What have you built?
I've built Lanes, a task manager. Original, right? There's a zillion of those, but using some of them feels like working a data entry job so I created something that puts the focus on getting you closer to your goals instead of simply checking things off a list. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I took the best bits of the best productivity apps and added:- Productivity tracking - tasks and timed sessions are visualized so you can see how much you're getting done and when you work best- Leaderboard - compare productivity with your friends, as well as the entire Lanes community- Design - minimal, flexible (you can choose from five different layouts) and beautiful (our user's words, not ours!)
Why did you build it?
I wanted to build something that would help people be more productive, at the same time I was looking for a project that would teach me how to code. So to accomplish my goals while helping people accomplish theirs was the perfect setup. Also, as is the story with so many apps, nothing existed that had that just right combination of design and features that I wanted in a task manager. I scoured through the one and two-star reviews of similar apps and reasoned if I build an app that solves these people's problems then I'd have at least some users. Fortunately that turned out to be the case 🤞.
What did you use to build it?
Firebase in the back, Vue.js in the front. Both have a pretty gentle learning curves and once you're up and running, they just work. Worrying about database and authentication structure takes up almost zero percent of my time which allows me to focus on improving the app and making users happy.
How did you find your first 100 users?
We posted to the usual suspects: Reddit, Hacker News, and productivity-focused Facebook groups. But things really took off with the Studyblr community on Tumblr ('Studyblrs' are students who share study tips, motivational posts and work notes). Lanes popped up in some blog photos, then in a few 'must-have study tools' lists and that gave us a big boost in both users and feedback.
Where are you at?
We've got about 50,000 signups, a smaller number of active users, and a smaller number of people who love Lanes. Right now I'm collecting feedback from those that use Lanes daily, as well as those that hit the 'delete account' button seconds after they signup, to discover what we're doing right and wrong. Armed with that info, the plan is to continuously improve Lanes until we've built our tribe.