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Spreadsheets are one of the most powerful computing tools available to the masses. They are often the first solution that comes to mind when someone needs to solve a problem by themselves. Countless personal problems are thought out and tackled on using these versatile tools. Even though spreadsheets are usually enough for many situations, that doesn’t mean they are the optimal or even the best solution.

Many times, people would gladly use an app to solve the same problem. What usually prevents it is not finding an app that works exactly the way they want and them lacking the skills to develop it themselves. Appli solves this problem by enabling anyone to develop the apps they need. It doesn’t matter if you are launching a new business or if you’re just scratching a personal itch. Appli unlocks agency by making it easy to create custom solutions for your own problems. To illustrate that, I will go over an app that I built for my own usage. Something that is not a product, something that is for my personal usage only, but that is quite useful for my workflow outside my work.

I enjoy writing fiction, and like many authors, I enjoy keeping track of my daily word count. That allows me to quickly measure my progress and plan my schedule. Most authors I know use simple spreadsheets to do this. Some will have very elaborate setups, but the most common one is just a two columns spreadsheet keeping track of a date and the word count.

While I used a spreadsheet like this for a long time, I noticed I am writing more using digital typewriters or even my iPad. I don’t enjoy using spreadsheets on mobile devices. They feel clunky when they try to cram all that user interface in such small screens. My solution was to build a simple app using Appli.

Like the spreadsheet shown above, I started with a table with two keys: date and count.

From there, it was simply a matter of creating a form to enter new records.

And a layout to display records. I also created a scrollable chart to show me to help me spot trends at a glance.

That chart is populated with a single line of low-code action. It could not have been easier.

This app is on my phone, iPad, and desktop. I use a cloud database for it so it doesn’t matter which device I used to record data. I always have one source of truth.

From my simple layout, you can guess this is not a product. It is a bespoke tool for my own personal usage. Something that is orders of magnitude more user-friendly than opening a spreadsheet document. It took me less than one hour to build the app and now in seconds I can record and double check my progress from all my devices.

That is how I went from a spreadsheet that solved my problem into an app that made recording word counts no longer a problem but a joy.

You too can create your own tools. Are you using a spreadsheet to solve some problem? Would that be better handled by an app? Launch Appli and build that app today.