Keep It Together
Keep It Together
Keep It Together - A productivity app for creative professionals that treats digital information in an intuitive, analog fashion.
Keep It Together - A productivity app for creative professionals that treats digital information in an intuitive, analog fashion. Read more
About this project
Keep It Together is an app that addresses the problem of how to manage all the fragmented information you come across in your daily professional life.
The navigation of the app is based on the fact that since we all move through a 3D environment and are surrounded by rooms and walls our entire lives, that would be the most natural and intuitive way to organize information.
The video above is a simulation of how the app will perform and this project's purpose is to raise the funds to build it. If you've already watched the video, I'd like to take you through some further examples of how I see the app fitting in a creative professional's life.
In the video there is an example of what a writer's wall might look like. As a foundation, he is researching the work of Joseph Campbell. He feels that Campbell's insights on comparative mythology will give the structure of his script a universal appeal.
As you can see, he's got PDFs of Campbell's work as his main source of info. Attached to those are written notes to himself, voice memos, stickie reminders, photos of characters who represent Campbell's archetypes, and internet links of those characters as well as links to Campbell's other works and lectures. He's even gotten started on penning the script.
This illustrates one of the key aspects of the app, which is that it is completely agnostic about the form that information comes in. You can attach anything to anything else.
Producers are always working on multiple projects at once. In this scenario, she has three different walls set up in her Work room; a television commercial, a feature documentary, and a pro-bono dog rescue video.
She is juggling a lot of different kinds of information: location shots, photos of subjects, contact lists and phone numbers, project outlines, archived web pages of camera information, voice memos, supply lists, to-dos, stickie note memos, relevant internet links, interviews, a web PDF of rules for shooting in LA, PDF permits, and many folders containing similar info on their own walls.
They're all attached to each other in such a natural manner that she can instantly get a broad overview of her projects. If she were to take a break from one of her projects and come back to it weeks or months later, she could immediately bring herself back up to speed. If she were to hand the tablet to an assistant new to the project, the assistant could hit the ground running very quickly because of the intuitive nature of how everything is grouped.
Art Directors / Copywriters
In this case you see an Art Director and a Writer working on advertising campaign ideas.
They've sketched some ideas on paper which they've photographed through the iPad and posted on the project wall. Additional ideas have been created in other apps like Paper, Auryn Ink, and Sketchbook Pro and then imported into Keep It Together. Everything from thumbnails and jotted-down thoughts to fully fleshed-out ideas and storyboards, all attached to each other according to campaign.
A few months ago, the Art Director photographed some striking murals that he stumbled upon driving through town. He posted them on his Painting Wall in his Inspiration Room to save for later reference. He has now copied them to his Work Wall as a possible artistic direction for one of the campaigns. This illustrates the use of the app as a repository for all those things that catch your eye on a daily basis and lead to the development of future ideas.
A storyboard and a radio campaign both have their own audio files attached of their scripts being acted out. That is because the creative team is going to use Keep It Together as a presentation tool after they've used it to develop their ideas. They're going to hook up the iPad to a large screen TV or projector in the conference room so they can take the Creative Director, the account people, and the other creative teams through their concepts.
My Own Experience
Though this deals with my own experience, I imagine that 3D Artists, Animators, Illustrators, and Editors would find the app useful in this way too.
As I mentioned in the video, I made this film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnzOmXK21aI) entirely on my own, so I had to learn a lot of 3D, match-moving, and compositing techniques in a short time. As such, I collected a lot of information in different forms from many different places. If I had Keep It Together back then, this is how I would have used it:
I've got online tutorials attached to internet links related to those tutorials, as well as passwords for those sites, reference photos for the effects I want to create, an online store for tutorial DVDs, cut and pasted advice from online CG forums, passwords and links to those forums, screenshots, and email advice.
They're all attached to each other and grouped depending on the type of effect I want to create. Again, this demonstrates the app's approach of being agnostic about the form that information comes in. Normally, all this would be scattered between my email, bookmarks, the cloud, desktop folders, and stickies on the frame of my computer.
While the above gives some good examples of how Keep It Together can fit into your professional life, I feel that's just the beginning. As this frame from the video shows, you can use it to manage your personal life as well. And that would only enhance your productivity, as we all know that our personal and professional lives inevitably overlap.
Keith Turner has worked for almost 20 years as a creative professional, most of them in Advertising. He has worked as an Art Director, Illustrator, Storyboard Artist, and 3D Artist for many different companies including Leo Burnett, Chiat Day, C/net, and Wong Doody Crandall Weiner.
Keith holds a BA in History from James Madison University in Virginia and has furthered his education at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta (Art Direction), and Mesmer Animation Labs in San Francisco (3D).
Kyle Kvech is a senior level developer for mobile applications. Passionate about computers and software from early childhood, he is not afraid to step out of his comfort zone, and loves learning new technologies.
Kyle single-handedly programmed Trialpad, a top-selling app for trial lawyers. It was named the #1 New Product of 2011 by TechnoLawyer and named Best Trial Presentation App by LitigationWorld. Trialpad is consistently in the top 10 business apps in the iTunes store, sells aggressively at a premium price, and gets great reviews. Kyle's proven ability to handle the difficulties of programming complex file-handling and presentation software will be crucial in building Keep It Together.
In addition to developing iOS applications, Kyle has over 15 years of experience developing n-tier systems, with a diverse portfolio of projects that includes the UK driving exam (Hazard Perception Test), critical care patient monitoring systems, managed care systems for insurance providers, and earned value management systems for large-scale defense projects. Kyle is very user-experience focused, but just as comfortable developing shared libraries or server code as designing rich user interfaces.
John Rainey is the VP of Business Development at Accella. He brings almost 20 years of sales, marketing and business development experience in the custom multimedia, Internet, and mobile programming industry.
He has worked with Fortune 500 corporate executives and small- to mid-sized business owners alike. His experience spans projects with such companies as Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen, SAIC, Beazer Homes, Homebuilders Association of Maryland, Volvo Rents, Rodale Publishing and Draeger Medical Devices.
John is a graduate of The University of Baltimore, with a degree in History (Summa Cum Laude). He was in the US Army from 1986 to 1994, serving in the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991.
Jason King, President & CEO of Accella, founded the company as a breakaway from the IT consulting firm, Bodkin Consulting Group, in 2006. Under his guidance, the company has grown steadily from a two man development shop to an 18 person team focusing on web and mobile design and development.
Jason earned a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. He then spent time working for Northrop Grumman before striking out on his own as an independent consultant.
Risks and challenges
The main obstacle we face is combining real-time 3D with 2D functionality. We plan to use Unity 3D for displaying the mountain temples in the opening navigation scene combined with native iOS programming for the rest of the app. To my knowledge, Unity and iOS have not been combined like this in an app before, but I am confident our development team can get it done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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