapter and begin a new one. This month has been a wonderful ride for me. Thank you for following along on this wonderful journey. I look forward to the future, and bringing Daily Vibes to your Apple devices.
As you know, I began this hackathon with an idea for the Social Impact category. There is a reason that I chose this category: I care about people. (I do have a Psych degree after all ;-)) What you don't know, is the story and vision behind Daily Vibes. Now that we are at the end, I am careful to not say Daily Vibes app, because it is more than an app. It is a system. Let me share a little bit of the backstory for this creation.
As a user, while browsing through the Apple Store I became overwhelmed trying to find the perfect productivity tool. There are so many productivity tools available that are generic, paywalled, or simply crash during use. In the past, this experience discouraged me to the point that I went back to pen and paper. I had stopped looking for a web based tool.
Now, in retrospect, the app store having tons of apps is not necessarily a bad thing. Many solutions in this space also means that there isn't a leader. And if you have been following productivity tools, and noticed one pulling ahead of the rest, there is a chance that it was acquired by someone bigger. What really sucks, is when you lose your data in such an app.
Daily Vibes is my attempt to create something different, something useful, and something that would not crash during use.
What is cool about Daily Vibes, is that it is meant to be versatile. I wanted it to be totally customizable to the person, with a common theme or layout shared among users. More than just another app, it is a lifestyle if you like. And the icing on the cake: If you are not a fan of what we are trying to do, but you still like some of the features, then you will be able to use Daily Vibes to your liking. You will be able to remove features you won't use, and add features you will use. This could be as minimal as JUST tracking your mood for the day, up to having the app replace your shopping lists, to do tasks, project breakdown, and so on.
Throughout my life, productivity and positivity did not come naturally to me. I had to work on these things actively. As a result, I wanted to incorporate these aspects into Daily Vibes. Coming from a background of negativity, working on myself to actively change that, I wanted to show people that you too can change your outlook. You just have to work on yourself through deliberate, measurable, and small achievements. Do something. Every. Single. Day. Then, improve. This is one aspect of changing ones outlook, and it is solely reliant on the user. This gives agency and importance back to the individual. It can help create a sense of control over life's daily craziness.
Another aspect, will be our small nudges and help. We will curate positive messages right to your device. We will send out one daily positive vibe (think motivational quote) to all of the users that subscribe to it. These messages will be small, powerful, and deliberate. (I hope that you can now see where the "Daily" and "Vibes" come from.)
Next, if you notice from the to-do creation dialogue, there is an emotion tracker. People are able to track how they feel at the moment of interacting with Daily Vibes. Right now, the data is being tracked but not displayed. We will be able to allow users to track their emotions right within Daily Vibes. Why the colours? These will be effective in providing an "at a glance" view of days, weeks, and months passed.
Second, each to-do item as 3 different time stamps implemented: (1) when you create, (2) as you update, (3) when you complete. At this point in time, the data is tracked, but the goal is to show people statistics via a clickable dashboard. For those in project management, you may be able to give better estimates.
Third, and my favourite, is the tagging system. At this point in time, I simply allow you to manipulate your own tags. The goal, is to use these tags for searching and productivity statistics. For example, if you ware working on several projects at one time, but working from one grand "to do" list, the tags will allow you to search for the to do items solely associated with a specific project.
And there are many more features planned. As you can see, Daily Vibes is whatever you want it to be. For me, it is a lifestyle. For a new user, I hope it will be as well and, if not, I hope they give it a shot just for the productivity aspect.
As you cannot download the app yet (see Kickstarter - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/471588901/daily-vibes), I will give you a walk through via images. As soon as the Kickstarter finishes, and the App gets into the Apple store, you will be able to give it a shot on any of your iOS 11 Devices.
For now, here are the main screens:
Here is what you can do:
(1) Create a new to-do item:
(2) Modify an existing item:
(3) Add some tags to your item from your universal tag list:
(4) Manipulate your tags as you like:
(5) Track your emotions: (a) during creation, (b) during updates, (c) during completion
(6) Set deadlines
(7) Complete a task from the main screen
(8) Complete a task from its detail menu
I didn't get a software engineering degree for nothing =)
My approach to Daily Vibes was driven by two ideas:
- (1) I strongly dislike paywalls and
- (2) I know how to build the server component, so I can add that later.
To be honest, I had one goal and that was to make Daily Vibes do what I said it would do: to help you stay productive, in your own way. I also wanted any user to just jump into the App and be able to start using it. (Registration and other things will come through iteration.) I did not want to use React Native, Cordova, or any other third party solutions. There is nothing wrong with them per se, however, I wanted to build Daily Vibes natively and independently. I love the quick perceived performance and native look of Apple software. So, my language of choice was and still is Swift (as a bonus, I can actually follow along with Objective-C as well). In retrospect, this was the best choice for this project. Moreover, I wanted this application to be easily extendable in the future and to just work. What I mean, is that I wanted to focus on the core and build it well. This way, I can add features in the future without worrying or affecting the core functionality of the productivity tool. Plus, by ensuring to follow Apple's documentations and conventions I know that Daily Vibes will be able to work on all of their products. This is a big bonus.
Now, to give you a sneak preview of the future, my plan is to release Daily Vibes and use one month to gather feedback. Then I plan add iCloud sync, and then to add my own service functionality. In which order you may be thinking? Well, that depends on if I win any AWS credits or not ;-)
At the end of the day, I care about Daily Vibes and I know that that I will build a syncing mechanism. However, at this point in time, I do not see myself adding a web component but "just" API. (and I am saying just in quotes with a purpose.)
My first, and main, strategy is to eat my own dog food. I am using Daily Vibes to build Daily Vibes. My second strategy is public engagement and transparency. At this moment in time, Twitter has been working really well for me. I have posted daily updates throughout the month of November and I have curated them into a group @ https://twitter.com/i/moments/931895068507635713. Third, I joined https://wip.chat/ where I am able to discuss my progress and get feedback from successful, fellow creators. Finally, I have engaged with my friends and colleagues on Facebook and Linked In and post updates there as well. All of the above has been working really well so far, and I will continue using those strategies. In addition, I have purchased the domain dailyvibes.ca and a created medium publication at https://medium.com/dailyvibes One of these places will be used by me to create a more indepth product updates and feature releases in the future.
If you have read so far, thank you so much and I really appreciate it.
What were my challenges along the way?
My biggest hurdle so far was and, still is, money. I have overcome this hurdle by creating a Kickstarter campaign and successfully raising the funds (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/471588901/daily-vibes) in two days. There is still time left in the campaign (11 days), so I began planning additional incentives to potentially gather more funding for the project. Don't get me wrong, I am not being greedy. Any and all additional funds raised will be going straight back into the development of Daily Vibes. It was my first campaign and I wanted it to be successful, so I asked only for the funds I need to launch the app on the app store. The only other challenge has been actually applying my knowledge about business, management, and product development in public. What I mean, is that I have been very careful not to over promise and underdeliver. Rather, I would under promise but overdeliver. It has been an exciting mental game so far, but it is working. I am applying my business, engineering, and social science training all at the same time.
In conclusion, I hope that you support Daily Vibes, as I really do think it is going to be amazing. I know it works, and if you love lists, bullet journalling, calendars, note books, positivity and productivity, you will love Daily Vibes too!
PS: If you want to see a bigger version of the screenshots above you can download them from http://d.pr/f/yLpfy9 (they are the same)
PPS: Here are some behind the scenes doodles and ideas