What’s in a Name?

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When it came to naming the time management app, I had a few ideas:

  • Quotidian
  • Chores & Devotions
  • The Time of Your Life
  • Now & When
  • [TimeBox]

I’m fond of the “something & else” construction — it became my intention to name every app I produced in this form — and I was partial to Chores & Devotions. But when I put the question on Facebook, no one else cared for it: a stunning four people opted for “Now & When”, one for “The Time of Your Life”. THE BASTARDS.

So I named it “Now & When”, and continued to work on it, occasionally singing1 to myself as I plodded along.


In early April, I was taking a shower, mulling over whether I should release the app, or just move on to the next project. It’s a debate that I’ve been struggling with for several months. I didn’t know how I was going to sell it. (I still don’t.) It’s so niche. I thought, maybe, I could target Trello users, or people who use some Kanban system. Kan-something. Kan-do. I kan-do that.

Kan-do?

I was giddy.

I liked the pun on “can-do”, a nice positive association, and the mashing together of Kanban and to-do. Further research revealed that kando is Swahili for “next”, as in “being closer in location than the other objects” — there’s an aspect of that in my app. And finally, the Japanese meaning, via Yamaha:

Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.

May Kan-do bring you kando.


  1. Now & When seems to be a butchering of the line from Guns’n’Roses Sweet Child o Mine: “Now and then, when I see her face”, and possibly Hillel the Elder: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, then when?”)