Vincent Ritter

Code challenge - Prelude and Day 1 - Setting things up

This will be a regular (daily) series of blog posts for my own personal code challenge.


This week I already set wheels in motion by thinking about the name for my web app. I never really liked businesses ending with ‘ly’, ‘fy’ and you name it. You know what I mean… something like ‘Appointly’, ‘Calendly’… *cough*

So, I came up with two very simple options for myself… they are not perfect and I might just change it:

I wanted to go for Just Schedule as I named a few of my projects starting with ‘Just’ - kind of inspired by “Just Do It” and “It just works” but encapsulate that it “just” does what it says and nothing else.

I consulted my wife, who’s opinion I trust, and she recommended “Simple Schedule”. So did my sister.

Simple Schedule it is. I think it perfectly fits what I want to do at this stage… create a simple scheduling/appointment web app. I have to be honest, I am not great at coming up with names… just like naming methods and functions in code!

I registered with, a registrar I hold many domains with for many years, on Tuesday, 5th of December 2017. Naturally the .com was taken by some parked domain service. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There is nothing on the domain yet, still at the Gandi holding page from when I registered. Update 2017-12-10: This now points to one of my servers with a holding page coming up on 2017-12-11.

Gandi does offer awesome DNS service out the box, however I decided to use my DNSimple account in this instance. Their interface for adding domains and keyboard shortcuts are just awesome. Not to mention really awesome customer support. I run a few clients through the account so it doesn’t add too much to my costs. Yes, there are free services out there like Cloudflare and others, even Linode (which I also use) have DNS hosting. Anyway, more of a personal preference.

Day 1

Today was my first official day on the project. I already blogged about it earlier, to get me started. Blogging about something, especially a challenge, just helps me to motivate myself to keep going. Yes, I did try something similar in the past… unfortunately my work circumstances were not great.

I opened up TaskPaper today, to get me back into the swing of using it. I just started jotting down everything that was in my head about the app. I made several notes in my “pen & paper” notebook that I always keep on my desk. Without it I would be lost!

I wanted to jot down a quick feature set of the app, although it turned out I got into more details than I wanted. I also created a task list just for Day 1, to try and work through some crucial little steps.

To summarise day one from TaskPaper:

@done means it’s done :)

MailChimp I’d like to use for capturing email addresses for early sign ups and perhaps some beta updates as I go. Next week I’ll probably work on getting this integrated into a holding site. Down the line, I may use it for 'opt-in' marketing emails just to let people know what updates the app is getting, although that will be 'opt-in' only. I never liked spam and want to respect my users.

Email is set up and working through [email protected] and sent that famous test email to myself… something I always do to see if it all works. Always exciting! Gandi offers free mail service with your domains, which suited me for many many years.

Regarding the feature set… I did start work on a high level overview of the app and what it does. I also got into detail on pricing. Pricing is important and I want to do something a bit different. I want to avoid monthly pricing. Everyone does that. Perhaps it is too early to think about it… however I wanted to do something that is abnormal compared to the natural flow of things I see around the web. I’m not sure if it will work. But I do want to avoid monthly fees being charged for months and months for a customer that hardly ever uses the service. I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I would rip someone off.

To save a headache and a half, I’ll run the site through my consulting business based here in Kraków… just to keep it simple. If it’s something that requires a separate entity down the line, I’ll change that. One tax return is easier than two!

So, here is a very early view of the app, ideas and pricing. I haven’t changed anything, so you can see how this works in my head:

Early thoughts:

A few random thoughts about the app to get me into the flow of thinking of everything.




I’ll expand this over the next few days. Also, for those that would like to see a screenshot of the notes above, here goes:

Overall slow today but steady progress. I've done a lot of offline thinking over the course of the last few weeks and hope to get everything down and 'locked in' over the weekend.

Side note:
I wrote this article mainly for myself, to follow along when I look back at it at some stage. If you did like what I wrote and are interested in some of the services I mentioned above please consider using the following affiliate links, this will help me reduce some of my costs. I use affiliate links because I truly believe in the service and use it day to day.