Orchestra is more than just your garden variety To Do app. So, so much more.
Let’s start with the more obvious things first. To add a task you could simply go to the web app and type it in. Or you could type it in to the app on your iPhone. Or you could press the red button and tell the app what you want to do and it will transcribe it to the list. Even better, you could simply email the app. Yes, email it.
When you get an email that requires you to do something you can email it to the app and it will lodge it on your list. What’s more it will send an email to the original sender letting them know you have added it to your To Do list to follow up - a great feature for reassuring clients, employers and employees that you are in fact listening. Of course, if you would rather they didn’t know - I’m sure there is a good reason for that, other than not wanting to inadvertently spam everyone - you simply type !shhh in the body of the email, which tells the app not to notify them.
You can set your team up with the app and assign tasks directly using their user name or email adress and it will notify them via push notifications when the task is sent. With the activity function you can add any user to a task list and measure the progress or change deadlines, all in real time and with instant notification to your team. You can even discuss the project or task with other users directly from the app, while on the go. This, I discovered, works brilliantly with (younger) teenagers as well. Chores can no longer be ‘forgotten’.
I did find you have to be careful with the voice option of the iPhone app - for some reason it thought ‘feed the cats’ should be written "tiring the mats”. I don’t know if it was my voice, my phone, my app, or my cats demanding noisily to be fed, that made it hear ‘feed’ and understand ‘tiring’. At least mats and cats sound similar.
Orchestra is a simple but powerful tool for reclaiming your inbox and instilling a little order into your day. Free for iOS, Orchestra is not yet available for Android but I’m guessing won’t be too far away.