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  • App Review: Do Now Time Management App

    Introduction

    There are many time management apps available which help us manage our tasks and our time. Time management is a very valuable skill which every one must learn and practice in their lives. Once app that i have found goes by the name of Do Now which is available from Google Play Store for free. This app is a bit different from other apps, i have used before.

    UX, Design and Ease of Use

    The theme of this time management app is good looking with colors light blue, and orange bars, which light gray buttons.

    With apps of the same category as of this app, we usually expect that we can schedule an app and set its date and time, and set an alarm. With Do Now this particular feature is different. When you add a task you just specify the duration of the task, and not when it is to be done. What this means is that the app is only for managing the tasks on which you are working now, though you can a list of tasks, but you can not schedule them. This is not in the use case of the app, hence the name of the app is Do Now.  When i first started using this app this is what i was confused about. I was looking for the date and time fields, but only found the fields for setting the duration of the task as mentioned above.

    The association with scheduling of tasks that we have with apps like Do Now have caused the time to learn and understand how to use the app to be a bit more than an average app. Other wise the app is easy to use.

    Usefulness

    As mentioned above the app allows the users to add the duration of the task(s) being worked on. When you start working on a task press the play button and then the timer will start to count down. The good thing about this app is that the tasks are executed one by one, which is logical as well.

    Once the task is completed the alarm is rung and you are given options of if you want to ignore the alert, snooze the alert or complete the task.

    There three lists being used in the app. The first is the unplanned list which contains the list of tasks which you have not planned and are working on at the moment. You can add new tasks at run time in this list.

    The second list is the planned list, which is similar to the unplanned list in some ways, but differs in others. The user interfaces and controls of the two lists are the same and you can also add a new task at run time in the planned list just like in the unplanned list.

    The third list is the routines list which you can create. Routines are repeatable tasks, or you say planned tasks. Do you see the link? When you create a new routine which can contain a list of tasks (which you create in the routine) and when you will start the routine (play the routine, means starting the tasks in the routine) the tasks will be added to the planned list. This is where the unplanned list and the planned list are different from each other.

    The planned list is linked with the routines list. As mentioned above, when a routine is selected from the routine list to run its tasks are copied to the planned list and not to the unplanned list. This i feel is quite intuitive, and well thought out. The user does not have to manually transfer each task.

    However, i also found one thing which does not make sense to me. You can manually load the tasks in a routine and into the unplanned list. Now does that not sound contradicting from above? This is also quite possible for the planned list. I have no idea why have this when the developer has already made a link between the planned list and the routine list. Why is there a need for this?

    You can also save tasks in your planned list or unplanned list into either an existing routine or create a new routine. This feature i found quiet useful.

    You can also reorder the tasks by dragging the up and down. In order to do so you have to press onto the task where you see three gray vertical bars and then you will be able to move the tasks. You have to select individual task and move it. If you press anywhere else on the task it will not move.

    Do Now time management app also gives a statistics screen given which shows how many tasks you have completed and when you the completed the task.

    Conclusion

    I recommend this app for those users who want to track the time they are spending on their current tasks. and will surely help them manage their time. I have started to use this app myself and will continue to do so, as my style of work suits the use case of this application. I assign a fixed number of hours to my tasks for my daily work and have created a routine. I believe this will help me get more productive and get more out of my work.

    • Do Now Time Management App Review
      Do Now Time Management App Review

     

    December 7, 2014 • App Reviews • Views: 3839

  • My Experience In Google for Entrepreneurs Speed Mentoring Session

    I had applied to take part in an event called Startup BBQ Speed Mentoring organized by Google for Entrepreneurs (Google Pakistan) and PASHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association), and had entered my product Inbox My Articles as the submission idea.

    On Monday 20th October 2014 i received a congratulatory email from Badar Khushnood (Google’s Country Consultant for Pakistan), Google for Entrepreneurs that my idea had been selected for speed mentoring. I was over the moon. Finally, my directionless startup, which was barely gaining any traction was going to get some well needed direction, and that it was one of the 7 startups selected from over 100 plus which had applied from Lahore, Pakistan. I was honored, and proud for being part of this, and also glad that me and my team did not give up on my idea and we had stuck to it, and have brought it to where it is currently. I myself had worked during the nights to add the new features which i though were required, and which i also needed as a user, while during the day i work on client based projects.

