Some Ideas for DailyMuse

It’s been a while since I updated my daily email service, DailyMuse. It’s a year old now and I’m finding it to be a great start to the day. If you’re unfamiliar with it, then here’s the gist.

DailyMuse emails you single snippet of text from your own collection of snippets. Think of it as your nudge for the day. In the past year I’ve collected a number of quotes, lists and nudges that I keep here. Every day I get an email from DailyMuse with one of these snippets.

For the last year thought the service hasn’t unchanged. It’s not through lack of work on my part. I’ve built three different features and trashed them on the basis that they’re not suitable or too complicated for DailyMuse. The last thing I want to do is complicate DailyMuse but I do want it to be a more powerful nudge in the morning, and not just for me.

Here’s a few ideas I’ve been pondering on for DailyMuse.

The Daily Mantra

I recently read Paul Graham’s Top of Your Todo List post in which he talks about 5 commands that sit at the top of his todo list. It’s a nice idea but I don’t have space at the top of my todo list, but getting something like this in all my DailyMuse emails would be a nice idea.

Rather than having the commands at the top though, I thought about including it in the footer of the email. That way once you’ve read through your nudge for the day, the last thing you’ll read will be your commands.

Call it commands, a daily mantra, a motto. It could be anything, but lots of people live by this in some form and a daily reminder of it couldn’t hurt.

Categories

One of the trashed ideas for DailyMuse was adding the ability to organise snippets using tags. The daily email from DailyMuse could then send a snippet from a specific tag on different days. After testing the idea though I realised that tags allowed for a huge number of ways of organising your snippets. It was overkill.

Tags was too granular for organising snippets. I needed something broader, something simpler. Rather than organising snippets into tags, how about organising them into categories? One category per snippet is much simpler and with a limited set of categories to play with it means that people have a simpler way of organising their snippets.

Cards, Not Snippets

There’s one thing that has irked me since I built DailyMuse and that’s the use of the word snippets. I don’t like the word snippets, but it seemed like the best way to describe the information you collect for your DailyMuse emails. Maybe it’s my developer background that swayed towards this, but it isn’t the right word to describe what these snippets are. I had to get away from the programmer influence for this.

If DailyMuse was a paper-based service that didn’t rely on computers then how would it work in the real world? Well, every day you receive your snippet in the post, but it wouldn’t be on a letter because that’s for long form writing. DailyMuse is all about getting a short burst of information every day. It would need to be on something smaller. A card. An index card.

What wasn’t obvious in the past when I built DailyMuse now is. Rather than using the term snippets, I should have used cards.

This is one change to DailyMuse that is happening. A change in the terminology should simplify what DailyMuse is and encourage more people to sign up for it.

Find the Right Features

DailyMuse is still a side-project. While it does have a number of paying customers, it’s just enough to cover the hosting costs for most of the year. I’m taking my time with it and allowing it to a grow at a steady pace.

Not everything I build for DailyMuse get shipped. I’ve trashed more features for DailyMuse than I’ve added. I’m trying to keep it simple and easy to use. Burdening it with features isn’t going to make it anymore useful but it does have some space for improvement. I just need to find the right features that fit that space.