Kewl App Alert: Any.DO Combines the Best of GTD and Laziness

If you're familiar with the Getting Things Done (or GTD) approach, then you probably have a series of files in  your office numbered from 1-31, another with the months of the year, one for next year and one called Someday. Or if you're lazy, you thought about it. Then forgot. And there are files in your office but they're stacked in no particular order.

Either way, Any.do is an app for you.

I fall in the middle of these two extremes. I did have a bunch of rotating folders for work, but then I realized how much I loathe paper and instead created my own system in Evernote to manage my projects electronically. And since I am such a fan of search, most of my system is based on filing everything in Evernote and then searching for whatever I need if I can't remember offhand where it sits. All in all, it means that I don't carry a paper notebook and have maybe all of 100 sheets of paper in my entire office. Most of it was handed to me by other people at meetings and I still haven't found a use for any of it. I should really purge those.

Hmm, I should put that into Any.do. Here's a look at my current list.

Screen shot of my Any.Do list

[Aside: yes, France. One day, again.]

Any.do is a to-do list that uses the GTD idea of today, tomorrow, soon and someday to schedule tasks. Or, if you're lazy, delay doing tasks. And it contains a lot of functions to help you manage them. You can:

  • enter tasks or events, 
  • associate them with people in your contacts list, 
  • schedule them as loosely or as specifically as you want,
  • add reminders,
  • assign urgency,
  • add notes,
  • run a Web search on the text of your task (very handy when the task is to "buy x"),
  • and my personal fave: share it with a contact.
Whether or not your contact has the app, you can share a task. They receive an email that looks like this:
Any.DO task sharing email
If they accept to help you, you will receive an update in your app. If they have Any.do, the task will be added to their list. If they turn you down (which is kindly "not now" instead of the more direct "bite me"), responding will send them to the App.do site. Clever, clever.

Hubby and I share some Evernotes but mostly we share tasks and events on a Google Calendar. I like the ability to have the items show up in my to do list too, so this is a great way to merge the two. [Every time I say "Any.do" I think of "honey-do" (lists) so this is potentially dangerous for hubby who may suddenly find himself the recipient of many tasks. Hmm, better pace myself.

If you assign reminders or deadlines to tasks, they will appear in your task bar, like calendar events. Now the laziness feature comes into play: if you need to push back a deadline, you can just drag and drop tasks across the various categories to expedite or (more likely) delay them (you lazy oaf). Dropping the ball has never been so easy.

 But this little app is also pretty smart: it asks you when you'd like to play your day, and every day at that time runs you through a little checklist, showing you what's on the books and prompting you to accept, edit, set a reminder or delay each item. Mine goes off at 8am, while I'm normally on the bus so it gets me thinking about what I need to get done on the way to work. Love.
Up until this point, I was using Minipaper (native Android app) on my phone to record quick to do lists that I wanted to have visible without opening Evernote. But I love the UI and simplicity of this app so much that I actually changed my Android homescreen to display my Any.do list when I turn it on. Instant to-do list, instead of instant social feeds. Yup, tricking my brain into focusing on productivity. Whatever works, right?
 
Are you a GTD fan? Are you a lazy oaf? Would you set this up and then never use this?