We’ve all been there: you’re trying to host a potluck, but managing all of the people coming on top of the work you have to do to get ready is a hassle. My friends and I have always made do with copious use of the Reply All button and spreadsheets hosted on Google Drive, but that’s cumbersome, and can create confusion if an email gets lost or an edit doesn’t take.
Now, two Israeli developers want to make it possible for you to easily plan an event with friends — and take some of the stress out of trying to wrangle them into all doing something useful –with their app EventWith.
The idea for EventWith came about when co-founders Itai Fridman and Daniel Beck were planning a vacation with a bunch of their friends. They realized that they accidentally set six families up to stay somewhere with only five cabins.
“And then we realized, we all work in high-tech, we’re using internet services which are much more complicated for less important things. Something like this, which is very casual, which you want to do together, we still use the old way of phone calls and emails, which is a platform for mess-ups when you do this kind of planning together,” Beck said. “And we looked for a solution. We looked for a solution, for a product that could help us do that, and we didn’t find any.”
Planning an event on EventWith is fairly straightforward: you can create an event within the app, or import one from your Facebook account. You then add friends to the event, and build a task list for things that you’d like people to do in order to help make your event happen. Friends can sign up for tasks that they want to do, or you can assign people to given tasks if you want. If you still need to iron out details, there’s also a built-in chat feature that allows everyone invited to an event to talk amongst themselves.
The app comes pre-loaded with a bunch of task lists for popular events, like baby showers, bachelor parties, and trips to the beach. What’s more, the communal accountability provided by the shared to-do list makes for a better event, according to Beck.
“When people assign themselves, or you assign them to take a task, you can see who is doing what,” he said. “And you can get to see who is really helping and contributing, and you can see who is not. And this process, when everybody gets to see who is doing what, just encourages people to get involved and help.”
Right now, Fridman and Beck say that they’re working on growing their user base before monetizing, but they say they plan to use in-app purchases, like enabling the ability to transfer money through the app, as a source for revenue.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.