For years, we’ve seen almost every aspect of our lives fundamentally rethought by technology. How we get from place to place, how we communicate, how our pets find their soulmates, and where we stay. Every facet of what we do has been transformed entirely. But, one thing that has been notably absent from these transformations is how we actually manage our days themselves.
Different apps try to address this problem: to-do lists, calendars, reminders, and the ever-popular sticky notes littered everywhere. If you’re like me, though, everything still ends up being ad-hoc: you take on tasks as they come, fight fires when they need to be fought, and are always just a little worried you’re forgetting something you’re should be doing, or somewhere you should be.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why (admittedly more than I’ve actually spent doing any work), and it turns out, the answer is incredibly simple. We’ve taken the solutions that worked in the 60s and 70s — paper to-do lists, desk calendars, notebooks — and replicated them online and on our phones. If you want to try to “get organized” today, it takes a ton of manual effort, discipline, and, most importantly, time to do it regularly.
It’s crazy how much work goes into managing your work.
We need a fundamental shift in the way we think about the “productivity problem”, much like the re-defining paradigms we’ve witnessed in other spaces.
A solution to the productivity problem demands a new approach. An approach that recognizes everything that takes time in your day should go in one place. An approach that, for the first time, acknowledges your tasks actually take some time to do. An approach that understands we don’t want to spend our lives categorizing our stuff, we just want it organized.
When you take this new approach, everything starts falling into place. The “digital” version of your day begins to tell a cohesive story that lines up with your real life. That team meeting you have on Friday? It’s actually for the project that’s due Monday. So, you should probably block out some time to finish it today.
Everything you see on your calendar and in your to-do list starts having context. Knowing what tasks relate to which meetings, the people that are involved, and where everything is happening. You start seeing a coherent and, more importantly, complete picture. Your day, your work, your life, in one place.
For the first time, answers to questions like “can I get everything done by that deadline” or “do I have time for dinner and drinks tomorrow night?” immediately roll off the tongue. You start always knowing not only what you’re doing but also why you’re doing it.
That’s what life with Plan is like.
For the past 9 months, Plan has been in an open beta, with 25K people trying out a new way of going about their days. To all of you: Thank you, truly. Your thousands of emails, comments, and tweets, have been instrumental in shaping the product.
Today, we’re excited today to share Plan 1.0 with the rest of the world.
To be clear, this is just the beginning. We Plan to be there for you at every step of your individual journeys. Plan will be by your side, helping you tackle whatever task, project, or meeting you begin. Right now, we’re focused on making Plan an amazing product for you to use every day to manage your day.
Together, we’ll start to reimagine how you get everything done — whether it’s taking care of that quick task you don’t want to deal with, or helping you coordinate that meeting that was supposed to happen last week, Plan will work tirelessly to make managing your day just a little bit easier.
It’s time to take back our days.