Favorite Apps: Reminders

There are hundreds of To Do apps for the iPhone, iPod, iPad including Reminders, which come automatically installed on your device. If you just need a set of simple checklists, Reminders may work for you. I always suggest you try the installed software first. (Watch for future posts about other To Do apps.)

Reminder lets you set up multiple lists with checkboxes. You can assign items to different lists, set priorities and have the phone remind you of the item on a particular day/time or when you are in a particular location. You can also set recurring reminders to repeat every day, week, month, year or every two weeks. I’ve used it for shopping lists separated out by location, for example the grocery store, the pharmacy, etc. The location reminders are handy when you’re shopping, although if you leave the location notifications on all the time, it’ll run down your battery. You can turn the location notifications on and off under Settings. You can view your reminders by list or by date so it’s easy to see everything you’re suppose to do today. If you told iCloud to sync your reminders (again in Settings under iCloud) lists will show up in iCalendar not only one your phone/pad/pod but also on your computer in iCalendar and web version of Calendar as well. Here’s a good tutorial for using Reminders.

If you use the Getting Things Done (GTD) productivity methodology, you can set up a Reminder list for each of your contexts. David Allen, the developer of GTD suggests one context for each location where you can do a task, for example, @Office, @Home, @Errands. (The @-sign, pronounced “at” lends itself to setting up locations.) I sub-divide my Errands into particular locations: @Grocery, @Walgreens, @Staples, etc.

I find Reminders a little simplistic for my needs as I like to also divide my work into finer gradients. For example, GTD methodology also uses Projects as a way of looking at To Dos. And, of course, those of you who are all-Apple, all-the-time can’t use it at all. So over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be reviewing some other apps that might work better for you.

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