A fresh take on personal productivity


In 2016, I joined the Outlook Growth team tasked to grow our user base by focusing on our untapped markets and user segments. I was hired to help design and develop a daily planner, focused first on college students in North America and later on general consumers.

Our time management offerings at the time felt very heavy and corporate, and they didn’t really appeal to consumers. So we wanted to design a beautiful, delightful and straightforward time management solution that appealed to the typical consumer, with North American students being our first scoped target audience.


Product Design
Product Strategy


2016 - 2017


Disjointed ecosystems, heavy apps with a steep learning curve

Customers wanted a simple destination to plan - capture notes, tasks, events, and organize and personalize their productivity systems

Understanding student’s time management habits

Customer Focused, grounded in User research

We narrowed down our initial target audience to students as this allowed us to focus and refine the experience. We performed several research sessions, including remote and in-person focus groups, workshops, and several research trips to Universities across the county to interview students and learn about their time management processes and workflows



Research activities




Age group


Concepts and prototypes

Summary of themes we heard from the research

Highlighted above are some of the needs of Agenda’s primary and secondary target audiences (Aspiring and Active organizers, respectively), and how it currently stacks up.

Brand and Identity

Deviating a bit from Microsoft’s established corporate branding, we went for a very light and playful look and feel to appeal to our younger demographic





Agenda is a mobile-first time management solution that combines users’ events and tasks into a single solution, allowing them to get a more holistic view of their time

Calendar and tasks all in one place

Agenda brings together your Calendar and tasks into a single app and makes it easy to get a more holistic view of your time.

Bounce tasks and events back and forth

Life happens, plans change. Easily unschedule previously committed events by moving them to the task list

First-Run Experience

I worked on refining our FRE and making it as easy and as quick as possible to complete. Our initial FRE completion goal was 20%, and we ended up exceeding that to 62%. Users did not abandon the flow despite being asked for location and notification permissions, which typically leads to a massive drop off.​

Empty State & Weather

We wanted a simple and effective empty states that prompted users to take action as soon as they completed the FRE

Unified Capture

We simplified the capture experience for events and tasks and creation for both into a single form


The ability to create a nested list within a single task was one of our most requested features. At a glance, users can also get a sense of how much progress they’ve made towards completing their lists with progress bars.


Throughout the iteration process, we created several prototypes to convey some of our ideas to stakeholders and customers to get feedback

For the web

Although we built a mobile experience first, we heard from our users that a big-screen companion app would be a great compliment to the mobile experience, especially for longer-term planning and an overview of more extended periods.

Various Illustrations

I created several illustrations for the app in Sketch. I experimented with flat style illustrations and isometric 3D renderings.

Reflections and Outcomes

1) Agenda showed promise by exceeding user retention % expectations in Month 2. 26% user retention above the productivity app industry standard of 14%. We also learned that users want their events and Todos in one place. 79% of users switched between agenda and to-do views, and 38% of users created both events and to-dos.​

2) Although we exceeded several traditional app success metrics, we eventually decided it wasn’t worth innovating outside of our core app offerings, spinning off yet another product, and trying to build a brand new user base and instead, we decided to direct our energy to translate some of our great learnings into our core apps and over the years, I worked on integrating some of our best learnings from Agenda into Outlook and Microsoft Todo



James & Muriel

Beautiful watches with a modern aesthetic