I have a problem. I am always coming up with personal project ideas, but I have a hard time seeing them through to completion. A prototype here, a sketch or mock-up there. I'll start to lay the groundwork for something that I’m really into, but I’ll ultimately get pulled off it, either due to another project or the need to break away from the computer for a while and get a little fresh air. Either way, those interruptions have a tendency to derail any progress for days, weeks, months, and sometime years. I needed to make a change.
The one thing I realized I never made an effort todo for those wayward projects was commit to myself, and others, on when I planned to complete said project. Committing to a date is definitely not the easiest thing to do, especially when that date is associated with something that you plan on taking on in your spare time, but if there's one thing I have learned is a date can keep you focused, and keep you honest to yourself.
(Enter Launch Clock – stage left)
With that, I’d like to introduce you to, Launch Clock. A tool I created for myself. A tool I hope that others will play with and find useful. A tool that can really be used for whatever you want. And most importantly—for myself at least—a project that I followed through to completion, starting it on January 10th and committing to myself to make it publicly available on January 20th. In fact, I used the initial prototype of the countdown page as both my motivation and the holding page for the site until I had the dynamic version of it ready for everyone to use.
The service is super simple. It lets you create countdown timers. That's pretty much it. Set a name, maybe a url, the start date (if you want), and the date you plan to launch your beautiful creation into the world. Launch Clock will give you a url to the timer, and you can choose whether that is public, private, or password protected. From there, you can keep it open in a tab, throw it up on a TV, share it with your team, whatever you want to do.
Of course, it doesn't require that it be associated with a project and “release” date. You could create a Launch Clock for when your taxes are due. Count down the days until your next birthday. Make a Launch Clock for your super rad vacation that is coming up. If there's something that you want to keep track of when it’s going to happen, then create a Launch Clock.
Some of the features that I have planned for down the road will likely push it to more of a project tool, but I am going to try my best to make sure it doesn't rule out other uses the people might come up with it.
So, check it out, let me know what you think, and I hope that it becomes as useful to you as I hope it will be for me.