Using Anyvite with your Phone (and we don’t mean iPhone)

Flip PhoneUsing Anyvite with your phone is a topic which we thought most people were familiar with, but based upon recent conversations, it appears to be an aspect of Anyvite which is still relatively unknown.  Our intent with the service has always been to make it as easy and accessible as possible, which means gearing the functionality that we build towards the largest and most available audience.  We did this by building out mobile functionality using text messaging as the communication channel, so that everyone would be able to take advantage of it.

For event organizers specifically, managing invited guests on the go has always been a hassle.  There are a million and one things that could go wrong, resulting in the need to change a necessary element of the event, which a lot of times requires updating guests at the last minute.  We built in the functionality to allow the event organizer to do just that using only a single text message from their phone, so that they never had to worry about being by a computer to notify their guests of changes.

To get started using Anyvite with your phone, simply log in and navigate to the “Contact Info” section under the “Settings” tab, and add in your phone number along with your service provider (AT&T, Verizon, etc.).  Then, go to the Notifications page and customize the types of notifications that you would like to receive on your phone.  Every time you, or one of your friends, creates an invitation for an event, you’ll receive a text message with the relevant details.

Now here comes the really slick part of the service, the communication is not just a one way street so you can respond back to the text message you received with different commands for Anyvite.  If you’re an event organizer, and want to notify your guests of something from your phone (as discussed above), simply reply to the text message you received with the following command:

To send a message to all invited guests (no quotes):
msg "enter your message here without the quotes"

If you want to RSVP or comment on an invitation that you received, simply send one of these commands:

To RSVP yes:
rsvp y

To RSVP no:
rsvp n

To add a comment to the invitation (no quotes):
comment "enter your comment here without quotes"

If you forget any of these options, simply reply back to an Anyvite text message with the word “help” and we’ll send you a text message with a list of options.  It’s as simple as that!

Oh, and if you do happen to have an iPhone or web enabled phone, you can always use the Anyvite mobile site to manage your invitations too.  Try it out and let us know what you think.

Profile pictures are now optional

Picture 25

From the moment that we began building Anyvite, our thought and assumption was always that people creating and viewing invitations would want to be able to see profile pictures of other invited guests.  We’ve held strong to this idea for well over a year now, but as hard-headed as we may be, there have been enough plausible scenarios where adding in the ability to disable profile pictures made sense.  So as of today, invitation creators now have the ability to disable profile pictures from their invitations.  This ultimately turns the guest list from a “3 across” setup to a list view, as shown to the right.

This new functionality can be toggled by going to the “Edit Details” section of the invitation, and expanding the “Additional Options” at the very bottom of the page.  There is an option there for “Show Profile Pictures”.  Simply uncheck the box and save.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on the new functionality, and anything else we could do to improve the service.  Keep an eye out for more great updates in the near future!

Working Towards a Better Address Book, Easier Ways to Share Invitations, and More Color Schemes

It’s been a while since we last wrote, but be rest assured that we’ve been busy. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve done a lot of backend updates to make the site faster, handle larger invitations, and fix a number of pesky bugs.

Those are some things that you may not have noticed, but one thing we’re sure that you did was the new version of the address book. The most common request that we receive is for a better way to manage invited guests. The new address book is the first step towards significantly improving the process of managing your guest list. Rather than waiting for all parts of the process to be fully complete, we decided to release the parts that were ready, and get feedback on what people like and don’t like. This is your chance to help shape a critical part of the service, so we’d love to hear your thoughts (via the feedback tab of course).

Another feature which we’re really excited about is the ability to share invitations quickly and easily on Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other services. All you have to do is set an invitation to “Open” and the options will automatically show up once you send the invitation. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Finally, we’re continuing to add additional customization features to Anyvite. In addition to new designs and categories, we’ve also been adding new color scheme options. You can find the color schemes below the invitation preview on the design page. Simply click the arrows to the left and right of the color schemes to scroll through all of the choices. Experiment with a few and let us know what you like and/or what you think is missing and should be added in.

Alright, those were a few of the updates. Look for more in the coming weeks as we continue to build out the new manage guest list functionality and add in some new features. In the meantime, start creating your “Cinco de Mayo” invitations before it’s too late!

Comments can now be disabled

Slowly we’ve been giving invitation creators more control over what is shown on the invitation. Today we finally added an option for the last major piece (still lots of minor things though!). Invitation creators are now able to hide the comment board on the invitation page for those times when they’d rather not have a big list of people saying why they can or can’t come. Of course, there are times when the commenting really adds to the invitation so only disable it if you don’t want your guests chatting before the event!

We’ve also fixed a some little bugs that were introduced when we did our big update last Friday but overall things should be running pretty smoothly.

St. Patrick’s Day is in two weeks. If you haven’t sent out your St. Patrick’s Day invitations, now’s the time!

Good things come in threes

Anyvite received a few more updates over the past two days. Here are a few of the changes:

Export your Invitation Guest List20081210-d6eyewcam5nunt3nue3nmxi7jn
You can now export your invitation’s guest list to both Excel and CSV formats. The Excel format we’re using is a bit older and may not work in some newer programs (except any version of Excel within the last decade) which is why we also added CSV exports for the other applications (like Numbers).

The new export options are at the very bottom of the guest list so if you can’t find them, scroll down!

Allow Guests to “Invite people” and “Bring people” are now separate
This one is a bit more confusing. There are two options to account for extra guests in an Anyvite invitation. The first is to add them to the guest list so they can view the invitation in Anyvite while the second option is to just use the +Number dropdown when RSVPing. Previously, both of these options were controlled by the same configuration option. NO MORE we said (actually, you said it…) and we split them apart. So for parties where you want your guests to be able to bring a date, but not actually invite outsiders, you can now do it with Anyvite!

