Much of the time I spend using my phone is consumption: reading, watching, listening. When I want to create something on my phone, I usually want to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Add something to the grocery list before the garlic I’m cooking starts to smoke. Pay a coworker on Venmo as we walk back to the office from Chipotle. Jot down a movie recommendation from a friend without interrupting our dinner.
The problem is, most of the apps we use aren’t optimized for input. Getting to the place where you create a task, add to a list or enter text usually means 1) Finding the correct app, 2) opening it and waiting for it to load, 3) finding the button or tab to get to compose mode, and then 4) doing what you came to do. Sometimes you have to do even more navigating to find the right file, list, or friend to message. This might only take a few seconds, but when you’re cooking, talking, or navigating pedestrian traffic, a few seconds can feel like forever.
I wanted to see if I could get those four steps down to one, so I built Input. As the name suggests, it’s an app that’s all about capturing what you need to, and then getting out and getting on with your life. Here’s how it works:
When you open it, the keyboard’s already up and ready to go. Tap to select a keyword for the app or service you want to send input to, and then just start typing. For cases where you need to make more choices about where your input’s going to go (like choosing the recipient of a quick email), a menu pops up automatically so you can choose with one tap. If there are a lot of choices, you can start typing and it’ll filter the list down to the item you need in as few characters as possible.
The whole app is designed around capturing your thoughts, ideas, and information as quickly as possible, so I did everything I could to make it lightning-fast. Once you’ve connected the services you use, everything the app needs is stored offline, so you’ll never be held up by a spotty network connection. Even if you have no service at all, commands you enter will be stored until the next time you’re online.
Input currently supports a bunch of popular services. Here are a few of the things you can do with it:
- Send a quick email to yourself
- Create an event on Google Calendar
- Add a new task to your to-do list (on Todoist, Asana, Wunderlist, Omnifocus and more!)
- Add or append to a note in Evernote or Dropbox
- Send a message to a Slack channel
- Post on Twitter
- Translate text from French to English
More integrations are on the way. If there’s one you don’t see, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being able to capture a thought so quickly as soon as it occurs to me, without friction or distraction, has changed the way I use my phone. I hope it can do the same for you.