April 18, 2019

The conception of an alternative: The Seeds of Audacity – Part 4

by Peter Burke in Behind the scenes

When the news had sunk in that Wunderlist would be ‘retired’ (like the much-loved Sunrise) by Microsoft, I initially started to ‘play the field’ again, and experimented with alternative Apps. 

I guess I’m not a Microsoft person – a dozen years ago I switched to Macs.

And couple of years back I discovered the joy of Chromebooks. I admire the company for its success, and resurgence, but I simply didn’t think a Microsoft To Do App would tick enough boxes.

Alas the experimentation didn’t lead me to any clear-cut alternative.   Sure, some of the options were good in some ways, but I couldn’t commit my task planning to a curate’s egg.   However, using other Apps did make me aware that Wunderlist had somewhat stagnated and that there were many feature gaps.   Some of them, of course, I’d become aware of as a user, and decided to ignore, just as we all accept/ignore our partners’ foibles.   

I don’t recall precisely when, but at some point in the summer of 2018 the lack of a viable alternative led me to decide that we would develop one.   I spent many long days and evenings in my Isle of Wight office (pictured above) sketching ideas on A2 jotter pads and post-its. To my mind the ‘Wunderlist replacement’ had to deliver on the following:

  • 90% of Wunderlist features (hey, the ones I depended on!)
  • All of the things I wished Wunderlist had developed, and which I worked around
  • My personal innovation, the ‘Today’ view – more about that in a later blog
  • Connectivity.   I wanted it to connect to Basecamp, Slack, and other modern business tools.  But also to home-hunting websites and recipe websites – in short it had to become the organising hub for my life


And so the journey began.   Around 9 months later, my baby was delivered, screaming and kicking, to the App Store.  Audacity was conceived on the Isle of Wight, but is destined to be a citizen of the world.

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