How to build a free tool for writers – Writing Reminder – the KISS way

by Emanuel

2022, Writing life
February 10, 2022

There is an app for everything. Apps provide services. The apps that follow the KISS principle – keep it stupid simple – are more successful than others.

Phase 1 – app development

Of course we started with one of the “think big” Emanuel’s ideas: Let’s build a motivational app for writers that will integrate with the writing platform and will notify the writer on his progress on every writing project and show motivational messages to inspire, tips& tricks, or any other things writers might need to start and keep writing. We actually built a User Journey, reuse some personas we used for the platform, think about informational architecture… and then it moved to the Backlog because there were other priorities.

Phase 2 – research and testing

While talking about writing every day and how we forget to do it because of only 24 hours in a day, we realized that all our conversation had a writing reminder component. We were acting as Accountability Partners to each other. We talked highly of the other writers’ drafts we read and we told each other to keep writing.

One day, working through our CRM platform Encharge, I thought that at least we should send out members a writing reminder email. We’re trying to base all content on writing as less as possible and don’t bother our writers – this came from actual feedback that we got like “I use the platform to write, but I honestly do not open your emails if the subject line is not telling me that it’s important, because I don’t care”.

Most writers tend to be introverts, right?

Therefore, I made a short list of writers, including myself, and I sent a writing reminder email – daily, weekly, or monthly. For me the daily worked, for others the weekly sent on a Friday, the monthly not so much.

Phase 3 – what really worked

The questions we asked after the test period were:

Did you receive and saw the email?

Did you start to write on paper, in a Word doc, or by connecting to the Asengana platform in an hour or less after you saw the email?

Then we combined it with the analysis from Encharge. While most of the participants logged into Asengana Writing Platform in the same day after the email was sent, we had a surprise. 80% of them DID NOT OPEN THE EMAIL! Yes, they did not click on it! Therefore, we went with a second round of questions and we got a weird answer. They saw the subject line and that was enough. They knew the email would have the same default text with a motivational twist.

Conclusion:

Since we decided we would not build a full-fledged app, we went for the minimal service we could provide in order to push a writer to actually write in a giving day.

If you’re a writer and you feel the need to have a simple email reminder, here it is:

 

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