Get things done with no fuss with Any.DO

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By Pete Davison Comment

Any.DO is an iOS and Android app from the company of the same name. It’s a free download, available now from the App Store and Google Play. This review is based on the iOS version, tested on an iPhone 4S.

Any.DO is a task manager application that aims to help users get things done with the minimum of fuss. It achieves this using a simple, clear but visually distinctive and attractive interface, social connectivity and a pleasing degree of integration with iOS and Android devices’ other features, including calendars and contacts.

Creating a to-do item is a simple matter of either using the built-in voice recognition (which uses proprietary technology rather than Siri on iOS) or by typing something in. As the user types, Any.DO automatically suggests possible activities to theoretically speed the creation process. If the user starts typing a name, Any.DO will offer to automatically fill out information from Facebook or the device’s contact list, and if the appropriate details are present, the task listing offers the possibility to call, email or send an SMS/iMessage directly from within the app.

Once an item has been created, additional information may be added if desired. A “notes” function allows for a sub-list of multiple items to be created inside an individual task — particularly useful for shopping lists or multi-step projects. Items may be categorized in folders — “Personal” and “Work” are provided by default, but additional may be created — and alarms set. Important tasks may be highlighted in red. Finally, items may be shared with Facebook friends or contacts from the device’s address book — doing so sends either a Facebook message or email to the relevant person with an invite to the task in question. Clicking this link from a compatible device with Any.DO installed allows collaboration on a task; clicking it from a computer simply sends the user to the Any.DO website, but does not inform them that they have not actually accepted or declined the invitation.

Managing tasks is a simple matter of tapping to adjust details, tapping and dragging to move items around between folders or due dates, and swiping to mark as completed. Oddly, the “completed” swipe is from left to right rather than the more intuitive right-to-left motion used by most other apps.

Turning the device into landscape orientation allows the user to view their calendar and their Any.DO task list at the same time. Tasks may be dragged and dropped onto specific dates on the calendar from this view, but other details may only be edited in portrait view.

Any.DO is very slick and looks great, with attractive, smooth animations and a clear, crisp, highly readable typeface. Those who prefer a darker interface to the default bright white have the option of switching the color theme in the app’s menu to a black background with white text. This also helps with readability, particularly in low light.

The interface as a whole is heavily icon-based, which in some apps makes navigation more obtuse than it needs to be, but Any.DO’s simple, clear icons are unambiguous and intuitive, making it easy to use after a very brief acclimatization period.

On the whole, Any.DO is an excellent productivity app with a very pleasing aesthetic. Its social collaboration features and cross-device compatibility make it a highly flexible solution, yet it is simple and intuitive enough for even inexperienced users to be able to use effectively. The fact that it is completely free is just the icing on an already very appealing cake.

Any.DO is currently ranked at No. 57 in Top Free Productivity Apps on iOS, and No. 78 in the Application/Productivity on Android.