Our Plans for 2016AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
If we consider work as a succession of stages reflect-act, over here we have been in the “acting” mode for the last three months, immersed in the rebranding of FacileThings and all its effects. Only now, once we have finished the initial changes, we have had the opportunity to raise our heads and “reflect” about what we want to do during the next months.
So, even though we are already in February, I’d like to inform you of the projects we have planned to develop this year so that you know what to expect from FacileThings. It’s not a program that we will follow strictly (although we will try), but a road map where you can see our current intentions.
It’s possible for new situations to appear which force us to change our priorities, and even, to carry out projects that we haven’t thought about right now. In fact, last year we had to spend three of the twelve months implementing unexpected projects that due to legal or technological reasons, became a priority (updates of old servers, obsolete systems, VAT management of EEC countries). This is the reason why some of the planned projects already appeared in our last year plans.
In any case, to establish the priority of the projects we always have to bear in mind two things: Firstly, FacileThing’s mission—build the best self-management software based on the GTD methodology—. Secondly, our invaluable users’ feedback.
In January we published a new FacileThing’s web design and we made a quick adjustment to the basic characteristics of such design (colors, typographies and pictograms) in our applications.
This is just the beginning. Throughout the year we will redesign each section of the application with the objective of making it more intuitive, pleasant and easier to use. We will base ourselves in studies done about cognitive psychology, interactive design and usability, as well as listening to our users.
Our challenge is to achieve that being organized is something simple and enjoyable so that turning chaos into peace becomes (on top of a logical option) easy peasy.
More and better integration
We are going to place special emphasis on improving the integration with other systems.
We will start by improving the integration with Evernote, using a system that refreshes FacileThing’s notes at the same time that they are modified in Evernote, not having to make a synchronization. The notes of the notebooks associated to projects will always be visible in the Reference Material list of your projects. You will also be able to customize what happens with the original note once it has been processed in FacileThings, so you don’t need to process it again in Evernote.
We will also improve the integration with Google Calendar, allowing the usage of various calendars and making it totally bidirectional. We will also include new integrations with Google Drive and Outlook’s calendar. We will study the possibility of connecting FacileThings with IFTTT or Zapier, since this would allow to integrate our application with a lot more applications.
David Allen talks about mobile components within the projects, meaning blocks of actions within a project that can be run in parallel. This will be our “next big thing”, although we will probably use the term sub-projects when referring to it. We will also develop a tool to carry out the Natural Project Planning, which is currently the missing piece in order to complete the GTD planning model.
We will design two ways of work in FacileThings. One, half way to GTD, which will allow you to use FacileThings with certain flexibility, without forcing you to use 100% of GTD foundations (but the most important to guarantee good usage habits). This will be useful for those who start with GTD and for those who feel uncomfortable with a very strict system. The second one, pure GTD, will encourage you to use GTD to 100%.
We will add the possibility to obtain pretty printed reports of your data. They will be PDF files related to your lists, projects, perspective situation, etc.
In addition, we will continuously and constantly implement a big amount of small changes that users have requested and we’ve considered interesting. We’ll inform you of all these updates through this blog.
Mobile apps are still booting, so we will keep adding functionality and constantly improving their usability. The mobile necessities of our users vary quite a lot depending on their different lifestyles and jobs, so we will prioritize the features which are necessary day-to-day with the objective that these applications become more a more useful for a greater number of users.
We’ll frequently publish updates and will inform you of the features we’re working on in our newsletters.
Technical issues and marketing
In the next few days we will add the Transport Layer Security (TLS) cryptographic protocol. When it is working, you will be able to use https://app.facilethings.com to access the application, instead of http://app.facilethings.com (as a matter of fact, you already can.) The “s” of “https” means that all the traffic data is encrypted and therefore, illegible and indecipherable for someone who is supposedly trying to spy the communication (something that is already unlikely).
We will also publish soon enough an API for developers, so that any programmer can develop tools which allows him to work better with FacileThings, tools that could be useful to other users as well.
We will improve the blog, to allow our audience to subscribe the articles and news via email, we will also add a search tool which permits to locate content quickly. We will publish a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), where we will publish the most frequent questions our users ask, with complete answers and the necessary arguments to justify them.
We will create a referral program so that our users can recommend the application to those they know and obtain certain compensations on their own subscriptions.
In conclusion, our Someday/Maybe list is huge. We will keep showing you new ideas as we move on with everything mentioned before.