Monday, August 11, 2014

Timeful Review: After 3 Months

TL;DR version below

Creepy predictive. Unrelenting personal assistant. Crazy productive.

My usage of Timeful could be summed up with those three phrases.

When I started using it, I decided to turn on the suggestions to the max (if I could, I would have gone to 11). Almost instantly, Timeful started giving me suggestions of all the habits and task I wanted to do. When it did this, I promptly either 1) rejected them or 2) rescheduled them.

For two weeks I used only this app and none of my other to-do apps (like Omnifocus, Asana, Zippy). Everyday I would plan out my to-dos and then promptly begin rejecting the suggestions that Timeful placed in my schedule. For a while, I felt that the app was a gimmick at best. It was was nothing more than a cheap UI over the iPhone's calendar and reminders.

Then things got spooky.

Unlike others whose schedule is devoted to one job all day, I split my day between two. My job and my business. The hours between 7AM-5PM belongs to my job. A few hours at night and some hours on the weekend belong to my business. This is where Timeful got spooky.

Toward the middle of the second week, I started noticing Timeful suggestions for my business to-dos during the time I normally work them. Mind you, I didn't manually place them their, Timeful did. That might not be impressive, but then I noticed other habits appearing around my lunch time at work. This meant that I did more business work when I was off the clock at work during the day. I was no longer cramming my business in the span of a few hours during the night. Suddenly, I felt that Timeful became a personal assistant rather than a fancy UI over iPhone calender and reminders.

What I did notice, is that Timeful remembers what time you complete certain task. Obviously, I did some business task during my lunch time, so after a few days of this, Timeful started placing other task there. I also found myself not rejecting as many suggestions as before since Timeful was "smarter" than before.

Its really cool to list all my to do for the next day. Go to sleep. Then the next morning open Timeful and see it populate my day with it's suggestions. Now, I tend to follow its advice, and I am a hell of a lot more productive. It is seriously like having a personal assistant that maps out your day, but for free.

Of course, there are some things I would like to see in future updates:

  1. A web interface, this would be easier to add multiple task during my day instead of being constantly glued to my phone.
  2. Landscape view to see the week ahead.
  3. Able to track projects or at least tag task to certain projects.
Seriously I would pay for those features.

Right now, I use Evernote and Timeful. 

I track my projects using Evernote and any task related to a certain project, I simply paste the link in the note section in Timeful and follow a naming structure (i.e, PROJECT: TASK). Not the cleanest or slickest way, but it gets the job done.

Overall, Timeful is finally the to-do app I've been looking for. It is lightweight, fast, and smart. It did what the creators said it would do. Make us more productive. 

TL;DR VERSION
Get Timeful. Use it for two to three weeks. Don't cheat on it during that time by going to another to-do app. You can reject Timeful suggestions but try your best to reschedule them. Use Evernote to track projects. Understand Timeful will be clunky in the beginning, but like anything, the more you use it, the better it is.