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Today I Launched ChecklistApp.net to Make, Share, Save And Print Checklists

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

A ChecklistApp.net checklist

I’m happy to announce the launch of ChecklistApp.net today. With ChecklistApp you can do a few things: make, share, save and print checklists. Head on over there and give it a try!

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:

  1. Come up with the idea
  2. Mindmap out what you want the app to do (the less the better)
  3. Build it using Ruby on Rails and existing software (I used a few Ruby on Rails gems and Bootstrap from Twitter)
  4. 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
  5. Launch the app
  6. 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!

Comments

  1. A Lesson to learn: Make solutions to your own problems/questions if you can’t find one already :D

    Awesome App, Robert!

    I will be giving it a try (I usually don’t keep checklists, but I will see how it works out).

  2. I must be a fossil…
    I assume you keep adding “things to do” and check it often?
    Or is this Just for smart Phone?
    Can you show an example of a check list?

  3. Totally cool! I tend to use Exel or Word to create most of my checklists, but this lookds easier and way faster!
    Love it – thanks!!!

  4. Hi Robert, another way for quick start and hosting your app is to use Heroku, very easy to setup and free for small app. You get a lot of plugins and even generate PDF (not sure this one is free ;)

    • I looked at that as an option but when push comes to shove I like having the flexibility of doing whatever I want on a server. Also I’m using Ruby 1.9.3 which they don’t yet support. Yay bleeding edge!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Works looker simpler as you list it out ! Keep it coming.

  6. I like it, Robert, and grin at your language (easy peasy) in regard to the app on your Facebook post, ha!

  7. Hi Robert, I just went over and created a test To do. The system seems pretty cool and does exactly what it’s meant to do. I started using my white board in the office here as a to do check list and it’s working out well.

    Robert can you make the checklist private?

  8. Great tool Robert.

    Suggestion: It would help if the PDF generated would also have interactive fields. Not sure if it’s possible though.

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