Scrybe: First impressions

Just when I was wondering whether Scrybe, the amazing new online/offline organiser, was an elaborate hoax after nothing substantial materialised last month (the initial website indicated we would see a rollout of some sort during October), I received an invitation to beta test the service.

It took me all of a few minutes to create an account, receive my confirmation email and sign in. As the latest video revealed, the interface is very fluid and fast. To switch between year, month, week and day views all you need do is click on the year, month, week and date in the window and it switches as fast as any desktop app.

Year view

Week view

This image gives you a pretty good idea of the flexibility and fluidity of the application. This is what happens when you click on a day in month view, the column expands to give you a better view of what is in there and any events move to their place in the day’s timeline.

Creating new events is as easy as clicking on the day or time slot concerned (or even clicking on the link that reads "New Event") and typing in the details of the event. The meeting can be classified using customisable tags and, once created, it can be dragged around your diary in case the event’s time and date change.

At the moment there aren’t any options built in to enable users to share the calendars and collaborate. Various options and formats are being explored and I expect we will see added functionality soon. In fact, if you take a look at the launch details on the Scrybe website, it is pretty clear that there is still quite a bit to come. This diagram (from the site) gives you a pretty good idea of the roadmap ahead.

It is important to note that the functionality of this release is limited by design so if you do receive an invitation to beta test the service, don’t give up if features that were promoted on the videos are not here yet. The following is from the site:

Thank you for such a positive and overwhelming response to the video demo. Our intent in making the video was to get the word out to the right people and get them involved with the evolution of Scrybe.
The response has far surpassed our expectations and we are extremely humbled by the huge interest.

Beta Starts today

This will be very close to the actual sense of the word beta instead of the more distorted meaning that is common now.

Beta simply means that we have completed the functionality for Version 1 and we now need your help and feedback to iron out any remaining bugs or usability quirks in the product. We need people who feel passionately about the problems we are trying to address and who are looking to help us by providing feedback.

Beta Duration

Scrybe’s beta is not going to last for years. We aim to be out of beta in 6 to 12 weeks.

Beta Feedback.

We really appreciate all our users who are taking time out to help us make this product better. This effort will be best served by defining the goals of this beta testing.

The team is obviously taking a cautious approach to the release and this is a good thing. It suggests they are taking the time to make sure that everything works properly so when they launch we won’t be disappointed. The videos did create high expectations and if these guys can deliver other services like Google Calendar, Kiko and Backpack will be really hard pressed to catch up (unless, of course, a company like Google/Yahoo!/Microsoft buys Scrybe …).

I’ll post more about my experiences with Scrybe in the coming weeks so be sure to come back (or better yet, subscribe to our feed) and check for updates. You can also bookmark the Scrybe blog for more information.

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