Issue #11 - Druck
This week, we're taking a look at Druck, created by Dan Kantor. It's a self-tracking app that allows you to log your daily life. The dashboard enables you to see what you've accomplished at a glance, and its charts offer a more detailed view. One of the challenges with this type of app can be deciding what to track. However, Druck provides suggestions to help you get started.
What is Druck?
Druck is an iOS app that allows you to keep track of anything you want. You do this by creating items and then adding entries to those items. Each entry has a value and time, and optionally a location and note. For example, if you’d like to track your weight, you would create an item called “Weight” and then record your weight as an entry. From there, you can view your entries on a timeline or in a chart.
Where did the idea for Druck come from?
I started tracking some things a few years ago in a spreadsheet. Stuff like how much alcohol I was consuming, when I ate carbs and sugar, if I got a headache. Then last summer I started keeping a log in the Notes app about fun activities I was doing - playing tennis, going to the beach, making a BBQ. I realized that these were kind of the same thing. I was logging what I was doing so that I could look back and see if I was doing too much of something that was unhealthy, or too little of something I wanted to do more of. That’s when the idea struck me to combine these two logging activities into a single app that I wanted to build.
What’s one stand out feature you’d like everyone to know about?
Druck is a freemium app where the core tracking features are all free. However there are two features that are premium that I think really sets it apart - location tracking and Apple Health integration. Location tracking is a standout feature because it opens up a whole new way of thinking about what you should track. As an example, you can track restaurants you eat at, using the notes field to write a review and the value field to track how much money you spent. Now you’ve got a log of where you ate, with restaurant names on a map as well as a chart showing you how much you are spending on eating out.
How do you promote Druck?
Mostly through social media. When the app first launched I emailed my entire address book asking them to check it out. I wrote some LinkedIn posts as well. Promotion has been the most difficult part of this entire process. Druck is a completely private, single player app. There is no way to share any data by design. This makes it hard for users of the app to help spread it. I have not tried any paid promotion yet as well. So it’s been slow going!
How did you decide on the pricing?
I took a look at similar apps and decided to price Druck based on what I was seeing. There are monthly and annual plans and I feel they are fairly priced for the feature set. I didn’t want to put limits on how many items you can track in the free plan so thought long and hard about what extra features I could deliver that were premium. Right now premium offers Apple Health and location integration. I’m currently working on reminders and notifications that will also be a premium feature when launched.
How did you launch Druck?
Druck was launched in November 2022. I emailed everyone in my address book, posted on LinkedIn and Twitter and put it up on Product Hunt.
How long did it take to get to the first version?
Druck is my first iOS App. I’ve been a web developer for 15 years but had never built a native app prior to Druck. I started learning Swift in August 2022, and wrote my first line of code in September. So from the first line to launch, it was about 3 months. I put it up on TestFlight at first and got about 100 people using the app. It was a tough decision to put it on the App Store. You never feel like it’s quite ready but I knew I needed to just take the leap and see how it goes.
Is there anything you’ve learnt that stands out?
I decided to build a native app because I felt like I had spent years building great web apps that nobody cared about. I wanted to give people something they could install on their Home Screen and receive notifications from. Basically I felt like to have any shot at building a sticky experience, it had to be a native app. While I’d say that I was correct in that assessment, I’ve still found it very difficult to promote and get people to install. So while native apps are better than web apps once they are installed, the problem still exists to get people to notice in the first place.
Any tools or apps you would recommend others check out?
Since this was my first native app and my first time programming in Swift, the Hacking With Swift website from Paul Hudson was invaluable to me. Other great resources include Stewart Lynch’s YouTube channel and Jordan Morgan’s writings.
Where can everyone go to find out more?
Habit Tracker by Simone Montalto - Mastodon Twitter/X
Habit Tracker is an app for iPhone, iPad and Mac that helps you build your habits and achieve your goals. Why are habits important? Every action you take is a vote for the person you want to become.
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