Chat apps were once for digital p2p1 communication—chatting.
Now chat apps have become the media for news, faux news, entertainment, memes, commerce, and more. They are a combination of, for old school web-ers, a portal, a usenet or yahoo group or bulletin board, and mass email (with everyone in cc).
With chat apps no longer primarily the medium for p2p digital communication, what is the new chat app?
In corporate environment, this p2p role is partly fulfilled by Slack DMs and email. Which app will fulfil this role in personal use case?
I follow a slight variant of GTD, and use my Todo.txt for Android app for task list management. Here are two tweaks I use in the app for parts of the GTD process—quick capture, and easy identification of next actions.
1: Use a special project for quick ‘capture‘
Set up +quicktask as default project for new tasks
New task input opens with +quicktask already selected
I use ‘+quicktask‘ as default project for all new tasks to quickly capture them. This allows me to just note the task in plain English and continue with the task at hand. I don’t need to think about their priority, due date and all other things at the time of capture.
Writing the task down closes the loop and frees the mind. Applying the +quicktask project allows me to easily find the task later during the clarification stage.
When I’m in the clarify or organise stage, I filter the task list for +quicktask and process them.
2: Use a special tag to mark the ‘next action‘
I use ‘#next‘ tag to indicate the next task to focus on in a project. During the organise stage, I mark one task in each active project as #next. This ensures that I don’t have to look through the task list for what to focus on next.
My task list widget is now filtered by #next and sorted by due date. What’s on top, is what I need to focus on now.
As a cyclist, I keep exploring route mapping and live tracking apps. This weekend it was the turn of mapmytracks, thanks to all the attention focussed on rocket2LEJOG attempt.
But this post is not about a route mapping / tracking website, or about that attempt. It’s about the interesting approach mapmytracks has taken to app development.
They’ve developed official iPhone, Blackberry and Nokia apps. They don’t have an Android app, yet, but openly link to alternative Android apps that work with their API providing both live tracking and route mapping.
I like this approach, coming as it is from a website in a cluttered & competitive space. By providing an API and advertising / linking to compatible apps, they don’t have to compete with the huge number of similar apps in Android marketplace. Yet, they enable people on the most widely used smartphone OS to connect to their platform.
In one move, they’ve reduced their own efforts towards developing an Android app, ensured presence on multiple apps on that platform, and yet given them the option to, some day, buy the app that emerges as most successful on Android.
Are there other small firms out there, developing and owning the platform while providing APIs and encouraging outside developers to provide mobile apps for it?
Why don’t more startups that are targeting to become a ‘platform’ use this with an app+api strategy?