Daybridge thinks it’s time we reimagined digital calendars - The Verge

Daybridge is a new calendar app that hopes to go far beyond what Google Calendar and Outlook offer, especially for life outside of work.

Hypothetical question: would you send your date a calendar invite? You’ve been out, let’s say, twice, and you’re going to meet for dinner on Friday at 7:30PM. You’d text them that info — you might even tell them over the phone — but would you send them a calendar invite? Or, I’ll do you one better: if you haven’t picked a time yet, would you send them your Calendly link to find a time to meet? Kieran McHugh, the CEO of a new calendar app company called Daybridge, thinks it’s a “no” across the board. But he’d like to change that.

Daybridge is launching officially today after almost two years of development. What McHugh and his team have built so far is… well, it’s a calendar app. It connects to Google Calendar (no Outlook yet, but that’s coming), you can move events around — you get the idea. It’s a nice-looking calendar app, certainly, but a calendar app nonetheless. McHugh estimates the team has spent 80 percent of its time so far just building basic calendar plumbing, but the Daybridge team has lots of big ideas about calendars and time management that they want to work on next.

The big ideas, when Daybridge gets around to building them, are far more exciting. What Daybridge plans to eventually build is a calendar that understands that not all events are created equal — and that managing your time is not just about plugging things into identical-looking 60-minute blocks. In an early mock-up of the app that McHugh shared more than a year ago, a running event automatically pulled in stats from Strava, turning it into an exercise journal. The calendar looked more like a Trello-style kanban board of time than a grid of hours. Every event had a different icon — a plane for an upcoming flight, scissors for a haircut, a martini glass for after-work drinks — to make clear what’s happening and when at a glance. That mock-up, says Daybridge product manager Jami Welch, got a lot of people excited, including him. “It’s just like, ‘Here are just the plans each day, get things at a glance.’ And you’re not trying to have time be this giant void with little things floating in.”

One of the earliest Daybridge mock-ups, with integrations galore.

Image: Daybridge

But before Daybridge could get to any of that, it had to build a calendar that worked. “You need lots of these links to be in place before the sum can be greater than the parts,” Welch says. Even now, McHugh adds, “It’s not feature complete, and we don’t have exact feature parity… but we’re at a point where we’re ready to start rolling this out and getting feedback.”

Daybridge’s other theory is that lots of things happen at specific times, but traditional calendar events are rarely the best way to represent them. “It could just be you saying, ‘I’m expecting a delivery between these hours,’” Welch says, “and you don’t need a giant rectangle that competes with all your meetings. There’s a lighter awareness — we think there’s something there.” Beta testers have asked for a medication tracker in Daybridge, he says, and the company’s trying to find a way to do it that doesn’t feel like a task list or calendar event. “I just know, at some point within these five hours of the day, I need to do X. And then once I’ve done it, get it out of my mind.” That feels more human and useful to Daybridge than a half-hour block that says “MEDICATION.”

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