A Second Chance for Any.do

By Princess Jones

Early on a Sunday morning, I received an email from an Omer Perchik. My first thoughts were that it was SPAM. But SPAM never gets my unusual name correct. It always starts with “Hey Freddie” or “Sally, please answer this urgent message.” But this email started with a “Hi Princess” and the following picture:

Untitled

As I read the email, I realized that this Omer Perchik was the founder and CEO of Any.do and this picture was of the team. Any.do is a task app that has been around since late 2011 and has praised by the likes of Tech Crunch, Forbes, and Fast Company. I’d been using it for a couple of months off and on but had recently dropped it altogether.

“I’ll cut to the chase, so I don’t waste too much of your time,” the email read. “I’ve been racking my brain to think of how I can ask you to give Any.do a second chance and basically decided the best way is to come clean and ask you. Our small team have honestly worked day and night to build a new Any.do that is ten times better than what you used before. I know it is a pain, but if you update your current version, or re-download Any.do from the App Store, you will see that the app is now completely different.”

Truthfully, I left Any.do when Google released Inbox for beta. Inbox included reminders and synced with my Google Calendar. But Inbox leaves a lot to be desired in terms of email and task management. Without a standalone app or even web calendar integration, Inbox reminders were lost in a sea of email noise.

Omer’s email got to me. Maybe it was the simple, honest way it was worded. Maybe it was the fact that Inbox had lost its luster. Whatever it was, I was inspired to give Any.do another try. Here are my thoughts:

Loves

It’s pretty. No one wants to live in an app that looks like 1992. Any.do has a beauty and simplicity that makes it a joy to use. My favorite is date view. It divides tasks into Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming, and Someday, which is a very intuitive way of thinking of tasks.

It’s everywhere with everyone. Mobile. Web. Desktop. For those of us who work on different machines throughout the day, it’s necessary to have a task app that goes where we go. Also, you can assign tasks to others, giving you the power to collaborate with your team.

The Any.do moment. The Any.do moment is a pop-up notification that appears at your preferred time of the day. It prompts you to go through your tasks for the day, giving you time to review, organize, or edit them as needed.

Wishes

Integration with Google Calendar. I’d love to be able to see my calendar and tasks in one view. At the moment it integrates with AnyCal, Any.do’s sister calendar product. But while AnyCal is a strong contender, it just isn’t anywhere nearly strong enough to replace Google Calendar.

Kiip Rewards are irrelevant. Any.do incorporates Kiip rewards, which are coupons when you complete a significant amount of tasks. I get that they are a better alternative to mobile ads but they seem unnecessary. As a serious task organizer, I’m here to get stuff done. I don’t care about 20% off coupons. I’m glad there’s a way to turn them off but I think they are wasted space in general.

Shake to clear all completed tasks is useless. Even after you shake, you have to confirm the deletion. On the other hand, if you don’t confirm, imagine how often you’d lose all of your complete tasks if you accidentally shook your phone. The real question is why are deleted tasks still on the list anyway? They should go into a completed tasks folder, never to be seen again unless we specifically ask to see them.

The Verdict

I spent another month with Any.do and I can confidently say that it is the task manager Google wishes it had thought of first. It’s fast. It’s stylish. It’s everywhere. Best of all, it understand how we organize tasks intuitively.

If I got my fantasy, Google would buy Any.do and integrate it into the Google ecosystem so that it would work with my other main productivity tools. I’d love to open my Google Calendar for the day and see my Any.do tasks displayed along with my appointments.

But for now, if you’re looking for a versatile, cloud app for tasks that makes it easy to get things done, try Any.do. You can thank me later.

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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