Roast my startup: DueFocus - Time Tracking & Productivity Software
Hi to all! My name is Tom and I am looking for feedback on my app. DueFocus is a comprehensive time tracking software powered by machine learning that fully analyzes your workflow and how you are focused on work in real-time.
The app helps to control distractions, delve into deep work, and provides personal metrics of efficiency and productivity based on data. The software has a two-way API integration with 30+ project management tools such as Jira, GitLab, Github, Trello, Asana, Todoist, etc. DueFocus is made both for self-management and teams.
Check out the landing page and both desktop and web apps. Right now software is free. Looking forward to hearing from you
So first of all: Wow.
That project looks amazing at first sight. And as a software engineer, I am humbled by the amount of work that must have gone into it. That's truly a masterpiece. And just as the desktop software, the landing page also looks like it came straight from a billion-dollar company.
That being said, here is the experience I made with it (pretty quickly):
I seemed a bit unintuitive to me. The graphs and activity categories like "Work", "Communication" look great, but in practice, I only can scratch my head. I am literally clueless what I am looking at, it just gives me the feeling that I know (or at least should know) what's going on with my time, when I still don't.
There are some UI glitches that make me uncomfortable, e.g that profile picture with the checkmark. I was searching for a task that I just had created and couldn't show it up in the desktop app until I found out I can click the checkmark. I still don't know what it does, but I am assuming it filters done tasks vs pending tasks.
I also don't know why there is the web UI. Creating invoices feels a bit clumsy, and taxes seem to be missing from the generated pdfs. After I hide a project that I imported from Trello I couldn't figure out how to bring it back. I also didn't figure out how to NOT import a project from Trello (I'd like to have a whitelist approach, where I explicitly choose which projects I want to import, instead I have all my Trello boards in now, including my life planning and even cooking recipes).
I should add that I was eyeballing with RescueTime recently, so I took a look into DueFocus because I was sincerely interested. But I don't even know what DueFocus is supposed to be or do for me. I hoped for a cool time tracker that gives me stats to improve my productivity (that's the hope that built up in me when I scrolled through the landing page and hence my interest in RescueTime) but got a tool, that looks more like something I would want to use as a rigid employer to minute-track my employees (and the making screenshots feature or the notification that I have been inactive for 5 minutes also contributed to that feeling).
I then went out to find other, similar apps. What stroke my nerve most, is probably https://www.and.co/. I can't tell the difference in what problem DueFocus and And.co are supposed to so solve, but they seem very similar to me. I would choose And.co simply because it looks less complicated (this impression comes entirely from the screenshots, I didn't try And.co). I am missing a bold statement and a mission from DueFocus, and eventually, it is just too complicated and unintuitive for me.
All that "critics" given (you asked for a roast, though!) I must say I see some potential and I also see that there is probably some good reason for specific features. For example, I had to figure out the "Cold time" feature at first, but then it made sense. I guess a lot of the issues I have right now would fade if I just got used to the system and idea.
It's just not for me. I don't want to waste time by actively tracking time for all I do (which I believe is impossible anyway). As a freelancer, I'd rather turn on my iPhone timer when I start working and turn it off when I stop working. As a human striving for more productivity, I'd rather know how to improve: "What gets measured gets managed".
I looked at your intro-text and the word "machine learning" rang a bell with me - as someone who works on ml everyday myself. Glanced your landing-page - looks very professional - check.
.."you'll actually use.." - let's see.
I Click "Sign up for free.." First I wanted to login with github, then I didn't want to give you access to all my repos - why would I?
In the meantime I got distracted by your little "We're live on ProductHunt"
I read a bit of your story - wow 2 years, the science of productivity... reads like something solid.
I commence to login/signup with Trello
I download the Desktop app.
I click add task and want to go working
It doesn't let me - "You need to estimate your time" or something alike.
..That's where you "lost" me..
It's really a personal thing and for many it will probably be an awesome tool. It looks and feels all very professional, well engineered and thought through.
However I believe I can only use your tool if I "obey" to your tools' workflow.
- log all time (I don't want to log my time)
- Estimate every task
- Plan the work and work the plan
It became kind of a principle to me that I evade all tools that require me to adapt - I seek, use tools that adapt to me.
Sorry, I think I sound harsh - but you asked to be roasted :)
I have been promoting and executing all of this quite strictly in the past - imho my attention/focus-system is well trained / worked out.
Now that I AM trained - the most productive thing for me is a simple todo-list. It takes split-seconds to tick-off things, review my current list and few seconds to add new things. It seamlessly integrates with notes, links, content. It's the by far fastest way to do my planning.
I use notion.so for that.
Your tool belongs into "Extended project management tooling" for me. I might reconsider it for my day-job where I work with teams. For personal productivity it's not my cup of tea.