Routine is a new productivity app that combines task and note management

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Meet Routine, a new startup working on a productivity tool that should help you manage your workday more efficiently. It’s a whole new approach to to-do lists as it combines both tasks, non-actionable notes, and a daily planner.

The two co-founders of Routine are Julien Quintard and Quentin Hocquet, two French entrepreneurs who previously created Infinit, a startup that I have covered on several occasions. Docker acquired Infinit in 2016.

They team up again to create Routine. Currently, Routine is an app for macOS and iOS that works with your Google Account. After setting up your account, Routine helps you determine “what am I supposed to do now?” At any time.

One of the most popular features of Routine is the dashboard. Whatever you do on your computer, you can bring up the Routine dashboard with a simple keyboard shortcut. By default, this shortcut is Ctrl-Space.

The Routine app adds an overlay at the top of your screen with a few widgets. It looks a bit like the now-defunct dashboard on macOS. On this dashboard, you’ll find a handful of things. On the left, you can see the tasks you need to complete today.

On the right, you can see how much time you have left before your next meeting and some information about this event. The date is taken directly from your Google Calendar account.

In the center of the screen, Routine displays a large input field called Console. You can type some text and then press Enter to create a new task from there. It works much like Todoist’s “Quick Add” feature.

Image credits: Routine

The idea is that you can add a task without wasting time opening your task app, moving to the right project, clicking the Add task button, and entering text in multiple fields. With Routine, you can press Ctrl-Space, type some text, press Enter and you’re done.

Of course, you can also use the console to schedule a task directly in natural language. For example, you can type “Take out the trash every Wednesday at 7:00 PM” and Routine will create a new item every Wednesday.

Once your tasks are in Routine, you can manage them from the Routine application. In addition to regular app actions to do, such as rescheduling a task or marking it as complete, you can allocate time for more important tasks. From the Today interface, you can move a task from the task list to your calendar. It automatically creates a calendar event with this task.

Image credits: Routine

The app is as much a do-it-yourself app as it is a note-taking app. Each task represents a page. From this page you get a Notion type editor. You can write text, add titles, dividers and photos, create bulleted lists, and more.

And if you create a task within a task, it automatically becomes a full-fledged routine task. You can schedule it, insert it into your calendar, and more. It works much like Evernote’s recent update with its new approach to tasks. Essentially, the tasks stay in context.

Since Routine integrates directly with your calendar, you can also open each event on your calendar and take notes from there. Essentially, each event is also a note in itself.

Image credits: Routine

Finally, Routine allows you to create pages. Each page is a document that can contain tasks or notes. You can use it to create various lists, such as grocery lists, packing lists, and watch lists. You can also use it to store persistent information, such as recipes or restaurants you like.

The routine is currently in closed beta. The startup participated in Y Combinator’s Lot W21 and raised a $ 2.7 million pre-seed round from BoxGroup and TargetGlobal. Several business angels also participated, such as Matt Robinson, Clément Delangue and Ian Hogarth.

I’ve played around with the app and it’s an interesting approach to both to-do lists and note-taking. Some people rely heavily on a task app, but they can’t store notes there as easily. Other people store everything in a note-taking app, but they can’t easily see all of their tasks at once. Routine aims to bridge this gap, so it will be interesting to see if the company manages to build a loyal community.

Image credits: Routine


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