For quite some time, one of the most popular feature requests has been the ability to associate web sites and documents with keywords. Today, we are bringing this capability to Slife Web. It’s very cool.
Let’s say you would like to associate the keyword “wall street journal” or “wsj.com” with the “Reading News” activity. Click on the “Activities” tab on the left and hit the “Associations” link for the “Reading News” activity. This is what you will see:
At the top are the associations you might have already made by going into the “Applications” and “Web & Docs” views. Now, there’s another section at the bottom where you can enter keywords.
Slife is always trying to match document and web page titles and urls with your keywords. When it finds a match, it counts time towards the activity the keyword is under. The match doesn’t have to be exact. As long as the keyword is contained within a title or url, it will work.
Give it a try and let us know how this feature is working for your, we would love to hear your feedback. Since today is Monday, it’s also time for this week’s worklist. We are in the middle of a big update to Slife Teams and that will be our main focus the next few days. We also plan to do a little bit of work to make sure this new keyword feature is working very smoothly for everybody.
We first announced our plans to open source the Slife v2.x client right at the beginning of the Summer, around the same time that we released Slife Web. We were shooting for an end-of-August release but couldn’t meet that deadline.
The good news is, we only slipped for a couple of weeks. The new “old” Slife client is here, as open source and under the GPL license. We are very excited about this and wanted to share this announcement with you as soon as possible, even though it’s close to 6PM on a Friday here on the East Coast.
To be clear, this is the Slife v2.x client, the rich desktop client that precedes our current Slife web-based platform. And it’s the MacOS X version of the client. For the time being, we have no plans to open source the Windows client, since there was so little demand for it. We are calling this the Slife v2.5 client.
We decided to host the project under Google Code, a pretty good platform that has been recommended to us by lots of people. There’s not much there right now, except for the source code and the application as a zip file, but I am sure things are going to get busy as more people get involved and contribute to the project.
Over the years, like any other software company, we’ve benefitted tremendously from the generosity of others who’ve built and distributed software as open source. This is the first time we are giving back and we hope to do more of this in the future.
Now that Startup Riot is behind us, I thought I would write a post and talk a little bit about what we’ve got in store for Slife and Slife Teams in 2009.
First things first – yes, we are behind on the promised Slife 2.1 Mac release and we know it. The good news is that it’s coming later this week or early next week with some great features and optimizations. The big one is that you will be able to run Slife in the background. In this configuration, Slife won’t show up in the application switcher or the dock.
After the 2.1 release, we have a long work list of features we plan to bring to Slife:
Slife Teams will also see new features over the next couple of months. The most significant one has to do with the configuration of activities in the client. Right now only “shareable” activities are streamed up to Slife Teams. Due to popular demand, we will be changing the client so that once a Slife Teams account is configured, all activities will be streamed up to the web service.
This modification will greatly facilitate the initial configuration and usage of Slife Teams – at the moment, people are often confused when they enter their Slife Teams account info and nothing shows up on their web dashboard. That won’t be a problem anymore.
Have any thoughts about our feature list? Leave a comment below – we would love to get your input.
Slife offers a great way to keep track of time spent on projects automatically and that’s what made it popular with designers, programmers, writers and lots more people.
However, as anyone who’s worked as a freelancer knows, time tracking is just one piece of the puzzle. There’s also project management, customer relationship management, invoicing, billing and many other components that are directly tied to working with clients and getting paid for the work that you do.
While brainstorming the 2009 roadmap for our products, we’ve been thinking of ways to improve Slife and help people become more productive with it. As we were talking, it became pretty obvious that instead of building more functionality into the app, we should seriously consider extending Slife by integrating it more tightly with other established platforms such as Basecamp, Freshbooks and others.
So, we would like to know your opinion. Would it be useful to you if you could link Slife or Slife Teams to some of these popular web platforms? Which ones would you like to see Slife supporting?
If you’ve tried to install the new Slife for Windows v2.0 on Windows Vista 64 and had problems, you were not alone. The good news is that we have a new version available that should take care of this issue. Please check this discussion in the forum for more details and a download link.
