A new addition to the online calendar space is Jotlet, self-funded by its two founders Adam Wulf (responsible for coding and development) and Matt Wilson (UI and design). Jotlet joins Google Calendar, HipCal, 30Boxes, and the much-debated sellout Kiko. In development for the past 9 months, Jotlet opened its doors to beta testers two weeks ago and are now accepting new users. When I was first pitched about Jotlet, I have to admit I was quite excited in trying it out – and for a product in such a tough, competent space, it doesn't disappoint one bit.
Since I'm sure anyone who reads this blog knows about web-based online calendars (or at least Microsoft Outlook) I won't spend time on describing online calendars. Basically, Jotlet aims in bringing this function, or rather this new and starting craze, into the lives of regular people. Aimed at the very average non-techie user, Jotlet focuses on providing a simple and straight-forward interface, along with a hassle-free user experience. Their tagline 'the simple web calendar' summarizes their focus quite well.
What I love about Jotlet is that every aspect of the application is on one page itself, so this avoids any complexity. Once you have your Jotlet loaded, everything else pretty much comes along with it. The Jotlet has 3 parts – a sidebar with a list of actions, calendars, and tasks; a view changer which allows you to select if you want to view it by day, week, or month; and the main display which corresponds to your view. The default view is monthly, although specific views fit to specific needs. Also, to help you visually, Jotlet darkens the days where there are more tasks and events.
Additionally, I don't think I need to mention that every item in display has the function to be dragged and dropped seamlessly (and manipulated accordingly). A cool feature they've implemented is that you can also go into 'settings' and enter in your zip-code (for US-only as for now) and it will show predicted weather for the next two days in the appropriate dates.
Tasks & Events
Jotlet has two different types of things you can input into it: tasks, for example 'laundry' and 'dishes,' and events, like 'meeting with the CEO.' Adding these is a reasonably simple task, and Jotlet only requires you to provide a title, and optionally you can input a specific date, time and a description. Also, you can set tasks and events that repeat themselves (for example a 'daily visit to the gym' or a 'weekly board-meeting') and it takes care of that. A neat feature they've added is the ability to get reminders via e-mail and SMS – this is certainly a must for any calendar or life-managing application.
Jotlet also gives you the option of having multiple calendars to colour-code and differentiate types of tasks and events. For example, I can create two calendars, 'work' and 'personal.' Both will be displayed on the same page (i.e. my Jotlet) together, however if I need to see all the work-related events I've lined up, I can toggle calendars – all I have to do is deselect the 'personal' calendar from the sidebar and it goes out of display. With the magic of Ajax you can bet this to be a fast process.
Lastly, a neat feature they've incorporated is the ability to share, synchronize, and manage across multiple users. For example, to show me the power of this feature Adam created a calendar on his side, and by swapping buddy-invitations, he was able to essentially 'stream' a calendar from his to my Jotlet. This is an extremely handy feature for companies and teams and such, and to manage and keep updated a group of people with a set of tasks and events. Also, it's amazing how seamlessly this worked.
Conclusion & Future
Jotlet seems to have an extremely promising future ahead. When I questioned Adam as to their intentions to growing out and seeking funding, he did say it was something they were considering but they were quite keen on owning 100% of the company to themselves to give it away. Also, he mentioned that they don't have a plan to expand the team in the near-term. I think it's amazing how far literally just 2 people have got with a fantastic mindset, 9 months of development, and a little bit of self-funding. As I've said before, Jotlet is an extremely competent product in a tough growing space. As for the revenue aspect, in the future they plan to grow out and customize the product for businesses to fit inro their specific processes — using the current free version as a proof-of-concept. They're also working on a feature called MagiCals which they state will truly bring Jotlet to the end user. In any case, I think Jotlet has a good future ahead and they've so far had a better start than any.
[tags]Online Calendars, Jotlet[/tags]