We asked Focus Inc's founder and CEO, Kristen Shannon, product developer, Sophie Otter, and product manager, Jas Chana about building an app that helps users reduce their mental load so that they can focus on the tasks that provide value to their day to day work. Kristen came across Bubble in recent tech and business news and thought it would be a good platform to build an MVP. She chose Bubble because the no-code platform enabled her team to build a fully functioning web app without knowing how to code.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
Work can often be messy and complicated, with endless tasks to get through. Focus Inc helps users reduce their mental load to focus on the most effective lessons that provide value to their day-to-day work.
We are building a task management tool that is less about hyper-productivity and more about reducing stress, noise, and feelings of being overwhelmed to help people focus.
Focus Inc. uses a simple, streamlined design to keep the fuss out of task management and keep users focused on their day-to-day priorities. We have built-in features such as prioritization labels that automatically reorder tasks, custom category labels, a time tracker, weekly insights, and nudge notifications to help drive better habits?
How does your app work?
Our users can get tasks out of their head, paper-list, or other sources and into our app by adding tasks through our website or mobile app. The lessons can then be dragged and dropped into the relevant columns. We have two preset columns - Must Do Today and Unsorted as the base for a new user to unload and focus on their priorities, with the option to add more columns based on their preferences e.g. time based (this week, next week) or project/area-based (e.g. marketing, finance, research).
Using a simple RAG rating, tasks can be prioritized and automatically reordered in their column list. Users can also add custom category labels such as ‘presentation, document, and research to further define the task type.
An advanced feature includes a time tracker, which allows users to record how long their specific tasks take them to complete.
We have a focused ‘Must Do Today’ dashboard - perfect for those who need to get away from distractions or feeling overwhelmed by all the other tasks that are lurking around them.
Users can view their weekly insights, including an overview of their activity history (completed tasks in total and by priority, new entries, number of days logged in, and more), category breakdowns, and time analysis.
Other features include a completed task history, notifications, and prompts to help users unblock and drive self-awareness.
We also have an enterprise/team version of our app, which allows users within a team to assign and receive tasks.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
Our founder, Kristen Shannon, had come across Bubble many times in recent tech and business news and thought it would be an excellent platform to build an MVP. I was a recent law grad who had just started working at Highliner and had no experience in tech so when Kristen asked if I would like to go on the boot camp to learn to build an MVP, I was very excited to learn a new skill. I had no idea what a landing page, domain, or even a workflow was in the first class, so it was a very steep learning curve. I learned so much from the course and had an excellent instructor, Tony Tan. If anyone is considering the boot camp, then I would say do it.
The course gave me the skill set to create a basic MVP product - I have then used the forum and tutorials to keep developing my skill set and iterate the product until we had something we could launch as a web and native app.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
As a bootstrapped company, we wanted to prove product-market fit and be able to iterate quickly without a huge financial investment. That's where no code changed the game for us.
Focus Inc. is built entirely on Bubble - and it's given us immense flexibility as well as the ability to launch quicker than we had imagined. To say it's all "easy" would be an overstatement - but it has helped us to drive new ambitions and aspirations both as a company and as individual team members, such as myself. I graduated in Law last year and within a few months became the primary developer.
I don't think we could have launched so quickly had we not built on Bubble.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
Our most significant success to date has been launching our product and getting organic sign-ups to our product.
Also, although it might seem less impressive, getting ‘drag and drop’ to work felt like a personal milestone. I went backward and forward, trying to configure it for the longest time, and for a while, I could only make the drag work with no drop. Releasing the feature and hearing how much our users liked it in their feedback made it all feel worthwhile. Another feature release that felt like a great milestone was the time tracker feature, where users can record how long each task is taking them.
Lastly, a success was how quickly we could create a website landing page on Bubble. In one day, we managed to design and launch a multi-page website.
What are your next steps or future plans for your app?
We are looking to disrupt the task management market by integrating with OpenAI GTP-3 to automate systems to help prioritize work. Doing this will automatically categorize tasks based on dimensions of prioritization, including time, company priorities, and individual strength, using NLP to sift company information data. We will then use our own trained data sets to help guide the decision-making of the most critical tasks for people in similar roles, allowing them to prioritize effectively.
This development will take us a step ahead of the current task management sector, which relies heavily on the individual users manually making sense of information from multiple sources and entering it into their system - making task management a burden in itself.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.