Vincent Ritter

Code Challenge

I set myself a challenge to create a web app in 60 days. Follow along as I build the app in the open with daily progress reports.

I'm working on Simple Schedule, a new and simple way to manage bookings, appointments and gatherings.

Both full blogs posts and thoughts on the project are shown below. If you would like to get involved you can email me or message me on Micro.blog

The web app is now in public beta, which is pretty exciting. You can find out more by heading to the main website here or you can register and get started. Enjoy.

There's also a public Trello board of everything I'm working through during the beta phase.

Simple Schedule - a month after beta.

After spending a tremendous amount of time on shipping a beta for Simple Schedule, fixing loads of bugs and moving hosting provider, I took a break from it all.

It’s now been one month (and a few days) since I launched the beta version of the app. I’m pretty happy where it ended it up and I am also happy that I took the time to learn the process of creating an app using the Rails framework.

I don’t… can’t… go into much detail of what I did for a whole month, so I’ll just dig in on what is next.

The newsletter

Before I move on though, here are some interesting stats from the newsletter that went out. I didn’t track how many people actually opened the email. It doesn’t interest me… I find it clouds my judgement. MailChimp didn’t give me an option to disable tracking on links though… you have to pay for that.

  1. Out of 80 that signed up within the 30 days, 10 were fake accounts.
  2. 1 person, who clicked a link, and signed up via the newsletter form, reported the email as spam ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  3. Out of 70, minus 1, no one signed up from that newsletter.

So, interesting insight really. I’m not sure why people signed up for it and then ultimately decided that a few days later that they don’t want to sign up. Perhaps it was the promise of a free account for people that supported the project. I’m not sure.

However, seeing people sign up to the newsletter gave me hope which ultimately kept me going. I went through some super difficult time in life, so working on the site kept me going. Even if you didn’t sign up, I want to say thank you for keeping me motivated.

Pricing

I decided to ditch pricing for now. Easy as that. My current servers are more than capable of handling the app, so I have no need to do anything special. Once there are a few thousand sign ups, I’ll rethink it. But as long as I can sustain it personally I am more than happy to keep it a free service.

Things are missing

I didn’t complete everything, with two items still outstanding. I’ll get to them eventually but I’m in no rush at the moment.

On top, I have been working hard on client projects. These pay for keeping the lights on and gives me the luxury to make it a free service.

On that note, I would say that Simple Schedule is in a good place and now just needs a bit of time to hopefully gain a bit of traction. I don’t mind if that is a slow process over a year or even longer. My goal is organic traction, so let’s see.

The most important part is that I shipped something, I learned a new framework and that I am happy of where it got me.

Took a bit of a break after getting the Simple Schedule beta out last week. Had to start a few client projects and change the scenery a little. Always good to have a break from something.

I'll write another blog post with an update and next steps for the project. I also have a small announcement regarding the pricing structure I decided on today.

Spent the day working on getting Simple Schedule onto Linode and away from Heroku. Only because I'd like to keep all my stuff in one place (one provider).

Simple Schedule - It's time for the beta

I’m super happy to announce that Simple Schedule is now, officially, open for public beta testing. I can’t believe that I have come so far already with the app and am excited that I have come to this milestone!

This week I concentrated on getting a new website up for the marketing site, to replace the holding site, and also worked on tweaking the actual app to give a bit more information about the beta. I added a few ‘support’ articles but feel I need to expand this even more. At the moment there are no guides on how to add events and do other things.

Development certainly will keep going as I build out the rest of the features and squash bugs.

It feels weird and exciting to open it up… even though I had a dev url always available this feels different.

I wrote my first email to go out to everyone that registered interest on the holding site. You can see this below or view it in a browser. (It’s not sent just yet but will at Feb 15th 10:00 AM Pacific).

Hey, this is Vincent, the creator of Simple Schedule.

I want to thank you for signing up to the beta email list and taking an interest so early on in the development process. It means a lot to me!

I’m happy to announce that Simple Schedule is now open to everyone as a public beta. To celebrate I also created a new homepage.

"Beta" means… stuff might just break! By opening it up I’m looking for feedback about the service, learn more of your needs and work towards completing everything necessary to implement features and fix bugs.

The app is 95% functional at the moment, as envisioned when I had it on the drawing board. It is missing a few features that will hopefully ship during beta. These are listed below:

Appointments
Events with time slots
Billing (Boooo!)


During the beta, the service is free to use and there will be more updates on pricing structure as I go.

For your information you can always follow along the blog posts that I write daily or weekly. You can head over to a special section of my personal site to find out more.

I urge you to keep an eye on the public Trello board I created there. This contains everything I’m working on. It will show bugs, features, design tweaks etc. I’ll be adding to it as you report bugs and have feedback for me.

I really do appreciate any feedback you have during this time and I’ll do my best to please where I can. Email me or just reply to this very email: hello@simpleschedule.net.

Once you are registered, you can click on the “beta” badge on the top right to pull up (“down”) contact details and links to the website.

I rely on word of mouth, so if you know someone that would find the service useful please share.

I’m really excited to where this project can go.

- Vincent

If you like to contribute, please email me or let me know via Micro.blog. There is also the Simple Schedule site where you can sign up for a beta. On top, there is now a public Trello board with beta site progress. You can visit the 'beta' website to play around.

For other posts on the challenge, check out the links below:

  1. Code challenge - from zero to web app in 60 days.
  2. Code challenge - Prelude and Day 1 - Setting things up.
  3. Code challenge - Day 2.
  4. Code challenge - Day 3. Holding page.
  5. Code Challenge - Day 4. A login page and a few tweaks.
  6. Code Challenge - Day 5. Registration page and preliminary app navigation.
  7. Code Challenge - Day 6. Getting in the groove, new events, MVP considerations.
  8. Code Challenge - Day 7. 'My Events' view.
  9. Code Challenge - Day 8. Burning the midnight oil, loud music and good progress.
  10. Code Challenge - Day 9. Progress, changes and regrets.
  11. Code Challenge - Day 10. There are no events, pricing thoughts and badges.
  12. Code Challenge - Day 11. New logo, further changes to event details and a tiny tweak.
  13. Code Challenge - Day 12. Final frontend stretch.
  14. Code Challenge - Day 13. Choosing Rails, getting into the swing and thoughts on a multi tenancy app.
  15. Code Challenge - Day 14 & 15. Blog post thoughts, passwords and learning.
  16. Simple Schedule - Day 16 & 17. Register, Login and sharing progress.
  17. Simple Schedule Dev Diary - Week 4. Profile, Settings, Passwords and Attendees.
  18. Simple Schedule Dev Diary - Week 5. Events, bookings and getting ready for the beta. 

Just finished the beta announcement email to everyone that signed up to the Simple Schedule mailing list. That is going out tomorrow morning. Better things to do today for most people. Also gives me a bit of time to tweak a few things.


Also, worked hard on updating the Trello board... I've added a lot already. More to come. Need to work on the help site and a simple update to the main marketing website.

Been working all day to get Simple Schedule beta ready... pretty excited about it. Maybe tomorrow ;)


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