Metro Tech

Last Night at New York Tech Meetup: You’ll Never Have An Excuse to Be Disorganized Again

The Swissmiss showed up.
Gorgeous Sunrise. (Photo: iTunes)

Gorgeous Sunrise. (Photo: iTunes)

If there’s one takeaway from last night’s New York Tech Meetup, it’s that people’s organizational skills are only as good as the apps they use.

The first app of note to present was TeuxDeux, a “simple, designy to-do app” that wants to disrupt the world of lists. Presented by creator Tina Roth-Eisenberg (a.k.a @swissmiss to her 350,000+ followers), the app is an elegant, responsive and minimalist approach to organizing your day. Just enter the tasks you want to accomplish and mark them off as you complete them. However, if you miss a task, like doing laundry, it’s automatically transferred to the next day and on and on until its completed. (One person near us remarked that it’s “beautiful.”) The subscription-based app is currently only available for iPhones.

Then there was Sunrise, a well-designed calendar app for iOS. It’s created by a few former Foursquare designers, and puts Apple’s default calendar to shame. It syncs up to a server and pulls in data from your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google accounts to create a centralized and powerful calendar so you’ll never miss an event/birthday/happy hour again. During the app’s Q&A session, someone asked how they’re going to stop Apple from directly imitating it, leaving one of the app’s creators to shrug and conclude that “at least we were first.”

Of course, organizational apps are useless without things to do, so enter Ketchup, an iOS-only app that helps you plan your social life using your Facebook account. It organizes all the things you say you’re going to do with your friends, but never end up doing for whatever reason. Unlike its competitors (we immediately thought of now defunct app Forecast), there’s no time element, thus making it the ultimate boredom killer. If for whatever reason seeing Spring Breakers no longer entices you, there’s a “flake out” option that offers an excuse if you can’t show up.

If IRL activities riddle you with boundless  anxiety, then you can bond with your friends using an app called Bout. From the creators of CollegeHumor, presenters Julie Babb and Jim Babb described it as “Instagram meets Apples to Apples.” A player chooses a challenge (“A fancy pose” or “Something that kills the mood”) and the group snaps or uses pictures saved on their phone to answer the prompt. After five entries are submitted, the person who created the challenge chooses a winner and is awarded points.

Of course, NYTM wasn’t all apps. A service called Next Caller presented, or “caller ID on steroids” for customer service hotlines. There was also a peppy presentation from a website called Grand St. that intrigued the audience. The flash-sale outlet reviews and sells new products every other day from independent makers.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com