I am a huge Things user when it comes to productivity. In fact, I’ve been using them for three years and have been very satisfied. I have flirted in the past with Omnifocus, Orchestra and some other productivity apps. None have replaced Things as my second brain. Not even close.
After reviewing Any.Do Cal a few days ago, I decided to give Any.Do Tasks a try. At first, I was extremely disappointed. I thought it was too simple and not very powerful. I was very close to removing the app from my device and I decided to give it a fair try. The results have completely blown me away.
What I Like
Any.Do Tasks is a very good looking app. I was fooled by its simplicity and look. There’s a lot of white space, simple colors and a very gorgeous interface. But behind it’s look lies an app that is beautiful, smart and has its own personality.
After going deeper into the app, I found out how smart it really is. First, you have the ability of entering tasks with voice input. You simply use the “pull down” gesture and tap on the mic to record your task. Another shortcut I found is that when you pull down and hold for two seconds, you automatically activate voice mode, so you can jump right in without having to tap the mic. Voice prediction is pretty good and works as expected.
One of the best features of this app is its action-based capabilities. I can begin typing a task like, “Email Matt” and while I’m typing, contacts that match the name start showing up. Once I choose the contact, The task shows a little “phone” icon next to it. Whenever I want to accomplish the task, I can simply tap the “phone” icon and the app turns it over to the phone app to make the call. So stinking cool!
If you just type something like, “Contact Matt”, you get a little green “man” with “talk” under it. Tap on that and you have the option of calling, texting, and emailing your contact. You can also use location services to have a task remind you when you leave or arrive at a particular place. I am really blown away at how great these two features are. Something that is severely lacking with Things.
You can also schedule tasks to be used as reminders. You can assign a date and time in which you want to be reminded. The app lets you “snooze” tasks or reschedule them to another day. Very useful feature.
Hidden in the bottom part of the app is the “Any.Do Moment”. A fancy way of doing a daily review. Things has a daily review feature, but Any.Do does this with so much more style. When you activate it (you can schedule what days and times you want to do your daily review) you are greeted by name and date.
The app then presents you with dots as tasks that are due that day. You are presented with each task with some available actions:
- Today: You can proceed to complete the task today
- Later: You can reschedule task to “tomorrow, in 2 days, next week or someday”
- Done: If you have already accomplished the task
- Delete: If you decide you don’t want to accomplish task
Once you complete your Any.Do Moment, you are sent back to your tasks with an encouraging message in big beautiful font.
This leads me to the next feature:
Any.Do Tasks has personality. It has all these fun sound effects. From simple tones when you accomplish the Any.Do Moments to the cheers when you accomplish a task. The reminder notifications ring off with a very nice tone that is very unique. Every time I hear it, I already know that a task is due.
The app is filled with nice animations of sliding panels, swipe to mark as complete, and others. The app also gives you the ability to switch the mode to black background instead of white. Some people may not like the sounds and fancy bells with the app. Thankfully, you have the option of turning them off if you like.
What I don’t like
The app is beautiful, smart and fun. But it falls behind when it comes to power. There are no subtasks options (though you can use notes in each task as subtasks, it’s not an ideal solution). Also, even though there’s a way of accessing your tasks via a Chrome extension, there is no iPad version to complete the cycle. I use my iPad a lot when I’m home and the omission its noticeable for me.
Also, when I created my Any.Do account, I misspelled my name and now it greets me as “Mor” instead of Moe. I have yet to find a way to access my account to change that. Very odd.
To Buy or Not To Buy
Any.Do Tasks is free with no in-app purchases. I have a strong affection for this app and together with Any.Do Cal, I have become an Any.Do user. Knowing that they are working on an Any.Do Mail and Any.Do Notes, excites me even more.
I tweeted yesterday:
There’s been a recent shift in way I use iPhone. It has broken the spine of some of my fave apps. One example is my love for @vsco app.
— Moe (@Moe_NYC) July 23, 2013
Than I followed up with this tweet:
Apps that I previously relied on have been replaced.
— Moe (@Moe_NYC) July 23, 2013
I am officially acknowledging that Any.Do Tasks has replaced Things as my second brain. Things has been my second brain for so long that I am nervous and a bit scared of having done this… but I’m going all in. I haven’t yet deleted Things from my iPhone. I put it in my productivity folder just in case my relationship goes sour with Any.Do.
As it stands today, Any.Do Tasks, together with Any.Do Cal live on my iPhone dock. I highly recommend Any.Do Tasks. A fantastic app!