The trick to making a really good web application is to not over-complicate it so that the user doesn’t know what they’re doing. It’s all about simplicity. Creating an app that fulfils a user’s needs without leaving them confused or bombarded with features they’re probably not going to use is key. One app that fits right into this mold is Coolendar.
Coolendar is more than simply yet another calendar app. It doesn’t promise the capability of mapping out each second of your day but what it does do is a lot better than that – it allows you to manage your time and tasks without having to complicate anything. Read on to find out more about this rightly self-proclaimed “cool” app.
Coolendar is a brand new way to manage your time. It allows its users to create their own calendar and then populate these simply by entering a command. The syntax is easy to learn, straightforward and it means that you can add multiple events to your calendar within a matter of seconds. Complete with an unbeatable interface, it is an example of a website that really has taken on board what web users want.
Did I also mention that it’s free? Coolendar has no price plans so they don’t do what so many other app developers do and request extortionate amounts to take advantage of their apps – meaning that it’s a great addition to any user’s app library, whether for business or just as a personal to-do list.
One area where Coolendar excels is in its interface. It’s extremely simplistic and everything is laid out right as you would expect. Each of the entries is sorted into a specific column based on its completion date and also the state of completion. There is a column for all of the plans, a column for each of the upcoming dates and a “Done” column for all of the entries that have been marked as complete. To sum it up, Coolendar looks and feels fantastic to use, meaning that users will feel right at home since the interface feels almost native to many other web apps.
Coolendar doesn’t use a standard method of registration, instead opting for a connection through Google accounts. To get started, all you’ll need is a Google account (if you’ve signed up for Gmail or any other Google app, chances are you’ve got one) and then all you need to do is begin using the app by connecting that account through the various links dotted around the main page.
Once you’ve authorised the app, you’ll begin using it straight away and your calendar will automatically appear. You’ll notice that it’s been populated with some dummy data which can be removed easily and it’s generally just to show you how the app can be used. The first thing you’ll want to do, however, is update your date and time preferences to ensure that these are correct. Once you’ve done what you need to do, you can then take full advantage of the app!
One of the unique features of Coolendar is its command syntax for adding entries into the calendar. Each command consists of three parts: a date, a time and the entry itself. Each section is separated in the command by a space and it’s pretty smart when it comes to interpreting the date, ensuring that a variety of different methods of writing the date can and will be converted into a real time.
For example, “today 6pm cook dinner” would be interpreted the same way as “15/5 6pm cook dinner”. The exact date can be entered or a relative time such as “today”, “tomorrow” or “Wednesday” – it really is that simple. Should a time of day not be added, it even automatically defaults to 8AM. The syntax is just extremely simple and can be picked up incredibly easy, leaving less time worrying about adding the things and more time left to actually do them.
Coolendar offers yet another way to keep things organised: hashtags. Popularised through Twitter, they’ve found their way into many other modern web apps – including this one. In each calendar entry, hashtags can be used as a means of categorising it so that when the hashtag is searched manually or simply clicked from another entry, the search feature is launched. This ensures a cleaner way to categorise each without having to worry about organising the categories.
The app features many opportunities to interact with other web applications, allowing calendar data to be exported to services such as Google Calendar, Apple iCal and Microsoft Outlook, ensuring that existing calendar events can be added easily to already-existing calendar apps without users having to worry about losing them should they choose to move away from Coolendar. It can also integrate with Google talk, so you can add tasks directly from Chat in Gmail!
Additionally, an iPhone application has been developed that offers many of the features contained within the native browser application, meaning the task management the Coolendar way can be done whilst on the go. This is incredibly useful to us app geeks that love to have access to our favourite applications when not at the computer.
Most interestingly, however, Coolendar was designed specifically to work great on the Amazon Kindle’s web browser. Most web apps do not work great on the monochrome, low resolution screen, but Coolendar has a specalized Kindle web view that makes it easy to keep up with your tasks along with your reading. Plus, if you have a 3G Kindle, you can keep up with your tasks on the go without having to pay for a data plan!
I was very impressed with Coolendar as a whole. It didn’t need to brag about having loads of features that probably would have just made the app lose its focus entirely, leaving instead a nice assortment of what was required in any time management app. The syntax was easy to learn, too, which is something that a lot of apps overlook – not explaining to their users correctly how to use their apps which leaves a lot of them confused and requires them to look for alternative. Coolendar had no problems here and I was left wishing that more web apps explored this type of command-based interface.
Complete with a great design and all of the features needed to perform this task, Coolendar is a great addition to any keen web user’s app library and is a perfect example of a web app done right.