Most personal productivity apps are needlessly complicated. Project management and enterprise calendar apps stock themselves with features to support a wide range of users and scenarios. But something to manage life’s errands shouldn’t distinguish between a calendar event or a reminder item, or provide half a dozen ways of viewing the same information, when we’re wired to simply process all this input as stuff I need to do.
Ding is a simple, elegant organizer for the iPhone, designed to quickly go back in your pocket. It blurs the distinction between reminders and events by presenting them in one list, steadfastly avoiding trivial features and complexity. I designed Ding with Galen Winey to find a sweet spot between a paper journal and a conventional productivity app. This involved months of researching how we remember tasks in our heads, taking the best aspects of that invisible logic, and making an app that could support it. Beyond this work, I was also Ding’s visual designer, directing its tone and providing graphics. Our first major project, we were gratified to see Ding positively reviewed in Lifehacker and CBS News, and (briefly) break the top 10 productivity apps in the App Store.
One of Ding’s hallmark features is its approach to adding items. To tackle the problem of supporting reminders, events, and to-do items, we created a UI that uses the same name, date picker, and options screen for both — eliminating the cumbersome need for selecting one or the other at the outset.