UPDATE: ChecklistApp.net has been shut down. Thank you for everyone for trying out the app. And happy checklisting!
Ever have an itch that no one seems to be scratching? You find that you need a tool that does just one thing really well but that tool doesn't exist? Instead, all you find are existing apps that kind of do what you want but don't go far enough?
That's where creating and launching your own application comes in.
I've been told and found from experience that some of the best applications online today were created by people that couldn't find tools that did what they needed. I ran into that problem myself last week. Here's what happened.
The (Short) Back Story
Last week I needed to create a checklist for a client of mine. Sounds simple right? So what to use to create said checklist. Hmmmm…
I'm on a Mac so I could either use Pages (word processor) or perhaps Numbers (spreadsheet). I could use the excellent OmniOutliner however that didn't give me the look I wanted to provide to my client.
So what's a geek to do?! Build an app!
So that's what I did.
ChecklistApp.net Is Born
From Idea To App In 3 Days
What you'll see today is the culmination of three days of work and everything I've read up on design until this point. A lot of the same thinking is going into the upcoming Banyan Tree HQ, so stay tuned for that.
One geeky note is that the site uses something called “responsive design” which means you create a website once and as the size of the screen changes the elements on the page change position. In plain English that means you don't need to create a separate website just for mobile devices.
To try it out open up ChecklistApp.net and make your web browser window smaller. Watch what happens with the navigation at the top of the page as well as the sidebar. Geeky isn't it?
Now back to the main point of this section…
So how do you launch an app in 3 days? It helps if you can code. For the sake of this post let's say you can sling some code. Here's a short outline for getting your app live:
- Come up with the idea
- Mindmap out what you want the app to do (the less the better)
- Build it using Ruby on Rails and existing software (I used a few Ruby on Rails gems and Bootstrap from Twitter)
- Find a programmer friend to set up a virtual private server (VPS) for you so you don't FUBAR anything since you haven't launched an app yourself in more than 5 years. My friend Marc Jeanson at Redline Software helped me out with that
- Launch the app
- Write a blog post and tell the world!
If you plan on making money from your app then you want to be sure profit is on that list somewhere 🙂
Give ChecklistApp.net A Go
I'll be adding more functionality to the site including sending a checklist via email, adding your own header graphic, and more.
Please head on over to ChecklistApp.net, give it a go, and let me know what you think.
See you there!