Structured: Daily Planner - $100k MRR

9 April 2024
4 MonthsBuild Time
Mobile AppsCategory
SubscriptionBusiness Model
Native codeBuilt with
Descriptive Alt Text
Stats 2022
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👀 How was the idea born?

I had just seen a friend write down her learning schedule for the day, and I wanted to do the same (but digitally). A quick search on the App Store didn’t reveal anything promising, so I decided to build it myself

🚀 From 0 to 1

Less than a month later, on Dec 22, 2019, I had already committed the first code (basically uploading it) and started designing the app.

I'm a developer, not a designer, so I have to iterate a lot before I get something that looks decent (or at least a bit). This can be best seen by the many (bad) attempts it took to arrive at the first version of the timeline. Don’t you just love the gradients at the top 🤩 😂

The evolution of the timeline from first draft (left), over the 1.0, to the current version (right).The evolution of the timeline from first draft (left), over the 1.0, to the current version (right).

Miraculously, I did come up with a design, which was at least halfway good, and started coding. Part of why I started this app was also to try SwiftUI, a new way to build apps, which Apple had released that year. Therefore, the whole project was a big experiment, during which I also learned a lot.

Anyway, exactly 4 months and 10 days after the first idea, I finally released the initial version of Structured on the 9th of April 2020 (two years ago 🎂) to the App Store. But before that, I had to pick out an icon for the app, which gives me the opportunity to again show off my design talent (I did not design the latest icon 🙈)
First launch

🛫 More growth

The very first version did not have any way to pay for the app, so I added a small tip jar a few weeks later and got my first money from my own app, ever 🤑 ($25 in April 2020). In the following months, downloads gradually increased to around 8k a month and around $100-200 of tips kept rolling it.

My first real “press coverage” was on German tech blogs after adding German localization in version 1.5 and during this time,

Structured was also featured in the App Store for the very first time. This bumped up the downloads to over 20k in November 2020 and also brought in over $1,000 in tips.

Subsequently, I decided to change the business model of the app. Getting tips is super nice (because this shows people really like the product), but to build a sustainable business these would probably not be enough. At the end of 2020, I introduced Structured Pro, which was a one-time $5 purchase and unlocked recurring tasks, calendar imports and notifications. Everyone who already owned the app was automatically upgraded to Structured Pro and people who could not afford it got a free upgrade.

This was perfect timing because at New Year, apparently many people made resolutions to get more organized. Alone in January 2021, over 35k people downloaded the app, and it generated almost 10x the revenue. Now it was clear: This app is going to work out!

After that, I started working on Structured 2.0. I had big plans, needed to make a lot of changes in the background, but since I was still working and studying, I only made very slow progress. This meant, that the first feature release of 2021 happened in October, but it was a big one. Notes, subtasks, the Inbox, Reminders integration, more recurring options and a lot of design improvements (just look at the evolution of the task editor ✨).

structured stats