Essential Apps: Mynd

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You’re a working musician. Your work takes you to a different place every day. You post “tonight’s office” instagrams to make your non-musician friends jealous and make your musician friends go “ooooooh!” It’s awesome, isn’t it? You know what sucks though? Checking the distance from your house, calculating traffic, and leaving in time to get there. If only there was a way to have someone handle all of that for you. Well, meet Mynd.

What It Does

Mynd is a full featured calendar app for iPhone that among other things, calculates your route for you and sends you a notification when you should leave. It also does the normal things you would expect a calendar app to do, but you’re probably not going to use it for that.

Link It Up

When you first download and launch Mynd it’s going to ask for access to every part of your phone. In order to work best, Mynd needs to access your calendars (duh), location (obviously), and be able to send you push notifications (how are you not getting this?). You can link your contacts for sending “I’m running late” messages and your Evernote account to pair notes with events. You can also connect your LinkedIn account, which I guess people use, but I haven’t responded to the 5 billion requests to connect by people from college that I barely knew anyway.

Your Dashboard

After you’ve finished linking up, you’ll be taken to the main dashboard screen that looks like this:

Mynd 1Let’s break down what you’re looking at:

Top Left Square

This shows what your next thing is, what time, and how long it will take you to get there. Tapping on this gives you more information on that event.

Top Right Square

This shows you the weather forecast for your next location. If you have multiple locations, it will scroll to show you all of them. This is pretty great for answering the “should I bring a jacket?” question.

Middle Left Square

If you’re on LinkedIn, first of all stop sending me requests to connect, and second, after you log in it can actually do some pretty cool stuff. First it will show pictures of people you’ll be seeing today. If you don’t have your LinkedIn account connected, it will show the pictures from people in your contacts list or just an icon as seen above. This requires that you have invited them to the event in your calendar. If you tap on that square you can see a list of everyone for that day, tap on their name and contact them directly through the app via email, call or text. You can also view the information on their LinkedIn profile.

Middle Right Square

This scrolls through your planned locations for the day. If you tap on this square you’ll see a map with pins where your destinations are.

Bottom Left Square

This one is customizable. I have mine set to show me how many miles I’ve driven so far and how many I have left to drive. You can also change this to show you how many due, overdue, and completed reminders you have, based on the iPhone stock reminders app (again with the linking).

Bottom Right Square

This shows how many events you have left for the day. Tapping on this takes you to “list” view to show you all the events for that day.

Best Features

Leave Notification

Mynd 2The best part about Mynd is that it automatically sends you a notification when you should leave. I have mine set to notify me 15 minutes before I need to leave, but you can customize that to your liking. When you slide the notification open, it takes you to the view pictured , where you can open a route in Apple or Google maps.

It’s great not having to think about how far away the place is, then check traffic, then realize, “crap I should’ve left 15 minutes ago”, then realize your dress shirt is at the bottom of the hamper, oh and I need the small setup for tonight, guess I’ll unload my car real fast, now I’m running 15 minutes late. Speaking of!

Late Notifications

If you haven’t left yet, Mynd will send you another notification letting you know how many minutes late you’ll be, then you can contact the people tied to that event directly from the app. Pretty slick right? I mean, it doesn’t make up for you being late, you literally have a robot telling you when you should leave and you still left late. But it’s a nice courtesy.

The Day Dashboard

The main screen dashboard is awesome. It’s great being able to see your whole day all in one snapshot. Every appointment you have, everyone you’ll see (curse you LinkedIn), how many miles you’ll drive, where you’re going and what the weather will be are all in front of you. It’s great looking at this in the morning and seeing what the day holds.

As mentioned, Mynd also has other calendar features. These aren’t any better than most other calendar apps that you’ll use. They aren’t bad by any means, but not spectacular enough to make me break up with my normal calendar app (we’ve been going steady for a while now). The main thing I use Mynd for is the leave notifications and the dashboard.

The Only Thing Is…

In order to let you know when you need to leave, Mynd needs to know the address of your latest appointment. This requires  entering the addresses on your appointments if you don’t already have them saved. Look, Mynd is great but it isn’t a wizard. Does inputting addresses take a little while? Yes, but it’s absolutely worth it for the trade off. You can set events to repeat weekly for things like lessons or steady gigs, so that saves time. Plus Mynd makes it really easy to search for the address you’re looking for right in the app. For this example I entered just “Staples Center” for the location and it found the address automatically for me. It probably can’t find “Tevin’s house” though so you may need to be more specific.

The only other thing is that in order to do its job best, Mynd needs to have location services on in the background. This means it’ll drain your battery a little faster. Easy solution: go buy a car charger and plug your phone in whenever you drive. It’s a fair trade off to have a robot assistant in your pocket.

Wrap Up

I don’t have a specific rating for this app other than: yes, go download it. Mynd says it takes about week to learn your routine and maximize its efficiency, so try it out and see what you think. Overall, Mynd is an awesome app that’s free and makes your life easier. Go download it right now. I’ll go start working my way though these LinkedIn requests.