How we got to where we are

Red Urchin is the culmination of years of work in time and productivity management. It is developed and published by Pure Limits Software based in Australia and Red Urchin is the first software development project for Pure Limits. It was born out of necessity and a passion for efficiency rather than experience in software development.

As the founder of Pure Limits,. I have a long history of entrepreneurship and like all entrepreneurs in the early days was quite awful (understatement according to my staff) at time management. I tried to do to much in a day, ran in circles on non productive tasks, would completely forget deadlines and worst of all forget what other people were delegated to complete.

Enter paper based management systems and some key people!

I started in 1997 my efficiency improvement journey out of necessity and sheer frustration by attending a Priority Management course. This helped to an extent by I still found some gaps in the processes. With the help of a mentor I began working with an assistant (PA, Executive assistant etc) and after overcoming some mental barriers I developed a really efficient time and priority management system for myself that suited me as an entrepreneur trying to manage multiple tasks, multiple priorities and sometimes multiple businesses but it was all on paper.

Ah, computers!

But as technology moved forward, devices and software moved forward. Contact records were the first to transition to electronic formats (think contacts in outlook) and even if you printed out the paper version so you had them with you when you travelled, people were now not keeping paper contact records but storing them electronically and my paper management system had no answer for this.

Next to go electronic was the calendar and as email and the free/busy meeting function became an embedded part of business process the paper based calendar became cumbersome and redundant. You either had to print out your calendar for the day or transcribe it to your paper based system, none of which is efficient or kept up to date very well. There was also still the problem of portability as laptops were cumbersome, took a while to boot up and were a lot of effort just to have your calendar available.

I struggled with the fact that your time management system still required you to duplicate data. If I was managing the communications with a contact, and I had an action I would have to rewrite it in the relevant to-do page. I worked on a few prototype electronic systems to work with databases and integrate with contacts and calendars but the problem then came down to portability. You need to have your ‘system’ with you all the time or you just end up writing tasks on scrap bits of paper or post-it notes and then your are no better off than not having a system. Back to square one!

Houston, we have a solution!

Then after years of trying to crate an efficient electronic solution to time and priority management that actually worked in the real world, along came Apple launching the iPad and we had a platform comprising of the right screen size, connectivity, portability and flexibility to take everything we wanted and put it together. It was a the perfect marriage of function and technology. So we thought what better way to share our passion than to develop an application to run on tablets. Behold Red Urchin was born!

Our goal is to continue to develop the most powerful but simplistic and real world effective time management application for tablet computers that holds true to the key rules we have built into the Red Urchin ecosystem over the last decade. We also want to build a huge community of passionate users who can drive the future features and development of he application and to continue to improve our time management, meet our goals, free up time to do the things that are more important.

Brent McArdle
Time Management Dude