This app will help you break some of your worst habits

by Julianne Tveten
April 17, 2015

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“Be present.”

It’s a slogan propagated by yoga teachers, new-age motivational speakers, and Pinterest accounts, prompting individuals to focus solely on the one task or activity they’re performing in an effort to liberate their minds from distraction. Now, it’s making its way into the Los Angeles startup world, and DayPoint hopes to lead the charge.

Debuting this summer, DayPoint measures daily behavioral patterns (time spent commuting, physical activity, consistency of bedtime) to make users aware of how they spend the hours of each day. Using this data, the app aims to help them improve their daily time-management habits.

“I found myself going through days on autopilot, rushing from one thing to the next, which made it really hard for me to take control of my time,” said founder and CEO Matt Walker. “I wanted to build something that would help me remain present throughout the day, giving me control over my time and preventing me from running late.”

DayPoint purports to work in three stages: “Capture,” “Visualize,” and “Understand.” In the first stage, the user inputs some basic information, such as the locations of places she visits on a regular basis (home, work, the gym). The app then tracks her activity, noting when she arrives at and leaves each destination. In the second stage, the app presents the user with data on her patterns, such as which activities are taking longer than expected or where most of her time is spent. Finally, the user applies her time-management goals to the data, with “virtual nudges” from the app to stay on track (if she’s taking too long to complete a task, could spend her commuting time more wisely, or needs to leave to get somewhere on time).

 

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For a more precise experience, users can set agendas for specific days; DayPoint then coaches them in their efforts to fulfill their goals. The app senses when to begin measuring the user’s activity, and the screen will display what a user has accomplished in relation to her target, such as how many minutes ahead or behind schedule she is.

“For instance, if you want to make it to work by 8:30, DayPoint will help you work backwards to set a broad agenda from when you wake up until you get to work,” Walker said. “From start to finish, it will only take a couple minutes to set an agenda that can be used over and over. You can also set variations if, for instance, you need to get to work even earlier on Mondays.”

He added that, in this scenario, a user would receive virtual nudges “when it's time to wrap up breakfast and start your shower, or an audible 'two minute warning' before it's time for you to finish your shower.”

DayPoint will launch its first beta period in the coming weeks, Walker said. The startup also may incorporate a mood setting and plans to release a version compatible with the Apple Watch, “allowing for quick glances to help you build awareness of your time and better time habits.”

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