    Inbox My Articles is an RSS Reader which consists of an Android app, a website, and a cloud. The Android app has the capabilities of downloading articles for offline articles. There are many use cases of this feature, such as not wanting to miss the latest news when ever you use the app, so you want to download the articles onto your device. Another useful use case is when you are in your commute and want to follow your favorite websites on the way to office, you can download the articles before hand, and then read them later.

    I myself use Inbox My Articles every day, and where i live, we don’t have internet connection everywhere. 3G has just recently come in Pakistan, but from what i heard least it was still expensive, and my network is straight going to 4G LTE, which it announced, but i am yet to receive my new sim card which i was promised to receive but still have not received it, so as a result i am usually in places where i do not have an internet connection available, so i read the articles which i have downloaded earlier onto my device.

    I went with my team which consisted of the following:

    • Mustafa Neguib (Entrepreneur, Founder, CEO of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Muhammad Adil Saeed (Development Partner & CTO of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Muhammad Basim Majeed (Development Partner & Software Engineer  of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)
    • Saad Siddique (Development Partner & Software Engineer  of MN Tech Solutions (Private) Limited)

    We arrived the venue, LUMS (Lahore University of Management & Sciences ) Smart Lab, Lahore, Pakistan at about 8 am on the fine morning of Tuesday 21st October 2014. I had insisted my team mates to wear formal attire, as i had assumed that since the top industry experts were coming to mentor us, we should be dressed accordingly, but the reality was to be other wise. Everyone was more or less in their casual attire.

    We were one of the first ones to reach the venue, so we had some time to take pictures with the banners, and set up our equipment (laptop with the pitch deck and presentation which i had prepared and my smartphone, and my business cards).

    As everyone else started to pour into the venue, i saw some familiar faces, and some new faces. I was awestruck. I was in the company of the people who were at the place where i believe i am destined to be. To see local heroes and entrepreneurs who made it on their own, i too strive to attain success and build a successful company one day, while in the mean time i am trying to survive with my team, hoping for that one big break.

    I believe that this event was our big break, and will be using it to the fullest to further grow the company.

    We were mentored by the following industry experts:

    Each of the mentors brought their view point, experience and expertise, which all was extremely valuable for us inexperienced entrepreneurs miserably trying to survive. As a crux we were guided on how we are to build our business and marketing plan, how to calculate our costs, how to find new users and how to get feedback from existing users. We also learned what issues our product contains, and how we can further improve it. One of the common themes was that we should target the local audience, and to localize the product. This surely is a point to ponder, and one direction which we should definitely think about. We also learned about marketing plans, and how much users are required for making money from ads.

    I would like to say, that we were grilled and prepared for barbecue as the organizers had claimed to do so. I myself learned alot, pitching became better and we modified our pitch when the next mentor came.

    Apart from the mentors mentioned above, founder of TechJuice, one of Pakistan’s top technology media companies also guided and advised us. TechJuice was also one of the seven startups selected, and i thank her for her advice and guidance.

    This was not the first time when i was part of an event like this. I was also part of the Game Jam 2014 Lahore, but this event was at another level as this time, my and my team’s hard work for the past 6 months was recognized and accepted as an idea which i am even more determined to work on, and to further improve it and use the knowledge gained in building this into a business.

    This event was the perfect time for making connections and increase our networking circle. I am glad that we were given the chance and met some extraordinary people. We really thank Google Pakistan, Google for Entrepreneurs and PASHA for selecting us, and giving us a chance to learn and experience, and to be mentored by the industry experts.

    I would also like to thanks the mentors who took out time from their busy schedules in order to mentor us, and to help us learn from our mistakes, and most importantly to guide us. I will never forget what i have learned here, and i will do my best to implement what i have learned on Inbox My Articles, and also on any future product that i work on.

    Update @ 24th October 2014 3:03 AM : Added link to blog post to the article about my experience in Game Jam 2014  Hackathon Lahore

    • Google for Entrepreneurs Week Startup BBQ
      Google for Entrepreneurs Week Startup BBQ

    October 24, 2014 • Entrepreneurship, Pakistan, Technology • Views: 4121