Even though I'm a semi-lurker, Hacker News and its community have been a staple in my life pretty much since launch, through 3 startups and 3 kids. So I'd love to hear what folks think of my latest creation.
Requirements to try out: Google Calendar plus ability to grant edit permissions; optional Slack integration. We are not a chrome extension or new calendar app, nothing to install.
My cofounder and I started Reclaim after working together as product management leaders at New Relic for several years. While there, we experienced what many busy middle managers feel: super impacted schedules that often resulted in working late at night just to try to stay afloat. We decided that if we could build a product to help better defend and focus time for these people, we could ultimately also help capture the oft-hidden conflicts and dependencies within organizations that are often the root cause why people, teams, and companies burn out.
Here's how it works: in addition to helping sync your personal calendar(s) to block out your work calendar (launched in January), we now also block out time for important habits/routines that you want or need to do, professionally or personally. You do this by defining a "habit" that has a title, start/end window of time, ideal time, and min/max duration. Reclaim will then find free time on your calendar and tentatively block out the time.
We say tentatively because if your schedule isn't too busy, we may mark the time as "free", making you still appear available to meet with others -- something we think is really important for managers. But as your schedule fills up, we will defend the time by marking it as busy. This is a job that is just too tedious for a human to do, but ideal for a virtual assistant like Reclaim. So for example, your 11am to 2pm could be wide open, but if you suddenly get invited to several late morning and early afternoon meetings, Reclaim would defend your lunch slot by marking it as busy and, optionally, even declining any further incoming meetings.
I use it to block out my entire day for personal and work routines meals, time with kids, bedtime for kids, exercise, morning and afternoon emails, morning and afternoon coding.
The result is that my agenda looks fairly well planned out every day, but often slightly different because of the meetings I have with people throughout the day. And because of the flexibility and throttle of the free/busy time, I can hand out Calendly links and feel good that I'm offering up my most flexible availability but also that if too much comes in at once a "circuit breaker" will flip and my day will get defended.
In terms of the tech stack, it is a React-based frontend and a Java (Micronaut) + Postgres backend, deployed on AWS Fargate. We're getting the most out of Postgres by using jsonb, hstore, and have even turned it into a fairly scalable little pub/sub + job service, utilizing the listen/notify + for update skip locked features. We deploy 10-15 times per day.
Thanks for checking it out. Feedback welcome!
I would gladly pay for this if it worked with Outlook (Office365).
The main thing seems to be the syncing between personal/work calendars. This is actually something I've been looking for because right now I manually sync events between calendars (annoying), but just curious if there are some other differentiating features?
And probably the biggest difference is the throttling of free/busy time, which we think makes things much better for manager-type personas who need to remain available for supporting their team.
For example, if you say you want 1 hour every Friday afternoon to write your weekly status, we'll tentatively block it out at say, 3pm but mark it as "free" if your afternoon is clear. That way someone who needs to meet with you at the same time can and we'll just shift it before/after the incoming meeting and then block it out as your afternoon fills up.
I don't have the luxury to implement a Mark Wahlberg-style schedule. I have multiple responsibilities (family, work, etc.) and their associated interruptions that would make an attempt at such a rigid schedule laughable.
Something like Reclaim that is adaptive to reality would be perfect.
Any chance of CalDAV integration in the near future? Unfortunately, I am not using Google Calendar (I use Fastmail, FWIW).
I’d also love to eventually support a super privacy-forward deployment option that, for example, keeps your data on-Prem or in control in your own cloud.
Just need the time, people, and investment to do it. We’re hiring, btw ;)