Tuesday, May 19, 2015

App Idea - Conversation Tracker

I think I have a really good app idea for any of you developers out there. I likely won't get around to developing it any time soon so feel free if you're so inclined.
PROBLEM #1: I’m bombarded with information on a daily basis; some of it useful, a lot of it not so much. Some of it is funny or worth remembering and would be great to use at a social gathering... but when that event happens, it often drops off the priority list in my brain and is promptly replaced with less interesting stuff. I need something to preserve of these morsels of information to keep the conversation going.
PROBLEM #2: Now that I have it tracked, I may like to use this information tidbit over the span of a week or two, or maybe come back to it much later when the initial wave of excitement subsides (e.g. blue/black vs white/gold.) If I do come back to it later, I now have to remember who I told… lest I be that person who keeps telling the stories over and over again. Not so amusing the second and third time around. I need something to track who I’ve told.
PROBLEM #3: If I attend a social event and find out that one person who I have never met is interested in a particular topic… let’s say hockey. Instead of wallowing in stories of the Canucks being ousted from the playoffs, I could dig up some cool factoid related to hockey that may turn a dull conversation into something a little more fun (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taro_Tsujimoto). I need something to categorize these bits of info so that I can easily find it when needed.
RESEARCH: I looked at a number of options out there but couldn’t exactly find what I was looking for. Let me know if you know of anything that solves all three of these problems in one app. Here is what I looked at:

  1. Contacts Journal - This is a CRM tool for the iPhone. It would work except that you cannot assign one note to many contacts. FAIL!
  2. Flexile - This is a database builder app for the iPhone. It looked very promising as it supported table look-ups but does not support one-to-many links. I need to be able to link multiple people to one note. FAIL!
Then I thought of note taking apps. A number of them support adding tags. I could simply add a tag for each of my friends. This would need to be an app that I didn’t use for any other purposes as I wouldn’t want to affect tagging for the rest of the app. I found an app called:
  1. Idea Store - This note taking app allows me to add as many tags as I want to each 'idea' or note. This is the best one I have come across so far but it only satisfies problem 1 and 2, not 3. I could also use tags for 3 but I would prefer to keep these separated unless you are able to create them in a hierarchical structure to separate them. The other problem is that this app was last updated in 2012 so it may not survive an OS upgrade. It also doesn’t support URL schemes which would allow me to add a note and add tags using Launch Center Pro (not having to access the app itself. But… it is the best option to date so I will give it a shot.
Anyone else know of any iOS tools out there that might be able to do this?
The app should allow me to:
  • easily document a quick snippet of info: it could be just some text, it could be a link to an article, an image or video (but mostly text or a link)
  • create a contact list that can pull selected contacts from your Contacts App or Facebook (all that is needed is the first and last name, maybe a notes field, optional photo, and perhaps a link to the actual contact in the Contacts app.
  • link as many contacts as you want to the note. These are the people I have shared the story with.
  • contacts should be searchable and easy to add if missing.
  • create a category list (allowing for a tree structure in case you want more flexibility in filtering.)
  • link as many categories as you want to the note.
  • categories should be searchable and easy to add if missing.
  • display notes based on contact or category with filters to break down search results.
  • share stories with Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc... without revealing the contacts and categories used.
  • access this data without having to log into a service. All data should be stored locally within the app.
I haven’t found anything close to this in the App Store but maybe I’m not searching properly. Ultimately, I think it would be a useful tool to keep track of your conversation starters. No more silence with you run out of things to talk about when you need to rely on your brain and its poor memory.
Anyone want to develop this? :)

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