Site Downtime - We're Sorry!

From around 4:45 PM EST tonight until 7:00 PM EST the iPrioritize site was down. Our hosting company had a major power outage and did the best they could to recover the site as soon as possible. I am planning on spending a significant amount of time next week working with them to ensure that this never happens again.

I sincerely apologize to our users - it is absolutely unacceptable for a service like iPrioritize to go down for any amount of time. I happened to be USING iPrioritize at the time the outage began. I was entering my tasks for the weekend when the site crashed and it was extremely frustrating. The thought of our users having the same experience deeply bothers me.

Again, I apologize and I assure you that we are working our best to prevent this from happening in the future.


Completed items now in the order that you checked them off

I finally got around to making your completed items show in the order that you checked them off. It's really a feature that should have been there when the application launched - it just makes intuitive sense to have the completed items shown in order of recency completed (from most recently completed at the top to oldest completed at the bottom). Completed items previously were displayed in alphabetical order.

One thing to note: your existing lists completed items won'’t be sorted that way (they will appear to be random), but anything you check in the future will show at the top of the list. If you really want to make your existing list look like that you could un-check and then re-check each item and that would take care of it.



Application upgrade procedure

I've been getting asked a lot lately about when there will be feature upgrades and what they will be. I've said all along that will depend on what our users tell us. Although we have many loyal users, we are still only 6 weeks old and still have less than 1,000 users.

The users I have spoken to have all had great suggestions, but there has not been one thing that everyone suggested. It's more like 10 or 15 common suggestions, some contradictory. If there were any unanimous suggestions I would be working on them.

Now, am I going to let this stop us from ever upgrading the application? Of course not. In an attempt to make the process as democratic as possible, here's how I'm going to handle it:

  1. I will continue to make note of everyone's suggestions. In the coming months I will meet with a board of advisors (all users) and we will discuss each option, how much work it will take, and whether or not it deserves to be voted upon.

  2. Sometime in the fall (hopefully when we are around 3k or 4k users) I will email every registered user with a link to a survey. This will be your chance to vote. There will likely be several different polls - maybe one for aesthetic features, another for business account features, another for mobile features, etc.

  3. I will spend a significant amount of time analyzing the data from the survey results (one of the rare chances that I get to directly apply my industrial engineering degree:)). There's no limit to how many features will be added, but it may get tough if two top features (say 38% approval and 34% approval) are contradictory and can't be done if the other is done. In that case, I'll do the best I can to make the decision that I think is best for the majority of users and the future of the business.

  4. I'll start working on the programming. Features will probably roll out over the course of the following few months (end of 2006, beginning of 2007) depending on the complexity. I'll do my best to take care of the easiest stuff first so you don't have to wait to see some results.

I know that's not perfect, but it's the best system I could come up with. As always, feel free to let me know your ideas by emailing me at adam.mcfarland@iprioritize.com or by commenting on this blog.

The most important thing to me throughout the whole process will be to hold true to the core values of iPrioritize. That means we aren't going to try to be something we're not (most notably calendar software or project management software). We believe in doing one thing (to-do lists) and doing it as best we can. There is more than enough room for improvement as a to-do list.

So, in short, there are no major upgrades coming soon but there is a plan to implement upgrades democratically in the near future :)

*Note - upgrades are different from fixing problems. I will continue to fix any programming glitches you encounter. Along those lines: for you RSS subscribers out there, I recently fixed a bug that would cause a feed error when you used certain symbols (most notably an ampersand) in your notes. Hopefully that's the end of all RSS problems.



It's been a few weeks since I last posted anything so I figured I'd give you guys a quick update.

  • Accounts are still signing up at a rate that even I didn't expect (and believe me, I had high expectations) and thankfully there have been very few technical errors (hence very few blog posts). Most of the small tech problems that we did have were worked out in the first few days.

  • I apologize for the downtime early last week - hopefully that's not something that happens very often. We still have over 99.5% uptime for the short life of the site but hopefully that will improve to 99.9% in the coming months.

  • In the coming months I will begin to start working on an application upgrade so feel free to email suggestions to adam.mcfarland@iprioritize.com. There will be a poll for users to vote for features so I want to make sure that every feasible idea is on the ballot. I've received some great suggestions so far so keep them coming.

  • Oh, and I was on a recent episode of Bold Business Talk if anyone wants to hear me ramble about being a young entrepreneur.

I think that's all for now...


Export Lists to Excel

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I recently received a suggestion from a user to add an option to export your lists to Microsoft Excel. At some point we will probably add a button under 'Options' on your list to do just that. But for the time being you can follow these steps to export your list to Excel 2003.

  1. Log in and bring up the RSS feed for the list that you want to export to Excel

  2. Save the webpage as an XML file (File -> Save As in Internet Explorer)

  3. Open the file in Excel and choose "As an XML list" when it prompts you on how to open the file

That's it! It's not the ideal solution, but it's a pretty easy temp solution for anyone wishing to export their list to Excel.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone(for those in the States).