Daybridge thinks it’s time we reimagined digital calendars

Hypothetical query: would you ship your date a calendar invite? You’ve been out, let’s say, twice, and also you’re going to satisfy for dinner on Friday at 7:30PM. You’d textual content them that information — you may even inform them over the telephone — however would you ship them a calendar invite? Or, I’ll do you one higher: in the event you haven’t picked a time but, would you ship them your Calendly hyperlink to discover a time to satisfy? Kieran McHugh, the CEO of a brand new calendar app firm known as Daybridge, thinks it’s a “no” throughout the board. However he’d like to alter that.

Daybridge is launching formally at the moment after virtually two years of growth. What McHugh and his workforce have constructed up to now is… effectively, it’s a calendar app. It connects to Google Calendar (no Outlook but, however that’s coming), you may transfer occasions round — you get the concept. It’s a nice-looking calendar app, definitely, however a calendar app nonetheless. McHugh estimates the workforce has spent 80 % of its time up to now simply constructing primary calendar plumbing, however the Daybridge workforce has numerous huge concepts about calendars and time administration that they wish to work on subsequent.

The large concepts, when Daybridge will get round to constructing them, are way more thrilling. What Daybridge plans to finally construct is a calendar that understands that not all occasions are created equal — and that managing your time isn’t just about plugging issues into identical-looking 60-minute blocks. In an early mock-up of the app that McHugh shared greater than a yr in the past, a operating occasion mechanically pulled in stats from Strava, turning it into an train journal. The calendar appeared extra like a Trello-style kanban board of time than a grid of hours. Each occasion had a distinct icon — a aircraft for an upcoming flight, scissors for a haircut, a martini glass for after-work drinks — to clarify what’s taking place and when at a look. That mock-up, says Daybridge product supervisor Jami Welch, received lots of people excited, together with him. “It’s identical to, ‘Listed below are simply the plans every day, get issues at a look.’ And also you’re not attempting to have time be this big void with little issues floating in.”

One of many earliest Daybridge mock-ups, with integrations galore.
Picture: Daybridge

However earlier than Daybridge may get to any of that, it needed to construct a calendar that labored. “You want numerous these hyperlinks to be in place earlier than the sum could be better than the components,” Welch says. Even now, McHugh provides, “It’s not function full, and we don’t have actual function parity… however we’re at a degree the place we’re prepared to start out rolling this out and getting suggestions.”

Daybridge’s different principle is that numerous issues occur at particular instances, however conventional calendar occasions are hardly ever the easiest way to characterize them. “It may simply be you saying, ‘I’m anticipating a supply between these hours,’” Welch says, “and also you don’t want an enormous rectangle that competes with all of your conferences. There’s a lighter consciousness — we predict there’s one thing there.” Beta testers have requested for a drugs tracker in Daybridge, he says, and the corporate’s looking for a technique to do it that doesn’t really feel like a job record or calendar occasion. “I simply know, sooner or later inside these 5 hours of the day, I must do X. After which as soon as I’ve finished it, get it out of my thoughts.” That feels extra human and helpful to Daybridge than a half-hour block that claims “MEDICATION.”

A screenshot of a day view in Daybridge’s mobile app.

Categorizing your occasions helps Daybridge work out the way you spend your time.
Picture: Daybridge

On the flip aspect, Daybridge additionally hopes to be a report of your life as a lot as a plan for it. The workforce is constructing numerous automated categorization instruments, each so you may see at a look what’s work and what’s after-work drinks but additionally so you will get helpful information on how precisely you’re spending your time. (That is one thing Google and others are engaged on, too.) And that information teaches the calendar, too: if it occurs to note you get a haircut each six weeks on the similar place or plugs into Amazon’s monitoring API to know precisely when your package deal goes to point out up, it may begin to mechanically construct your schedule for you.

However finally, the most important factor Daybridge needs to do is make the calendar extra social. Greater than as soon as in our conversations, McHugh tells me he doesn’t consider Daybridge as a productiveness device however extra like a social community. “We’re not attempting that can assist you get extra work finished,” he says. “I might say, it’s extra to assist individuals really feel answerable for their time, and in case your family and friends and colleagues or no matter use Daybridge, it must be very simple to search out time collectively.”

At work, calendars are a comparatively solved drawback — it’s not bizarre to get a calendar invite out of your colleague, neither is it intrusive to ship them one. However would you drop a calendar invite for golf this weekend to your entire foursome? Daybridge is spending a number of time exploring how shared calendars work within the hopes that “you may add individuals to it as evenly as beginning a bunch chat in WhatsApp,” Welch says. He imagines a world wherein you may plan a visit with pals in a collaborative calendar — not a Google spreadsheet. The workforce can also be engaged on public occasion pages so you may create an occasion, get RSVPs, and add issues to individuals’s calendars without having to create a Fb occasion.

An event invitation for “Jogging with Jami” in Daybridge.

One factor Daybridge needs to rethink is how occasion invitations and pages work.
Picture: Daybridge

Again to actuality for a second: hardly any of this exists within the Daybridge that’s launching now. What Daybridge is, proper now, is a nice-looking net app that allows you to handle your Google Calendar and a brilliant easy cell app. The app is early and primary sufficient that it solely not too long ago began permitting you to edit your Google Calendar occasions relatively than simply viewing them. There are many bugs and oddities within the app, and I’m undecided I’d suggest anybody use it as their major time administration device. Proper now, Daybridge is only a calendar app, and there are higher ones on the market.

Nonetheless, even in these early levels, the app presents a number of glimpses of what McHugh has been engaged on all this time. There are three modes within the calendar: Plan, which exhibits your time in a standard grid so you may put stuff on it and transfer it round; Focus, which jumps straight to at the moment’s calendar and removes all the pieces else; and Calm down, which hides your whole work occasions and exhibits you solely the stuff that’s taking place in your precise life within the subsequent three days. Even within the regular Plan view, you may click on a button and instantly disguise your whole work occasions or click on one other and compress the view again into one thing like a kanban board.

Constructing a social community on high of a calendar makes a number of sense, and apps like IRL have discovered some success doing it. However Daybridge is attempting to do an terrible lot in a single app, from serving to you schedule your time and benefit from it to serving to you keep conscious of all of the time-sensitive issues taking place round you. It’s additionally going to need to persuade lots of people to finally pay for an additional calendar app and — possibly most necessary — begin to rewrite a few of our shared norms and unofficial guidelines about how calendars work and the way we use them. Getting you to ship your date a calendar invite is an enormous hurdle to clear.

Nevertheless it’s like all these inspirational posters say: you don’t handle your time; you handle your life. And we may all use a bit of assistance on that entrance.