Roast my startup: DueFocus - Time Tracking & Productivity Software

Hi to all! My name is Tom and I am looking for feedback on my app. DueFocus is a comprehensive time tracking software powered by machine learning that fully analyzes your workflow and how you are focused on work in real-time.

The app helps to control distractions, delve into deep work, and provides personal metrics of efficiency and productivity based on data. The software has a two-way API integration with 30+ project management tools such as Jira, GitLab, Github, Trello, Asana, Todoist, etc. DueFocus is made both for self-management and teams.

Check out the landing page and both desktop and web apps. Right now software is free. Looking forward to hearing from you

Product Owner

Brace for impact.

So first of all: Wow.

That project looks amazing at first sight. And as a software engineer, I am humbled by the amount of work that must have gone into it. That's truly a masterpiece. And just as the desktop software, the landing page also looks like it came straight from a billion-dollar company.

That being said, here is the experience I made with it (pretty quickly):

I seemed a bit unintuitive to me. The graphs and activity categories like "Work", "Communication" look great, but in practice, I only can scratch my head. I am literally clueless what I am looking at, it just gives me the feeling that I know (or at least should know) what's going on with my time, when I still don't.

There are some UI glitches that make me uncomfortable, e.g that profile picture with the checkmark. I was searching for a task that I just had created and couldn't show it up in the desktop app until I found out I can click the checkmark. I still don't know what it does, but I am assuming it filters done tasks vs pending tasks.

I also don't know why there is the web UI. Creating invoices feels a bit clumsy, and taxes seem to be missing from the generated pdfs. After I hide a project that I imported from Trello I couldn't figure out how to bring it back. I also didn't figure out how to NOT import a project from Trello (I'd like to have a whitelist approach, where I explicitly choose which projects I want to import, instead I have all my Trello boards in now, including my life planning and even cooking recipes).

I should add that I was eyeballing with RescueTime recently, so I took a look into DueFocus because I was sincerely interested. But I don't even know what DueFocus is supposed to be or do for me. I hoped for a cool time tracker that gives me stats to improve my productivity (that's the hope that built up in me when I scrolled through the landing page and hence my interest in RescueTime) but got a tool, that looks more like something I would want to use as a rigid employer to minute-track my employees (and the making screenshots feature or the notification that I have been inactive for 5 minutes also contributed to that feeling).

I then went out to find other, similar apps. What stroke my nerve most, is probably I can't tell the difference in what problem DueFocus and are supposed to so solve, but they seem very similar to me. I would choose simply because it looks less complicated (this impression comes entirely from the screenshots, I didn't try I am missing a bold statement and a mission from DueFocus, and eventually, it is just too complicated and unintuitive for me.

All that "critics" given (you asked for a roast, though!) I must say I see some potential and I also see that there is probably some good reason for specific features. For example, I had to figure out the "Cold time" feature at first, but then it made sense. I guess a lot of the issues I have right now would fade if I just got used to the system and idea.

It's just not for me. I don't want to waste time by actively tracking time for all I do (which I believe is impossible anyway). As a freelancer, I'd rather turn on my iPhone timer when I start working and turn it off when I stop working. As a human striving for more productivity, I'd rather know how to improve: "What gets measured gets managed".

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Product Owner

Thank you very much for your feedback and in-depth analysis

I stubbornly ignore the impossible

Hi Artem,

I looked at your intro-text and the word "machine learning" rang a bell with me - as someone who works on ml everyday myself. Glanced your landing-page - looks very professional - check.

.."you'll actually use.." - let's see.
I Click "Sign up for free.." First I wanted to login with github, then I didn't want to give you access to all my repos - why would I?

In the meantime I got distracted by your little "We're live on ProductHunt"
I read a bit of your story - wow 2 years, the science of productivity... reads like something solid.

I commence to login/signup with Trello
I download the Desktop app.
I click add task and want to go working
It doesn't let me - "You need to estimate your time" or something alike.

..That's where you "lost" me..

It's really a personal thing and for many it will probably be an awesome tool. It looks and feels all very professional, well engineered and thought through.

However I believe I can only use your tool if I "obey" to your tools' workflow.
- log all time (I don't want to log my time)
- Estimate every task
- Plan the work and work the plan

It became kind of a principle to me that I evade all tools that require me to adapt - I seek, use tools that adapt to me.

Sorry, I think I sound harsh - but you asked to be roasted :)

I have been promoting and executing all of this quite strictly in the past - imho my attention/focus-system is well trained / worked out.

Now that I AM trained - the most productive thing for me is a simple todo-list. It takes split-seconds to tick-off things, review my current list and few seconds to add new things. It seamlessly integrates with notes, links, content. It's the by far fastest way to do my planning.
I use for that.

Your tool belongs into "Extended project management tooling" for me. I might reconsider it for my day-job where I work with teams. For personal productivity it's not my cup of tea.

Product Owner

Appreciate your feedback!

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