Any.do Is Good, But Could Be Better

Any.DO

Any.do has been around for many years and is one of the more popular calendar and task management services available.  I looked at it back in the day when I decided on Todoist, but it felt a revisit was necessary to see how the service had developed over time.

I like the idea of having an interface where the task management and calendar modules are aligned side by side on the desktop and browser apps, but I feel the company has missed a trick for the following reasons. First, when you have the tasks listed on the left-hand side, there is a row of tick-box tasks in the calendar. Initially, when I created the tasks as recurring, I failed to see that the default time was midday.  Editing each task was a little odd, as well. For example, if I was changing the times at 8:45 and wanted the tasks to default to 7 am, the system would not let me go back earlier than 9 am.

Another quirk is that in the desktop and browser apps, you cannot add events to the calendar. This can only be done via the mobile apps.  Also, the desktop and browser apps only let you see events as a single day agenda item. There is no option to go for three days, weekly or monthly views, for example.  Different time views are available in the module apps, but why do this for smaller screens when the facility could be easily accommodated in desktop monitors with substantially more visual real estate. Any.do support days there are no plans to change this.

Other than these criticisms, there is much to like about Any.do. The interfaces on the desktop browser and mobile apps is crisp, clean and easy to view.  The service comes as multi-platform and syncing between these is almost instantaneous.

On the desktop, where I do most of my work, at the bottom of the task module there is a quick add field where you can insert tasks as quickly as you can type and hit the return key.  Returning to a task after it has been created in this manner, you have the options to edit the lists it is applied to, add a tag (adding colours is in the premium version only) create recurring timelines for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly and add alarms. You can also add notes and attach files.

For clarification, on the left-hand side of the desktop and browser apps is a column where you can create tasks, and see how many tasks there are for today, the next seven days and all tasks.  There is also a list “listing” with personal, work and grocery lists as defaults. You can add your own. Then to wrap it up, there is a list of tags you can add to tasks.

Going premium (price list here) allows you to have more advanced recurring task options, customised themes, WhatsApp reminders, location reminders in the mobile apps and an unlimited daily planner.

To capitalise on remote working in teams, Any.do is developing a workspace which is shared with colleagues. It will be interesting to see how this works out as the normal Any.do app allows you to collaborate with shared tasks and events out of the box.

As it stands, once the premium trial runs out, I am unlikely to pay £36 per year for the all-singing and dancing service, but I will be keeping it installed to see how the service pans out over time.