Scrybe the Holy Grail of Web Apps?

scrybe Logoscrybe has just released this “teaser” video for their service that is due for beta release this month. I am impressed. The video gives a walk through of scrybe and it’s features. What impressed me is that there appears to have been some research into the human mind and how to build a web application around our psychology. By that I mean that it appears to be logical and plays on what our brain focus on as far as context and focus. Indeed:

“Scrybe is not an incremental
improvement but a whole paradigm shift in the design of online organizers”.

The video is seven minutes but it is worth the watch (see video below). There is also an eleven minute version.

You know those big diaries or personal organizers that you can get with everything you want and need to plan your life in it? They have the daily, weekly, page views (depending on the model you get). They also feature “to do” lists and yearly planners along with stuff like world times listed. This on-line service is just that only it won’t cost you $100 bucks and weigh you down.

In many ways this is a service that will rival features that can be found in such applications as Google Notebook and Google Calendar. While these two services are related they are separate and not integrated with each other. Scrybe offers this integral relationship and more, I have yet to see a slick, simple yet feature rich application such as described here.

Month ViewThe calendar view is a zoomable interface that you can zoom to the year, month, week and day then out again while remaining in context. The action is smooth and seems to be intuitive. The Weekly views and I assume daily views allow you to click and type entries as well as a powerful drag and drop feature from the “task” list that appears on the right. This was an impressive move that when done placed the task within the time context that it was given in the task list. If you need to extend the time in the view just drag the bar down to the length of time required. This intuitiveness without assumption is excellent as some applications make assumptions based on the action not on the context of the item. Scrybe offers this contextual relevance which will be appreciated by the user.

The task list was also a nice feature in that there is a task list for the day with tasks that can be put off for another day flagged, great for the procrastinator. Lists are also event orientated so you can have multiple lists of tasks that are for one day but are itemised around the context of an event. For example. Today I might have to go to work and there may be a list of tasks for work. I might have a birthday to prepare for tomorrow with tasks that are needed to be done today. That means there are two task lists; one for the birthday and one for work, but they are represented together for the day. They can however be viewed separately within their event, work and birthday. I think this is a way of making sense of the clutter in our brains that we have to contend with everyday, but scrybe breaks this down into manageable components.

You can also import with cut and paste; lists and data from files on your local machine such as Word and Excel. The nice touch is that these items are placed in a task list with check boxes and with context. You can also add notes with a very simple interface with minimal formatting. Simple is good, you don’t want to add to your chaotic life with a “Word” type interface. But I would like to see colour added to the options or a highlighter with different colours. I would find that good for focusing my attention.

The meeting manager is an interesting feature where you can plan a meeting with global parties take into account if they are inTime Zones bed or not. Very intuitive feature that has a nice graphical interface. Currently I use The World Clock – Meeting planner for this. Which is what this is but it is offered in a very nice looking graphical interface and also integrated with the calendar and task list.

“Thought Streams”, nice term isn’t it? Refers to a feature that allows you to collect information in text and pictures for a project or research from the web and puts them into a “stream”. This is much like Google Notebook. The difference is that this data can be supplemented with documents off your own local machine. For example an Excel document with the budget details. The best thing and most attractive feature of this is the presentation of Thought Streamsthe data. It is presented to you with an absolutely stunning newspaper type format with a “mini” view at the bottom and it looks very professional. I am not sure if the average user could pull off what this looks like in the video but if they can then that will be exceptional.

One last feature that made my eyes light up and then smile was the “sync” function. Well it is not the sync that you might be thinking as I was. It “sync’s” with paper! Yup paper, with folding lines… not quite what I had in mind. But clever idea and it works as far as taking it with you. The other area that refers to syncing is the fact that you can use the service offline, make changes that re-sync once you reconnect. There was no mention in the video of how this is accomplished, especially since there are no downloads required, but it does have instructions as to how to do it (there is a difference).

Other features promised:

  • Seamless offline access – without any installations
  • Rich and fast like a desktop
  • Intuitive zoomable calendar views
  • Organize your thoughts with bookmarks, web snippets, images and files
  • To-do lists integrated with your calendar
  • Share and collaborate with friends and co-workers
  • Elegant, compact and handy print formats
  • Easily work across multiple timezones
  • Import and export from other apps easily

I will be interested to see what other features are in this bundle. I would be over-joyed if there were such things as RSS technology and shared documents and contributers.This is a good review for a product that I have not used, based on a video. It is because it is rare that a truly original and new idea comes about. The contextual relevance and intuitive interface make this an item to watch, especially if the video is a clue to what might be in store. Scrybe is offering some solutions to problems that plague other on-line applications in a visually stunning and easy to use way. If you are interested in trying out scrybe then hook up with the beta on their site and leave your details.

