Backpack Calendar teaser video Jason 09 Jun 2006

86 comments Latest by robav

We’ve mentioned it in passing before, but Backpack is about to get a calendar. Yet another calendar you ask? Yup, another calendar. But this one is nicely integrated into Backpack and has some nice little twists. It’s on the way soon.

Until then, check out this movie of the calendar in action (4.7 MB, Quicktime). It doesn’t show off all of it, but it will give you a nice idea how it looks and some of the basic functions.

Disclaimer: We won’t be answering any “will it do this?” or “when will it be released” or “what’s different about this compared to other calendars” questions until it’s actually released.

86 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Juli 09 Jun 06

When will it be released? :)

Dan Boland 09 Jun 06

Wow. This is so much better than 30boxes or Google’s crapfest. Well done.

Marc Hedlund 09 Jun 06

I don’t think I saw anything that made me think “!wow!” — what it made me think instead was, “Great, now I don’t have to set up an account with one of those other sites.” It allows me to not have to deal with yet another account, ui model, data lockbox, or company. I just keep doing what I’m doing now, but I get more. Great.

Bryce 09 Jun 06

Looks great. Really impressive.

Aaron Kalin 09 Jun 06

WOW! The power of AJAX. I won’t ask when it is being added, I’ll just be sure to pick up my jaw from the floor when it is implemented. Nice job on “Getting Real” with the date input. I really like the way you parse the data to translate the keywords into dates and times because that is one of my gripes with many caldenars on the desktop and the web. Too many options with the dates and times (even going down to seconds with some) and no “human” input allowed.

One question I would like to ask is if you plan to make this available for the free or premium plans?

Andrew 09 Jun 06

VERY impressive. Looks like you guys took exactly what most people need and built it in a very easy-to-use, easy-to-understand model.

Let the barrage of features requests begin!

Hunter 09 Jun 06

You said you weren’t answering questions about what it does so I’ll just make a statement…

I hope that in this or some future version there is calendar sharing.

cc 09 Jun 06

what�s different about this compared to other calendars?


Neil 09 Jun 06

OK, nice. As long as we’re dragging events around, why not let me drag the event to the little color square on the calendar list in order to change what calendar it’s on? And a request: please, please let me enter repeating events directly via the “add an event” box: “Mom’s birthday repeat yearly,” or “ABC meeting thursday 1PM repeat weekly,” or even just “ABC meeting thursdays 1PM.” OK, I know it’s probably too late, but I needed to have my say.

Javier Cabrera (15tags) 09 Jun 06

Indeed, it is a “wow” situation!!!
I love the waiting graphics, it is simple yet it works really nice!

Daniel Drucker 09 Jun 06

How is this night different from all other nights?

Just kidding. This video has quelled my doubts. I want to hug you guys.

Mike Rundle 09 Jun 06

Damn, that’s really impressive. Reminds me of how Apple iCal looks, which is awesome. I now feel bad for all the investors who poured money into “calendar startups”…. actually, no I don’t.

Paul 09 Jun 06

I love me some Google Calendar, but this looks better. Can’t wait to try it (but I will!)

Icelander 09 Jun 06

I love the throbber. It reminds me of tapping my fingers on my desk waiting for something. It’s more intuitive than the rotary throbbers that are used other places. (Including my apps!)

Now if only Apple’s iCal supported editing of remote calendars. That app is sure in need of an upgrade.

I'm With Stupid 09 Jun 06

This looks like it does just what I need. I look forward to trying it out!

d. 09 Jun 06

It REALLY does look like iCal.

Jared White 09 Jun 06

Wow, this looks great. I haven’t found one single Ajax calendar app out there that I liked. This is just what I need and will work on Safari to boot. Cool. :)

Bastiaan Terhorst 09 Jun 06

Excellent. I would be interested to know if this will be a paid-only feature.

Icelander: iCal supports editing of remote calendars over webDAV.

Joshua Kaufman 09 Jun 06

Excellent work as expected. I would be happy with the “basic functions” in the demo, but there’s more? Really looking forward to it.

My only worry is that it won’t be included on the basic plan. At least I’ll have a really good reason to upgrade. ;)

Deepak 09 Jun 06

Google Calendar has become indispensible to me and I use that and Backpack reminders as a two-man tag team to manage my life. Very curious to see how this develops.

Mark 09 Jun 06

This is a technical question, not a feature comment.

Why, when you added the event “Chicago Blues festival” did the marker get added to the top of “DHH in Japan” for May 6 - 8 and to the bottom of “DHH…” for the week of the 10th?

Is that a bug or something else?

