Rethinking Apple’s “Reminder” To Do List

The things we do at 3:30 in the morning! Well, to be fair I went to bed around 8 or 8:30. I was ready to get up and somehow grabbed my phone and began looking through it. I updated some apps that were behind and then began looking at new apps. I checked out a couple to have a more efficient and revised “to do list” app. I’ve been increasingly unhappy with the “Focus Matrix” app where mainly I just parked my to do list and reorganized it by priority. For whatever reason Focus Matrix has been increasingly slow to work with. Any change you try to make it has to “think”. I can’t work like that. It needs to be instant. It is slow on the Mac, increasingly so with every update I do on the Mac. On the phone version it’s difficult to even get it to pull up – even with a thumb print or my code. Either way, it does not respond until multiple tries and finally it will pull up. I will not be able to fight with an app in such a way. Even one I had paid for. It’s highly rated, but it is not working. And the graphics within it seem to be becoming a bit outdated. My guess is that its software is no longer keeping up with the apple software updates. So I’m having to toss it out the window and do something else.

Focus Matrix, Sits on this Screen, Reluctant to Let Me In Either Way

I tried a couple of other apps today that I downloaded and they were just not doing what I wanted, didn’t sort, or respond like I wanted. And one was difficult to update – too much trouble. It needs to be quick. So I kept hearing about how wonderful Apple’s own “Reminder App” is, for To Do’s. So I decided to take another look at it. Sometimes we don’t always realize what we have. It is pretty spectacular. It meets most of my needs.

What do I need in a good “To Do List“?

  • The ability to prioritize and move around in order
  • The ability to categorize it (section it off) by type with either a tag or label
  • Ability to set an alert or period of time (Now, Soon, Later, and Maybe One Day – lol)
  • Ability to assign a specific date if needed
  • Easy Update
  • Easy Check off
  • Nice to have it integrate with your personal digital calendar
  • Ability to sync across devices so you have it on the go
  • Nice to have Siri update it for you
  • Nice to have a FREE one

Forgive me here but now that the sun is up, my dark mode has switched to light mode, so my first pic above of Reminders is black and the rest are white. Oh well. But above is when I first log into it and here below you can see today’s list. I will say that I am thinking I’ll be pretty darn happy with this. I’ve completed converted my Focus Matrix to this. And will delete Focus Matrix. I’ve even scheduled some of my tasks to pop up in my frame of time I want to do them in. For example, I know I’m not going to download Final Cut Pro until February so I programmed it to pop up Feb 1. But I can see ALL of my Scheduled Tasks in one place and I can see ALL of my tasks (scheduled or unscheduled in one place). I can move them up or down the list. So this makes me happy.

The added improvement, which is surprising to me, is that Apple’s Reminders app actually allows for grouping which I find will be very helpful. Particularly the “Computer” and the “Local Tasks” group, as well as Birthdays which I need to add in there. I added some new ones like “Cooking” and “Restaurants” as we are always wanting to remember things we want to cook, recipes to try and also restaurants we said we wanted to go to. The nice thing is that under the “i” for information you can even add a URL, date, flag, level of importance, and even notes! Wow.

So the grouping will be helpful because for example with Local Tasks – if I’m out and about in Mount Juliet, I can look at my list and see if I want to go ahead and knock out any of those things. So helpful.

So it took a couple of hours in an already busy time frame, but hey – if I have to get up at 3:30 a.m. to have any alone time then it’s worth it especially if I feel rested. The morning flew by while I did this project. I realized the whole house is up now. Every time I go to get a cup of coffee Mom is giving me another item to put on the to do list. So I guess it is a good thing I did this. I just keep adding them on. Whereas if I’d had the old list I wouldn’t have bothered. I can also tell Siri to do it and she will coordinate things with a reminder on a specific date. It will sync across my devices. And now I can set Siri up to answer me like “Alexa” from across the room. Of course she will probably listen in on conversations but I’m pretty sure she already does that anyway since microphone is enabled.

So….happy camper here.

Other Updates

Now, work was done in 3 days – well not everything but a lot of it. The critical things anyway. So a chunk of it has to be done on Monday. But I’m off for two days to get Mom’s house set up. And of course we have the weekend. George and I have a couple of excursions we want/need to do here and there as well. We’ll see how that goes.

Mom says she is feeling better and will feel like doing more. She thinks maybe she was in AFIB and also had some kind of virus as well. So I guess we’ll see how she does the next two days. But usually she stirs around for 1.5 hours and can’t do any more. I was really beginning to worry because it was seeming like Assisted Living was going to be the better option instead of a new house. But if she is better that is a good thing. I had rather her (and she would too) be able to stay in this house for a while. I was thinking “oh no, here she has the house now and is not going to be here long”.

And I guess that is about all the updates I have. I have not worked on the video – was going to do that this morning and blogged instead and worked on the new “to do” list. Maybe I will work on the video tomorrow.

Anyway no shortage of things to do around here. That is for sure. So I need to get a shower and get going with Mom. Her brain is on full mode drive for me to do things today. I used to have a boss that would say “what have you done for me lately?”, lol. Mr. Hollins! He was so funny. I see Mom sitting there saying the same thing. Not really but at least this morning she is in “Drive Mode” or perhaps “Overdrive” and wanting to get going. Bless her heart. I know she is trying hard to channel her energies through us. And I know it is hard for her to realize we have things we need to do to. But she will get used to it. Or not. We are doing the best we can to still keep our identities here, lol!

Oh I guess it’s gonna rain and storm today too so there’s that. We’ll be tooling around in bad weather so keep us in your prayers. I can hear the wind whipping up now.

One response to “Rethinking Apple’s “Reminder” To Do List”

  1. Seems like you have found a good system, but if you are open to trying other apps, can I recommend Trello? The free version has all the features you need and you can organise tasks by list (e.g. priority/importance) and by a tagged category (e.g. shopping or computer tasks). There’s also deadlines, reminders and recurring features. Not sure how it works synching with apple but you can tag multiple users to receive alerts.

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