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For Menlo Ventures‘ managing director Shawn Carolan, staying focused is important. It’s with this in mind that he founded Handle, a workflow companion app designed to bring order to your personal and professional lives. The app debuted in January (although a beta version first released in 2013) to help the general public transform the way they deal with time-sensitive obligations. But with an app that targeted private individuals, the question remained—how could it make money?
Perhaps in answer, the company has produced new apps that’ll make Handle available across the enterprise, thanks to its integration with Google Apps for Work. Workers will now have an opportunity to manage their daily tasks and meetings from across their Gmail accounts, calendar, and even to-do lists from within a single system.
Of course, while the concept of to-do lists isn’t unique, as there are plenty of similar services within the Google App marketplace, the way that Handle is going about it may be compelling for employees, especially because there is a mobile app available, as well. The company’s goal is to change people’s behavior so that they’re trained to be more focused on what they need to do.
We all have busy professional lives in which we try to juggle emails, meeting requests, and all the different projects and tasks that come across our desks. What Handle is designed to do is to take some of that stress away.
“We launched in February as a consumer iOS app and quickly got hundreds of thousands of downloads from people who were excited to have a system that could replace their bad habits,” said Carolan. “Those consumers then started bringing Handle to work and we found ourselves in thousands of top enterprises and universities. Since soft launching our Google apps desktop app less than a month ago, we have gotten nearly 100,000 organic downloads from the Chrome Web Store.”
Workers interested in using Handle in a business setting can download the app, and, with just a click, integrate it with their Google Apps account. The service won’t replace current systems you have, but it will consolidate everything into a to-do list within the Handle app — it’s basically a layer on top of everything that brings order to your busy day.
Some of the features you’ll get from Handle include natural language parsing (currently only available for the Web) which will analyze your data in order to automatically set up reminders, due dates, and more. Additionally, all data is synced across the cloud to Handle’s apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, tablet, and Apple Watch, using enterprise-grade security. Oh, and if you’re using an iPhone, you can add tasks within Handle just by using Siri.
The company says support for more mobile devices and email services like Exchange are coming, but it’s worth noting that while Handle is targeting Google App for Work, it has yet to roll out an app that works across Android devices.
Handle’s apps are free to use in the App Store and within the Chrome Store.
Update: This post has been modified to clarify some points per my interview with Handle.
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