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13 Responses to “Scrybe the Holy Grail of Web Apps?”

  1. Disorganized? Scrybe it down « //engtech Says:

    […] >> Much more indepth review of Scrybe […]

  2. James Gray Says:

    Another online application. So who holds my data, and what guarantees do I have of its integrity? Like all “online” applications I need to be online to access them (well duh! :P) which is of very little value to someone like me who spends a fair amount of time offline.

    Still, having said that, it does have some innovations that I can see as being useful – but not particularly to me. All up, a good idea for specific audience, but I doubt any of these online apps will ever reach the penetration that current host-based applications do.

    I think the ability to share information between computers and applications would be a great idea…wait, Apple have already done that with “.Mac”. Hrm, now all we need is some competition to drive down the .Mac subscription cost and offer alternatives 🙂

  3. sabz Says:


    You are absolutely right, your data is absolutely yours to keep. 🙂
    1. ListTransfer basically allows you to transfer your data easily in and out of Scrybe. A Simple copy/ paste solution..

    2. Scrybe has an offline mode also, without needing to install anything on your machine and without leaving the browser window open all the time..
    So our users are not completely stranded when they are not connected to the Internet.

    Sharing ,collaboration and syncing will be discussed in more detail in our next video. 🙂


  4. Paul Says:

    Scrybe really looks like it has the potential to revolutionise this category of web app. I have been using Google Calendar on and off for a little while now and Scrybe is likely to leave it far behind. I hope that there is more to syncing with Scrybe than the paper feature (which is still a very useful feature). I’d like to be able to keep my online schedule, iCal and my phone synchronised if at all possible.

  5. tomo Says:

    If what they show in the video works, this is HUGE. James, the video gives me the impression this is more like an overlay application that can pull data from your machine, ie you own data and pull from external sources. Or push if you ‘allow’ that. I would think in an enterprise deployment the enterprise would ‘hold’ the data on a server within their network. I am curious as to how they will get revenue…perhaps selling a servers to enterprises and service providers who may host it?

    It’s kinda like App Exchange but local and the ecosystem is simply your various applications you use, email, chat, word, xls, calendar, etc.

    Any idea who these guys are?

  6. Keith Says:

    SYNC does appear well thought-out. I’ve e-mailed them my questions, several of which are:
    1. Does SCRYBE sync with Microsoft Outlook?
    2. Many people like myself rely on PDA’s, or PDA/phones. Does SCRYBE sync with either Smartphone software or Palm software?
    3. Two methods of printing information are presented. Is there a means to modify the way that information is printed? For example, I may use an unusal size of paper; or prefer my dates arranged vertically rather than in a calendar format.
    4. Information can also be garnered by scanning images from a tool such as a desktop scanner. Does SCRYBE have the ability to integrate this?

  7. Interesting new Web app: Scrybe « Later On Says:

    […] Take a look. Includes a brief video describing Scrybe. […]

  8. Pranav Shah Says:

    Google will probably take over Scrybe in May 2007 !

  9. Miguel Says:

    This looks pretty impressive as a whole. I’m really longing to get to use it. The calendar interface is not original though. It is based on the ZUI (zoomable user interface) that was previously deployed in applications like DateLens (

  10. a blog « My first blog Says:

    […] Scrybe: The Holy Grail of Web Apps? […]

  11. Erik Says:

    I agree! This demo is very impressive. I have been waiting for my invite for 6 months now.

  12. Nuksta Says:

    Just received my invitation yesterday. So far it looks great. One HUGE feature for me ist to easily import and export my data. Since I already had some of my ToDo lists in simple text files it was just three or four clicks to import them into scrybe – nice. Haven’t testet the thoughtpad yet to its full extent, but taking plain notes works like a charm.
    Just love the paper sync – printing is easy
    Only improvement I would like to se is a full screen Task/ToDo view – currently the taska are only displayed in a small frame at the side of the calendar – unfortunatly my life has more tasks thas appointments…

  13. pezj Says:

    Looks good yes.
    Am waiting for my invitation for a very long time now…
    It is getting frustrating….
    Kind regards

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