P.L.A.N. is the latest addition to the currently-fashionable crop of apps that allow users to attempt to organize their social lives. P.L.A.N. markets itself as a 21st century solution to the problem of plans changing at short notice — instead of phoning or texting around everyone to update arrangements, the theory goes, P.L.A.N. allows for a centralized means of keeping everyone abreast of plans and notified of any important changes.
Using P.L.A.N. requires Facebook as it uses this as a reliable means of assembling a friends list. Not everyone involved in making arrangements has to be a P.L.A.N. user, however — the service features Web-based functionality to allow non-users of the app to respond to invitations, but groups of friends will probably find it most efficient if everyone is making use of it..
Creating a new event is a simple matter of tapping the “New” button in the corner of the screen and filling in the relevant details: what you want to do, where you want to do it, when you want to do it and the friends you want to invite. Underneath that are two optional sections that allow you to customize what other attendees are allowed to “suggest” to the plan — changing the activity, location, time, date and inviting friends — as well as a deadline to RSVP, a minimum number of attendees and/or a maximum number of attendees.
Once you have created or been invited to an event, you can view its information from the app’s main screen. From the details page, you can view the people who have been invited, marked themselves as “in” or “out” and, if you are the administrator of the plan, update its status. Pulling down a menu from the top of the screen allows for notifications to be turned on or off, the plan to be edited and additional friends to be invited. Alternatively, a plan can be abandoned with the “I’m Out” button. The details page for a plan also includes a chat facility for everyone involved to discuss the plan and make suggestions. In this manner, P.L.A.N. can also be used as an event-centric group messenger, which is quite useful.
P.L.A.N. is a well put together app that is easily-navigable and intuitive to use. Whereas many examples of this type of app limit their usefulness by requiring everyone involved to be an active user, P.L.A.N.’s Web functionality makes this a useful means of organizing events with almost anyone — though the fact it is limited to Facebook means that in some cases you may just be better off using the social network’s Events facility. If you can convince your social group to all make use of it, however, it has the potential to be an excellent means of staying on top of a busy social life — and of keeping people updated if plans have to change at a moment’s notice.
You can follow P.L.A.N.’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.