Google Buys Timeful to Help Users Manage Time Better - Analyst Blog

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Michael Altshuler once said, "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot." Better news? We have Google GOOGL to help make sure that we are that pilot.

Google, via tools like Gmail, Inbox, Calendar and Docs, has already helped us organize our lives a little better. (While inbox simplifies our to-do-list, calendar by design adds events from Gmail, Google search gives you precise answers about the information that you are looking for.)

However, it seems like Google wants us to better manage our time, and it has thus acquired Timeful. Google intends to combine Timeful's functionality into its own apps.


Founded in 2014, Timeful is the brainchild of data scientist Jacob Bank, Stanford University computer science professor Yoav Shoham and Duke University behavioral scientist and author Dan Ariely.

This app was launched after extensive academic research on the difficulty in time management and procrastination. The research showed that about 80% of the people originally surveyed utilized the first two hours of a working day doing things like checking mails and logging into Facebook FB .

This app brings together a calendar and a to-do list with the added benefit of smart scheduling. It can not only suggest tasks to you all through the day (at the best possible time), it can also learn your habits and schedule, and automatically prioritize and allocate tasks around your free time.

To date, Timeful has attracted $6.8 million in funding from firms such as Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

Last July, Timeful launched an app for Apple's iOS AAPL . The Timeful app will be available for download "but moving forward the team's attention will be on new projects at Google," the app makers said on the Timeful website.

Just the Beginning

Once launched, Timeful's founders will use a distinctive, scientific approach to develop the app further. As Forbes puts it, "They continued to research humans' limited grasp on productivity by tracking and experimenting on live users of the Timeful app."

This dynamic and data-driven approach to building software emulates Google's reliance on regular experimentation to develop its products.

As these two like minded companies move in together, the most straightforward use of the Timeful app is within the Google calendar. Alex Gawley, Google's product director for Gmail and Inbox says that the search giant wants to bring Timeful-inspired features to many of its offerings like email-reimagined app Inbox and Google Docs.

He also told the Tech Forecast that Google wants to integrate Timeful's products to its apps as soon as possible.

It is also interesting to note that the deal is the second recent instance of a big company acquiring a startup to encourage its time-management technology. In February, Microsoft MSFT had acquired Sunrise, the maker of a smart-calendar app for iOS and Android.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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