We are still making sure that it works as expected for everyone on Vista 64, and as soon as we confirm that it is, we will roll out the fix for everyone.
Special thanks to those of you who brought this to our attention!
Immediately after we released Slife v2.0 for the Mac a few months ago, we shifted most of our client development resources to the Windows version. Today, Slife for Windows has reached ‘feature complete’ status.
What this means is that we are done with the development of Slife Win 2.0. Until we make Slife Win public, we will be fixing bugs mostly, not adding new features. New features will come in future updates.
Many of you have volunteered to take Slife for Windows v2.0 for a spin and help us test it. We really appreciate it – you will be hearing from us very soon. We hope to be rolling out Slife for Windows v2.0 to everyone within a few weeks. Honestly, we can’t wait!
It’s been one week since we released Slife 2.0. For us, there is a lot of work leading up to a release and perhaps even more after the release but we couldn’t be more pleased with how Slife 2.0 turned out and what’s coming up next.
Thanks to the quantity and quality of the feedback we’ve received over the last few days, we are already at work on a 2.0 revision. There are a number of requests in the forum that we can easily address, so you should expect to see an update to Slife fairly soon. By the way, the forum has been really active and it’s a great resource if you have a question about the app or would like to learn more about it.
There’s also been a lot of interest in Slife Teams over the past week. If you are still waiting for your Slife Teams invite account, no worries – we are beginning to send invitations today and will be opening the service to everyone very soon.
How did the Slife 2.0 project get started?
The Slife 2.0 journey started back in November 2007. Back then, we got in touch with a large number of our users and discovered that while Slife was a fun app, it wasn’t as useful as people had hoped. Most people were using Slife as a time tracking tool and Slife left a lot to be desired in that department. That wasn’t too surprising to us, since Slife wasn’t conceived to help people keep track of their time. It was originally designed as a personal information management tool.
So, we looked at each other, took a deep breath and realized that we had to dive head first into a complete Slife redesign if the app was to remain useful to people. And we did exactly that, putting many other initiatives on hold, such as Slife for Windows and Slifeshare. Slife for the Mac is our bread & butter and we felt that we had to get it completely right.
The great benefit of starting from scratch was that we were able to build Slife on top of many new Apple technologies that simply weren’t available the first time Slife was developed, back when it was called Onlife. Many of these new technologies, such as Core Data, offer tremendous benefits in terms of performance, one of the areas where Slife was lacking. At the end of the day Slife 2.0 is a more compact and focused app, and it represents a huge improvement over previous versions.
Like with any other software application, there are many ways to make Slife 2.0 even better. Over the next few months we will continue to improve it, and we would like the community to be an integral part of the process. If you would like to participate, join the discussion! We would love to hear from you.
One question that has come up quite a bit during the Slife 2.0 private beta is “How can I export my Slife 2.0 data?”. It seems like many of you are taking the data Slife compiles and using it to generate reports.
This is definitely an area we want to get much better at. Slife 1.x lets you export your activity events in XML format. For 2.0, we are thinking about XML and CSV. An option would be for Slife to generate the reports for you. That way, there’s even less work for you to do!
So, which export formats would you like to see in Slife 2.0? Would you like Slife to generate reports for you?
Would you like to help us kick the tyres of Slife 2.0? If so, then this post is for you.
We are starting a beta program for Slife 2.0 today. This is going to be a closed beta, and we hope to get around 10-15 people using the software for now. To qualify, all you need is Leopard and the desire to help us make Slife as best as it can be! That means reporting bugs that you might encounter, providing feedback about the app, (i.e. what you like and dislike about it) and sharing any thoughts or ideas that you may have.
If you are up to the task, send us an email to slife-mac-beta (you know, at slife labs dot com). Whenever we’ve reached capacity, I will update this blog post. So, hurry up!
UPDATE: We got enough beta testers for now. Thanks everyone! I promise it won’t be long before we will be distributing Slife more widely.