What would the perfect calendar app look like?
I CANNOT live without the calendar app on my phone. I cannot even imagine going through the day without my calendar reminding me what is coming up next. I would look more or less like a zombie without the app. To give you an idea, this is what my calendar looks like on any given week:
Despite how important it is, I dread using the app. I cringe throughout the whole process of using the calendar app.
When something is such an integral part of my life, why can’t the experience of using it be more beautiful?
When I complain about the experience in front of my friends, they suggest, “Get an assistant.” In this day and age when we’re increasingly talking about robots replacing humans, I’m getting told to get a person just to manage my time? How ironic!
Is it possible for the calendar app to become more than a reminder machine?
An app that’s different for everybody
To start with, I believe, if a calendar app can learn about the user’s behavior, it can use this as the core layer to build beautiful and useful experiences on top of it. I’ll give you an example: if the app knows that I make most of my business calls at night, I could be recommended a timeslot as soon as I type in words, “Call with….”
What if, instead of typing the words, I could just forward an email thread to a particular address that parses the agenda and time from it, and add it to my agenda. Calendar + AI anyone?
Better meetings scheduling
I have come across services like x.ai that do all the talking on your behalf with the other person and plans a meeting for you. It removes the back-and-forth of email like the one you can see below:
Trust me, it’s a horrible experience when three people from three different time zones have to schedule for a common free time slot. Even in the end, I had to get on the call while I was on a long commute from a meeting to my home. The other guy couldn’t even see my face properly as I was in a car.
Aside note: I wonder what could have happened if all three of us had chosen x.ai to talk to each other. 😝
Besides the regular reminders that I put in, could there be a way to get interesting reminders added onto my agenda automatically?
To solve this problem, we created Reprime, an application that uses hundreds of web scrapers and dozens of APIs to provide you with interesting reminders directly through your calendar app. I’ve seen it being used by more than 100k people every month, therefore, validating the need for such a solution.
Reprime still requires the user’s action to follow a schedule. And we have learned when building Reprime that once someone followed a few schedules, he or she would never come back to add more. Could there be a way to suggest what more to follow based on the user’s behavior that we discussed in the first point? That would be so cool.
Interesting reminders would be so cool because they would help me break away for a few minutes from a mundane day.
Things happening around you
There are interesting schedules to follow in Google Calendars itself, but they are limited to TV schedules, sports, and other related categories. What if I can also follow the local events happening around me?
Event discovery is a broken industry. Event organizers have no way to spread awareness about their events, and the eager visitors are not always looking for events on the event-specific sites. Event discovery will be solved when exciting events are made actually discoverable, not merely searchable.
Imagine, what if you could buy tickets from the calendar app itself? Why stop at just tickets – the whole agenda of the event that you’re going to can be synced to your calendar, so you don’t have to switch to a different app or a printed poster to keep up with the event when you’re at the event.
With such an addition, the calendar app can be even more engaging and drive more revenue from the partnerships with the event organizers.
What about other notifications?
While we are talking of reminders, why should we not discuss general notifications too? The two are very close cousins of each other. If this app has potential to learn your behavior, help you organize your day, bring interesting things in front of you and get things done faster, why could it not become something that we discussed in a previous edition of Unmade – An Inbox for Notifications?
Republished with permission from Unmade.