Recently Easilydo, the new iPhone for managing the far-flung bits of your digital life, suggested I congratulate my friend, Laura, who had posted a Facebook status about finding a job and moving to Chicago. It's likely I wouldn't have known about Laura's news otherwise since my News Feed updates constantly, and Facebook wouldn't alert to a friend's status the same way it would remind me about her birthday.
It's hard to keep up with the bits and pieces of our digital lives when everything happens so quickly. Important announcements from Facebook friends get pushed down quickly in most people's News Feeds, to say nothing of shipping notifications and credit card statements that get buried under daily deals offers and newsletters. As a result, the mental list of tasks we've set aside for later—updating those phone contacts, for one—somehow never seem to get done. And it's unlikely you'd ever write something on a physical checklist like, “Congratulate Joe on Facebook for getting that new job.”
But link Easilydo to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, and Yahoo accounts, and the app will begin suggesting one of 23 tasks it thinks you might need to carry out on all those separate apps. RSVP to a Facebook event, wish a friend a happy birthday, track a shipment, or add a recent contact to your address book, all without leaving the app. None of these tasks are difficult to carry out on their own, of course. But by gathering them all together, Easilydo circumvents the need to app-juggle to get things done.
"Everyone’s data is now in an app somewhere," says CEO Mikael Berner. "We're going out and finding out what’s important to them, then letting them do something about it."
Easilydo gets particularly interesting when it picks up on information you might otherwise have missed completely. And it even offers up a few useful location-based features designed to help you jet around during the day. It can text you the night before inclement weather, alert you when it's time to leave for your next appointment, and automatically send a text to a contact when you're on your way.
Berner says that unlike apps such as Evernote or Astrid, Easilydo is not just focused on gathering information or helping you check items off a list—it's about turning your data into meaningful actions. He says the initial platform, which is mostly filled with lighter-weight tasks such as saying happy birthday to a friend, is laying the groundwork for a robust ecosystem of potentially hundreds of tasks that Easilydo could carry out for a user, from automatically checking into flights to paying your bills. Easilydo is trying to be essentially everything you'd want from a truly smart personal assistant.
The elusive smart personal assistant is hot on the radar of Easilydo competitors from Cue, which uses data from your social accounts to assemble your day's agenda, to giants such as Siri and Google Now, which also try to deliver what’s important to you at the right time.
"From the beginning, we've been trying to fill the shortcoming with Siri," Berner says. "The world needs an app that just does stuff for people."
[Image: Flickr user Courtney Dirks]