Timeful is an intelligent take on a popular issue: time management.
The app is a hybrid between a calendar and to-do list, but Timeful is really about creating better habits.
“We’re fanatical about time,” Yoav Shoham, one of the three founders of Timeful, told Business Insider. “Time might be a little cliche, but we really believe time is the most precious resource we have, and we don’t have the tools to manage it.”
Sure, there are plenty of calendar apps out there. But what sets Timeful apart is its intelligent algorithm founded in behavioural economics and logic, which learns when you’re most productive and open to ticking something off your list whether it be a concrete event or just something you’ve been meaning to try.
“The first behavioural economic principle is that environments shape decision making,” founder Jacob Bank said. “So that’s why we’re a calendar to-do list. We want to provide an environment that helps people make better decisions about how to manage their time. The whole point of our algorithmic framework is to make it easier to schedule these things that people have trouble doing.”
Timeful has raised about $US7 million from big-name VC firms like Kleiner Perkins, Greylock Partners, and Khosla Ventures.
So how does Timeful work?
When you first boot up the app, it quickly syncs with all of your calendars, but then it tries to get a sense of what your goals are.
Timeful differentiates between to-dos, habits, and calendar events. You can choose from some popular ones or input your own custom to-dos or habits later on.
From this point on, Timeful begins to learn more about how you manage your time, but at the beginning the app’s intelligent suggestions are based on broader population trends. After about a week, you’ll begin to notice what the cofounders call the “magic” behind the app, where suggestions become more personalised and intuitive.
Each day, Timeful will give you the chance to drag and drop your activities into the upcoming day’s calendar.
“We know a lot about populations as a whole,” said Bank. “We use those guidelines initially, but then as you interact with the system and schedule things at your preferred times, we’ll learn exactly how you like to do things. Over time, the algorithms will go from completely general to personalised.”
But let’s be honest, there are plenty of reminders that slip through the cracks, but with Timeful that’s OK. If the app suggests an activity that you simply don’t have time for, a simple tap of the arrow icon lets the algorithm know that today’s not a good time. You still might see it suggested, but not today, and it likely won’t be suggested at that particular time, either.
To create a new to-do, you simply tap the check plus icon at the bottom of the app.
There are plenty of options for fine-tuning the timing too, including both narrow and broad time windows.
Creating a new habit is done the same way, but instead of the check-mark icon for to-dos, habits are differentiated by a heart symbol.
Since Timeful is all about helping people get into the swing of beneficial new habits, the app keeps track of how often you complete an activity such as running or reading, increasing your progress bar for that particular habit accordingly.
To help the app learn more about you, you can go into Timeful’s settings and tell it more about your work schedule, sleep schedule, and personality.
Say, for example, you’re not really a morning person. Timeful lets you indicate when during the day you’re most productive so that you can swap out “morning” for “evening.”
You can also play with the frequency of suggestions.
If you have an iPhone you can download Timeful today over at the App Store.
Just give it a week to get to know you.
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