Nick 09 Jun 06

Please tell me you can subscribe to this calendar with say iCal…

Whoever designed the interface send a *pat on the back* “good job” along.

joe 09 Jun 06

I’m blown away by the way it notices the dates, and times… Ical is dead to me.

Mark 09 Jun 06

Sorry — not May but June 6 - 11

John Beales 09 Jun 06

Wow. I’d love to see this integrated into basecamp as well - although I guess that may start moving basecamp away from a projecty management system.

Carl Bolduc 09 Jun 06

I which I could watch it :(

The Quicktime format is not very friendly to the Linux user out there. I use several 37signals apps, and I’m paying for basecamp, specially because it offers easy solution for the Linux user. Solutions that are not that good on kde, gnome or whatever else you use.

I wish you would consider releasing your screencast in flash or ogg format…

shane 09 Jun 06

she’s a beaut!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to dig in.

Geof Harries 09 Jun 06

I don’t use Backpack much, thus I’d strongly prefer if this was being developed for Basecamp where it has a real-world need, e.g. scheduling Milestones.

Simon Gate 09 Jun 06

A wonderfull addition to a wonderfull application. I hope the calendar will be available in iCal format so you can publish it to anonymous users.

Thank you!

Jeff Ward 09 Jun 06

Great, a little web-based-email integration and you’ll be set to rival a few companies we know :)

MMI 09 Jun 06

Carl: I think MPlayer will let you view quicktime movies in linux

The MZA 09 Jun 06

That looks super.

I have been using 30boxes for a little while now, and it’s great, however it will be cool to keep all my stuff in one place when this is launched. Basecamp is the trusted system for all my gubbins - and having the calendar right there in the mix will help no end.

I’m sure other GTD folks out there will agree with me.

Excellent stuff. Well cone.

nate 09 Jun 06

Hey, you stole my calendar!

Ryan Schroeder 09 Jun 06

Wow, this looks great. Way more than I expected. Jeff Ward is right, a few more features (I love 30Boxes SMS reminders!) and you’ve got another product.

Arthur Vanderbilt 09 Jun 06

This looks like just the thing. Looking forward to giving it a spin!

Not having any web-based email integration is a tremendous advantage imo. The Google calendar is beautiful, but I don’t enjoy using it because there’s so much crap in it that I’ll never touch. It’s the best thing I’ve found so far that’s not iCal or, hopefuly, this :)

Vincent 09 Jun 06

Really impressive, I did not expect less from 37s. Congratulations.

For those wondering if there will be an iCal format to subscribe to, I’m sure it will. It’s already present for backpack’s reminders.

A killer feature would be to be able to synchronise backpack’s calendar with my local iCal datas … but you all know what to do with “A killer feature would be” :)

Vincent 09 Jun 06

Really impressive, I did not expect less from 37s. Congratulations.

For those wondering if there will be an iCal format to subscribe to, I’m sure it will. It’s already present for backpack’s reminders.

A killer feature would be to be able to synchronise backpack’s calendar with my local iCal datas … but you all know what to do with “A killer feature would be” :)

Willie Abrams 09 Jun 06

It would be lovely if I could subscribe to or share other people’s calendars.

Bob 09 Jun 06

This looks good, I use Backpack all the time so I’m looking forward to this.

The weird thing is… I had a dream about Backpack last night. And the calendar had been added, as well as a widget system like Google Personalized Homepage.

It beat the dream I used to have about turning up at school naked, but still!

Jesus A. Domingo 09 Jun 06

Wow! Your approach to this calendar thing is really great! Not to forget how the UI works, and the free-form string parsing. You guys now have a full set of tools, except for the email. I hope you guys are also considering hosted email services, that would certainly complete the package!

JF 09 Jun 06

We are not considering hosted email and we’re not interested in competing in the “traditional hosted office” space. We think that kind of office is the old office. We have a new office in mind. We have at least 3 more products in our heads right now. Stay tuned.

Adam 09 Jun 06

LOL - It does looks kinda like 37signals borrowed ideas from Nate’s Calendar.

Jon 09 Jun 06

“LOL - It does looks kinda like 37signals borrowed ideas from Nate�s Calendar.”

LOL. Who the hell is nate? And who cares?

This thing is looking good 37signals folks. Can’t wait to use it.

James Weirick 09 Jun 06

I was looking for a good calendar program a few months ago. I was thinking of designing my own because I couln’t find one I liked. When I found out that you guys were making one, I changed my mind.

Bill P 09 Jun 06

Elegant & Simple. Wow.

The parsing is great, but I love the use of color and the deliberate removal of hh:mm time from the main display.