Limit the number of people a guest can bring
Another problem with the previous scenario was that you couldn’t limit the number of people your guest could include when RSVPing. So if you wanted your guests to only bring a date but not their entire extended family, you had a problem. So last, and possibly least of today’s feature upgrades, is the ability limit the number of people a guest can include while RSVPing.

We threw in some other goodies along the way. For example, your guests are now sorted by having a profile picture set first and then their name so guests with a picture set will appear before guests without it. The goal is to make the invitations look more exciting which actual faces accomplish better than grey question marks. Let us know what you like and what you don’t like! And remember to get started on your holiday invitations soon!

Style your Invitation Description and A New Look for Emails

After our latest release, which included the new configuration options for Anyvite, we received a lot of feedback about the need to format the actual text of the invitation.  Since then, we’ve been hard at work adding in the functionality for event creators to be able to customize the invitation description to their liking, and as a byproduct of that, we’ve finally given the emails a much needed facelift.

The format of the emails has been improved to take advantage of the newly styled invitation description, as well as to enable guests to easily invite additional people, change their notifications, and view what they’ve currently responded with (yes, no, or maybe).

Take a look when you have a chance and let us know what you think!

Big Site Update: Themes and more

Yesterday, we rolled out a new release of Anyvite. This one has been a long time in the making and there are literally hundreds of fixes and improvements. The most noticeable is a redesign of the Invitation creation process. In the new process, you can customize the look of the invitation using our themes, mixing and matching our pictures, searching flickr, and/or uploading your own pictures. This new approach has everything you need to customize your invitation on one page instead of spread over multiple pages as it was before. Of course, you can skip this step and head right to entering the details by clicking the skip button in the top right.


Step two of the invitation creation process is now adding in the invitation details. The big change on this page is that we removed the section for inviting guests and moved it to step three. This helps focus the invitation details page solely on the details and makes it much less intimidating!

Another big change is the redesign of our navigation. Before, our sub-navigation was located in the right column on each page taking up valuable screen real-estate and often becoming lost in the items around it. Now, it’s located at the top of the page directly under the open tab.


This gives us more room on the invitation for important things like the guest list while centralizing all of the navigation in one place.

So check out the updated site and play around with the themes and create your holiday invitations. Let us know what you like and what you’re not so crazy about. We’ve received a ton of feature requests from you over the past month, and while you may not see your feature implemented this time, stay tuned because we’ve got some big things coming up!

Sneak Peek: Anyvite Events Widget

We’ve started getting more requests from users asking about ways to display Anyvite events on their own sites and blogs.

We’ve had RSS feeds, but that’s not ideal for displaying your events to the public, so today we want to announce our first step toward being more open.

We’re in the process of testing a widget that you can embed in your website or blog that will show any upcoming open events that you’re hosting or attending. This makes it ideal for groups to list their upcoming events or anyone who attends/hosts events!

One of our first beta testers is Adam Gartenberg. Checkout how he’s using the Anyvite Widget!

We’re still working on finalizing and improving the widget so for now, if you’d like to try it, just send us an email at and we’ll send you a link.

Remember that Thanksgiving and the holiday season are fast approaching so get started on your Anyvites soon!

Import Contacts from Evite!

It’s been a few days since we last posted but we’ve been hard at work and just pushed out a great feature that we’re really excited to share. For anyone who used Evite in the past and has realized there’s a better way, you can now import your Evite address book directly into Anyvite making it even easier to switch!

To try it out, first create a new invitation for your next get together (now is as good a time as any to get everyone together!). After filling out the invitation name and any other details, scroll down to the Add Friends box and click on the green Import Evite Contacts button!

Next, enter the email address and password that you use to login to Evite. We won’t save it, we just need it once so we can retrieve your Address Book. Clicking Get Evite Contacts will take you to the next step of picking the contacts you would like to add to Anyvite. Getting your contacts can take anywhere from a few seconds to a whole minute so be patient!

In the last step, we’ll list all of your contacts and you can choose which ones you would like us to save. Use the handy Select All link to easily choose everyone or just check the boxes next to the contacts you want and click the Next button. That will close this window and add all of the addresses to the Email Address box on the invitation page. To finish, just click on the Preview Your Event button and we’ll take care of the rest!

Evite unfortunately doesn’t make it easy for anyone, including you and I, to get contacts off of their site. This means that there may be a few bumps along the way as Evite changes their site, but we’ll do everything we can to keep this great feature up and running. We feel that it’s your information and you should be able to access it however and wherever you want!

We’ve also added a few other things to the site in the past week. You can now copy invitations and use them as a base for creating new invitations! This reduces the work of filling out all of the fields, inviting the right guests, and adding pictures and other media. We’ve also fixed some bugs and updates all over the site so explore and see what you can find!

We’ve also been working on a feature that we haven’t publicly released yet. We’re testing with a limited number of beta testers to refine some of the features and while it’s still early, we’re excited about this one also!

If you have any questions about any of the things we discussed or if you just have some feedback on how we can improve Anyvite, just use the feedback tab on the site to let us know. Or, you can always leave a comment here or email us if you’d prefer!

Thanks as always for using Anyvite!

Add a Message when you Cancel an Event

We pushed out an update tonight which allows event creators who are canceling an event to add a custom message to the email notification before it’s sent to all recipients.  This is just a little update, but it saves users from having to send multiple messages to explain the reason for the cancellation.

Let us know what you think!

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