April 4, 2019

The Seeds of Audacity: Part 2

by Peter Burke in Behind the scenes

It’s a little embarrassing to see the riches that were built into Oryx back in 2005… It was far from a dystopian tool. 

If I hadn’t fallen for Wunderlist and neglected it, what might it have become?   Still, better late than never.

So what were my favourite Oryx features?   Well it integrated with our Messaging system, so it was easy to drag a message to become a task.  Incidentally, although many of our Messaging system’s features have now become mainstream, such as replying with an emoticon, one still hasn’t made it into the wider world.   Mayfly messages are such an obviously good thing, but no-one has copied, so far as I know. Nothing worse than coming back from holiday to find your inbox cluttered with things like ‘Anyone fancy a drink tonight?’ Or ‘I found some car keys in reception, please come and get them before 3pm’.    Mayfly messages disappear at midnight.

Thought for the day would let you see an inspirational or thought-provoking quote; perhaps a bit like Slack’s messages on launch, but rather more varied ie always a different one.   Assigning tasks to someone else could be achieved by dragging the task onto their avatar.

Tasks could be dragged onto the ‘Tomorrow’ icon for an easy defer.   Or dropped onto the ‘Cloud’ icon where they would lose their due date and become mere dreams.  

Tasks could have a time estimate attached to them, for current and future workload estimation.   And if you told Oryx your start/end times, then a large hourglass would show the sands of time running out as the day progressed.

Oh, and I have to mention the Elephants.  Inspired by the ‘Time Manager’ concept that the best way to eat an elephant is ‘one slice at a time’.  For a large task you would declare an elephant, and then drag tasks onto it to turn them into its sub-tasks.   As those tasks completed, the elephant would change from 100% white to 100% blue, before trotting off into the sunset.  Maybe this wasn’t a Tasks system, but a ‘Tusks’ system…

There was so much more.   But that’s enough of a trip down memory lane – in the next post I’ll say which features made the cut into Audacity.

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