As Springpad positions itself beyond being yet-another-note-taking service, the Boston start-up has named Jacqueline Hampton its new chief executive and charged the former TIME Inc. vice president with making to-do lists that help check themselves off.
But Hampton told me that, after working with Springpad for six months, the site ultimately has a different mission.
In short, it wants to not just help you get and stay organized, but help work your way through what needs to be done, whether it’s back-to-school shopping, a list of top movies, or planning that dream vacation.
So in some ways, Springpad is more of a recommendation engine, competing more with Google Now or Siri than it is with most note taking apps.
“To me, it’s a situation where one plus one equals three,” Hampton told me. “We’re moving to the world where it’s, ‘how can I make this work for me?’”
To that end, Springpad tries to automatically detect what kind of information you’re jotting down or clipping in, and then intelligently store it. Is it a recipe? Then it will break out the ingredients. A movie? Than it will scan offer up a trailer and the film’s cover.
But then Springpad takes it a step further, notifying you when that movie finally hits the theaters, comes out on Netflix, or shows up on Hulu.
If you’ve got a shopping list, it will automatically find it on Amazon for a seamless to-do-to-to-done experience.
And like any good digital start-up, the whole package is mobile and social. This latter aspect is beautifully illustrated with a number of new partnerships Hampton has been working on with publishers and brands to highlight relevant content, including major local names like TripAdvisor and Wayfair.
These pages offer a fun way to explore potential products — or make a dream come true. For example, TripAdvisor’s Springpad includes a travel plan for a nation-wide ballpark tour, including the best travel deals, Foursquare tips for each ballpark, and easy access to purchase tickets.
Hampton said partnerships like these, as well as media partnerships, will be key to getting the rethought Springpad in front of a larger audience that moves beyond the life-hacker-y types that are the first adopters for these kinds of tools.
“We want to help the dreamer be organized, in addition to helping the Type A stay super organized,” she told me.
That’s a big target market, but Hampton said the site has already made inroads. She said the site had 4.5 million register users, with about 300,000 to 450,000 active monthly users. 75 percent of those users originate via mobile.