Getting things done with Any.DO

I like having to-do lists, but the list that’s available in Google isn’t exactly the best list. It feels more like an afterthought that was patched into Gmail and left alone ever since. It’s simple and integrated, but that’s more or less it.

These days, I’m resigned to using the good old trusty method of starring emails as to-do items, and even writing emails to myself on occasion to “add an item”. Granted it’s an ugly hack, but it works.

So when V suggested trying this new app called Any.DO, it seemed like fun. Like literally, what did I have to lose? I waste an hour or two of my life if it sucks, I gain a good tool if it wins.

Sync

The thing to note about Any.DO is the ability to sync tasks across platforms. Sync has become a staple in today’s productivity app, seeing as everyone switches from their smartphone to a desktop/laptop, and expect the same information to be present across all devices. Honestly, a notebook and pen would be much easier but us technophiles either have horrible handwriting or are just lazy to write.

Any.DO does this via its Android app and the iOS app for the smartphone users, and the Chrome browser app for desktop. People who are into other browsers, woops? A web version is on the way though, so this is something in the works while they target the Chrome browser users, which I fortunately belong to.

Ease of use

The other winning feature of Any.DO is its simplicity. It has an interface that’s clean and easy to use. No clutter, no ads, no distractions.

Notice the tasks are split up into easy-to-understand categories like Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming and Someday. Just plain simple organisation.

Add a task, and you’re good to go at the basic level. Need a reminder? Add an alarm. Want to share the task? No problem. Add a footnote? There’s that too.

My experience

Being an Android (Nexus 4) and Chrome user, Any.DO seemed like a good fit for me. So I installed both apps, and went “Now what?” One time-saving feature here is the ability to import the task list from Google, it saves you the hassle of labouriously retyping or doing multiple paste jobs.

I found the entire experience pretty good; adding a task, reminder and notes were done with nary a hiccup. The only little gripe I have is with this tiny feature on the Android app I didn’t really like. Quoted from the Any.DO FAQ:

How do I mark a task as complete?
Simply cross out a completed task by swiping over it with your finger from left to right.

Not intuitive enough to understand without the FAQ, I call it. I was going half-mad at the start trying to figure it out myself, and finally bothered to read the FAQ – the answer made me barf just that little bit. While elegant, it’s not immediately obvious to the casual user.

While not totally friendly to the non-Chrome user yet, I’d recommend giving this app a try. Any.DO will definitely improve with time, and look for this to be a good addition to the GTD-minded user who needs a good tool to keep track of things to do.

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