It takes a lot of hard work to make it look “so easy.” A nice take on a task that I thought had been done to death.

This will be a lynchpin of Sunrise methinks.

JF 09 Jun 06

This will be a lynchpin of Sunrise methinks.

This is the *Backpack* calendar.

Daniel Drucker 09 Jun 06

Hey, you stole my calendar!

Oh noes! 37signals also uses ovals!

andrew 09 Jun 06

Fortnights. Please. Fortnights. Or at least n-weeks. Please don’t make this yet another US-centric product that is useless for tracking the most-common interval for wages and payments in Australia and probably the UK.

Stephen Lewis 09 Jun 06

You might classify this as a “will it do…” question, but it’s a pretty important one nevertheless: is it possible to enter dates in a DD/MM format (for example), rather than the US-centric MM/DD format?


Sam 09 Jun 06

What happened to all of the talk about, “Should calendars online look like calendars offline?”

I guess your answer was, “Yes.”

Brad M. 09 Jun 06

Yet another really nice app to showcase the Rails community.

Question to anyone who can answer this, what app was used to ‘record’ the screencast?

Real Simple? 09 Jun 06

While certainly ajaxarific, I don’t think this counts as “simple”. Maybe it will completely prove me wrong, but plain typing the appointment intervals is not intuitive like all the other 37signals things. Maybe you’ve thought of every possible combo, but i’m sure there are a decent amount of things people will try that won’t work. The traditional time field and date range are not simple enough? And the way you “change calendars” seems about 20 steps too many.

Scott 09 Jun 06

Sweet! After watching that video I logged into my backpack account and upgraded to the plus level. Can’t wait for it to be added and try it out.

RyanA 09 Jun 06

Very nice.

The last event you added “Lunch with Marcel tomorrow afternoon” was awesome. That’s really nice!

Reminds me of things like - 3.days.ago :)

Icalendar: You can do remote iCal using a server that supports WebDav. Requires a little technical know-how. Harder than entering in your credit card number, for sure!

My Killer Feature: The ability to specify that the country you grew up in writes their dates the other way around: 12/2 = 12th Feb instead of 2nd of December :)

Jesus A. Domingo 09 Jun 06

We are not considering hosted email and we�re not interested in competing in the �traditional hosted office� space. We think that kind of office is the old office. We have a new office in mind. We have at least 3 more products in our heads right now. Stay tuned.
Oh, so there goes another teaser. Knowing which features to keep and which ones to kick, plus your great taste in UI are the things that make your packages rock.

Jason 09 Jun 06

Yes looks great but please remember to think of those of us outside the US who love your products, who do things a little differently - most importantly the dates around the right way ;)

Anson 09 Jun 06

Looks like you’ve thought long and hard about calendaring and come up with a nice approach.

I guess you’re targetting a sort of macro calendaring usage, right? Where specifying start/end times are the exception rather than the rule. I guess this will translate for users, but then I dunno, we’ve been so brainwashed by Outlook and the look-a-likes!

Dan 10 Jun 06

Looks great, but my biggest concern is integration.

I don’t think in terms of “Pages”, “Calendars”, “Writeboards” and “Reminders” — to me, it’s “Goals”, “Budget”, “Work”, “Shopping”, “Project x” etc.

Say I’m planning for a wedding:
- Pages: to do lists and small notes
- Calendars: meetings, rehersals
- Writeboards: speeches, invitations
- Reminders: do this by then etc.

Why do I have to go to four different places for the one thing?

Great work so far though, I can’t wait to see the final product.

Chris Eidhof 10 Jun 06

Great! If it works as in the movie, it’s awesome. Can I subscribe with iCal? Because I definitely want to have my calendar offline too. Also, the UI you’ve guys built is extremely well done! Or should I say: the UI Apple built is extremely well done? :p

nate 10 Jun 06

Uh, guys? It was a joke about the coincidence and the (few) similarities. Obviously no one actually “stole” my calendar.

Marvin Miller 10 Jun 06

Hmm… looks great, but… How is this “better” than Google Calendar? Parsing typed events is available in Google Calendar and 30Boxes. Am I missing something here?

Christopher Fahey 10 Jun 06

I’ll just repeat that yes, having this in Basecamp would be really helpful.

Basecamp’s lack of this feature (showing task durations like MS Project does) was probably the biggest reason why I pooh-poohed it for two years. We use BC now, but still sorely miss this sort of perspective. Anyway, it looks good!

Jim Jeffers 10 Jun 06

Hey I thought you guys posted various articles against sing actual calendars in favor of weighted lists. Just curious what is your theory for justifying the use of a calendar instead of a list at this point in time?

