In pursuit of the perfect To-Do List app

There can be this never-ending pursuit for the latest strategies or ideas while trying to achieve a more productive life. The same can be said for technology. If you are not careful you find yourself always searching for the latest and greatest. Trying to find that perfect app is just part of this. You search in Google Play or iTunes and you are overwhelmed by the number of possible options and hits. So what do you do?

You then start searching for reviews and what other people may use. I recently found myself on just such a journey. I am a big believer in the notebook but wanted to find a good To-Do List app for my mobile. That is, until I figured out that there is no such thing as the perfect app. There are good apps and better apps but not perfect ones. What is really important is how you use it and not necessarily what you use. It is all about the systems and the approach. Some prefer that certain app and some just a notebook, but it is how you use it that is important. You can make a good app into a better one by how you apply it.

I wanted to find a good mobile app. Something that I would always have with me. One important lesson I learned a while ago was that you should keep the to-do list away from your email client. I schedule my email time on three occasions during the day to stop me from ‘email dipping’. The issue I had, and I am sure I am not the only one, is that my to-do list was within my email app. So each time I reviewed the list there was the temptation to dip into email again. I have tried plenty of these apps in the past and retraced my steps until I landed at the door of Any.Do.

I just found the clean and minimalist UI really pleasing to view. There are no distracting background, a ton of feature buttons and the like. Just the things you need to concentrate on. By default it has three lists but you can modify these or create as many as you need. What I really like however is the list view – a day view of all the tasks to be done that day, one for Tomorrow and then Upcoming and Someday. Dragging and dropping between the lists is easy.

The application allows you to create the usual type of tasks, including notes, reminders, priority, sub-tasks etc. You can also add attachments and email the item to someone.

Then there is the Moment features – this allows you to cycle through the day’s task in a quick succession. It allows you to either complete it to defer it (tomorrow, 2 days time etc), set reminders and so forth. It is a useful feature to quickly view and action your list. You can configure it to remind you to go through Moments on a daily basis at a set time. The only downside to this useful feature is that it really is part of the paid version and the free one limits you to five times a month. The purpose of this feature is to make reviewing your task list on a regular basis, a habit. The paid version also allows for reoccurring tasks, a bigger file limit on attachments, location-based reminders, sharing etc.

Finished a task, then swipe it from left to right to strike it out. It will then move to the bottom of the list until you shake your device at the end of the day to delete them permanently. More on can be found on their website or their YouTube overview:

While in pursuit of the perfect app, I only found a good app but made it better by how I adopted and used it. For me Any.Do just works and I really like the clean design. Rather than continually searching for that one thing, time is better spent perfecting what you currently use.


What do you use for your To-Do List – please let me know in the comments section below 



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