Johan Lies�n 10 Jun 06

Looks very promising. Are you guys going to include searching? That would certainly help to decrease the number of clicks needed to add everything Chicago-related to the Chicago calendar.

blah 10 Jun 06

you must be using a newer version of the .mov format than VLC in linux can handle cause i couldn’t watch it. from the comments it’s probably pretty good though i bet a significant part of the appeal to the kind of person who reads this blog is the “gee whiz” factor that comes from a clever use of ajax.

Baysharam 11 Jun 06

OMFG! This will make me a better person!

yawn 11 Jun 06

boring. looks just like ical.

Alan Jacobs 11 Jun 06

Gee, you guys had me convinced about the whole weighted-lists thing and here you go reversing field… .

Well, as you noted a while back, weighted lists don’t work as well with multiple-day events — but they are still quite useful, so I am hoping that it will be possible to look at the *same* events on the calendar grid *and* the Reminders page. That would allow me to use the weighted-list format for the things that it’s especially good for, but also get the overview that a grid offers.

Right now my wife and I keep our calendars on 30boxes, because we both hate iCal, and I doubt that she will want to change, whereas I would *love* to keep my whole organizational life in Backpack. So: the ability to publish my Backpack calendar and subscribe to others would be a big plus.

Joshua Kaufman 12 Jun 06

By the way, I hope that it will accept European date formats (dd/mm/yy) as well as US.

Grebo 12 Jun 06

Very cool. I have a question about the last entry in the video demo: I imagine some users might assume that because June 13th was the date ‘focused’ in the calendar, that a new entry with the criterion ‘tomorrow afternoon’ would have been placed on June 14th, instead of June 9.

I’m also a little surprised it also defaulted to 3 PM. That’s a rather late lunch in my book ;)

I’d also like to add my ‘vote’ to seeing this product appear in Basecamp as well.

Eric 12 Jun 06

well, there is the killer app. as soon as that’s released, i will upgrade my tadalist account to backpack. i’ve been on the fence, but that will definitely push me over. looks awesome.

Chris Woods 12 Jun 06

I curious about the answer to Sam’s question as well.

Anonymous Coward 12 Jun 06

If you look closely at the “today” view you’ll notice it’s not a traditional month grid. It looks like it’s a 6 week view. And then there’s a sidebar on the calendar too with additional details about the events on the selected day. That doesn’t look “traditional calendar” to me.

Rob 12 Jun 06

Looks nice.
Two-way sync with iCal would be nice. I use iCal for my calendering but…
a) it’s difficult to update when I’m away from my desk (I can publish to somewhere or view using Google Calendar but not update and view and everything)
b) I want to be able to share my calendar with my girlfriend. In fact, to have a *shared calendar*, on which we both make changes that are reflected on the web calendar and on my iCal.

Next week okay? ;)

Des Traynor 12 Jun 06

When the user cancelled the appointment with Dad, what actually changed, before he dragged it elsewhere?

Matt 12 Jun 06


The user didn’t cancel the meeting, the user cancelled the action. As in, they cancelled changing details about the event.


Kim Siever 12 Jun 06

I’m with Joshua and Grebo: I hope there’s support for non-USA date formats and defaulting to 3 p.m. for lunch seems off.

As well, does a user really have to click on a date and then on an event to edit it? Or is it possible to just click on the event?

sham 12 Jun 06

“Lunch with Marcel” was specifically said to be for “tomorrow afternoon” so 3:00pm seems natural to me for that language.

I want it, with a full API of course ;)

Des Traynor 12 Jun 06

Thanks for clearing that up Matt, makes sense.

Max 13 Jun 06

Looks sweet!

Might see some changes in Google Calendar because of this. I hope!

Pete 14 Jun 06

Oh great another Web 2.0 calendar that I will never be able to use becuase it does not talk to outlook to sync to my handheld. ARGH!

Lisa 18 Jun 06

I’m with Pete — I really NEED a web calendar that syncs to my Blackberry in some way. I’ve been suffering since I upgraded to the BBerry, because the PocketMac sync tool for iCal does not work. I’m reduced to syncing to Outlook on my hated XP machine and now my Macs are blind to my calendar. Help me out and I’ll pay whatever you want per month.

David 29 Jun 06

When will it be released?…

robav 17 Jul 06

Yes, when will it be released?
I have noticed that the “tantalising” period of time between you dropping hints on new products and them becoming available seems to be getting longer and longer.
When they turn up they are excellent, but please do me a favour and give a max of 2 weeks notice…