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 And the graphics within it seem to be becoming a bit outdated.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.

Happy Camper: Spring Coming, Pedicure Done, File Transfer Project Complete

March is here, says my calendar! And now we have the hope of spring, and we have daffodils blooming around in places and the trees are thinking about sprouting leaves as they are in “bud swell” and the grass is getting greener from the recent rains. We start our thinking now toward St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish and green!

With Spring coming, so is flip flop weather! I am likely going to allow my self a new flip flop or two this season as I’m overdue! I’m over the Yellowbox’s making my feet black at days end! And I was most certainly over doing my own feet which was just painting my toenails during the pandemic and the winter. But I saved a few bucks and spent that on camera equipment and geeky software like Canva, Tube Buddy and Epidemic Sound.

The feet felt so good going into the hot water. And the back massage machine is a favorite and has me spoiled.

Is Getting a Manicure or Pedicure Safe?

Plexiglass drop downs are in front of each seat. The lady working on my feet, had a mask and shield. I had on a mask. I was required to sanitize before entering the salon. My temp was taken. And I was immediately seated and the only one I might add that was getting a pedi! But the nail station was full. I also got my own nails done – a spa manicure and just a translucent shine. I really loved the French manicure but just don’t want to go back into that. I need to be able to do my own nails some in between visits and not have to be subject to going every 3 weeks. I’m not ready to commit to that, but I’m ok with getting nails done on occasion. Both were only $45 yesterday as a combo deal but then I leave her a good tip. So that has to be considered into the cost. But for both, and considering the winter’s neglect to my feet and the hand sanitizer drying up my hands, the pampering was worth it. And yes, it was so safe it was probably overkill. I mean all that was left was sanitary clothing suits, lol. No we didn’t wear those, lol.

I picked the prettiest cheerful pink. It was perfect to start out the spring with.

George’s Lamb Chops and Home Made Veggie Soup

Roasted Lamb

Lamb Chops

Beef and Vegetable Soup with Macaroni

WE love lamb and he gave me several lamb cuts for Christmas. We had these over the weekend. I forgot to post it yesterday! I told him we should have this OFTEN. And I love his mint sauce! Well it’s a little pricey for having it too often, but not bad considering what that would be if we ordered it in a restaurant. I think our meal at home was about $10 piece for a weekend meal. Oh gosh it was good. I believe this was Sunday night’s meal. It was heavenly. And now I’m in the mood for a good ham. I think we are having corned beef for St. Patricks. Yum! But I’ll be on the lookout for a good Easter Ham!

Purchasing Extra Apple iCloud Space

Oh. My. Word. So I ended up NOT having enough space to do what I wanted to do and at the end of the day 48 hour battle, so I ended up just going ahead and paying $9.99 for a ton bucket load of space with Apple iCloud. But am I upset about it. No, not at all! Several things made me go ahead and buy the extra space:

1) I am tired of fighting the file battle to get everything where I wanted it to be. My Will is huge and I wanted the not yet created movie and pic files to be on the cloud. Period! And well there’s always going to be a huge “front log” of stuff I’ve not worked on yet that I don’t want to lose. I made my decisions on how I was going to be organized and quite simply I just wanted it to be that way! I didn’t want to change stream (AGAIN) mid way through the project of setting up and organizing files. I was not going to spend another 48 hours moving it all back off the cloud. I want it where I want it! Period. (It took 48 hours b/c I really didn’t know it was stuck b/c of the cloud space – I thought it was just slow, lol).

2) George wants to use the iMac to do some Garage Band work and that will be on the Cloud and those files are big too.

3) You really do get a lot of storage for the $. And for what I’m wanting to do $9.99 ain’t bad!

4) Now I can just have my Canon Camera automatically transfer to my Apple photos and then I’m dealing with only one stream of photos to “move into other files” for video creation. Not having to merge from two sources, b/c I have the space to do that now. Less time consuming and less worrisome.

Whew! This all takes some organization and thought. But it was my goal to improve, to be able to continue to do these videos, to be set up so I can get on a schedule, plan ahead, and be a well oiled machine, and I just needed to organize myself with all this. It’s been quite the learning curve of how to handle the files. Then making the decisions on how to organize it – as there were numerous options. Getting the iMac updated and secured with backup, and so forth took some research, thought and planning. But I’m over the curve and ready to go! So excited! And George is wanting to do the Garage Band and likely have some music for the videos! I love it and I love his support!

So bottom line – my photo files are on the Mac itself with a back up drive. If we have a fire it is gone as they are both in my office here. But like I have said before, the most important of these are all over social media and blogs as I share this stuff every day. So it’s available if I really needed it. Might would have to search for it but I think all in all, it would make it less painful knowing those files are still out there if I really needed them. And the video/photo media for future videos is on the Cloud.

So backing up – for about $20 per month I get a huge storage in the cloud and any song I want with iTunes – yes I bit that part of the apple some time ago. Access to any song at just about any time. I was spending that much in gift cards to keep putting music on the iPod. Speaking of iPod, why did I say that? It’s really on my phone, into my iTunes account. I rarely use my iPod anymore. I saw it not long ago and asked myself, “what is that?” —oh it’s my iPod – wow I forgot about it. lol Since it’s in the cloud I don’t need a separate device. I don’t have to worry about space. I just stream it. I also have the AT&T account where there is no cap on the service. So I don’t worry about that either. I’m not sure we need that, but we have it and we don’t worry about it. And now I’ve bored most of you to death!

I’m so happy the files are where they need to be. I’d have rather not put any more monthly money toward my habits but – it’s cheaper than golf or guitars? lol

I am NOW READY to create the new Intro when I get some time! And we’ll be on to making the next video and being on a schedule from there. Whew, what a process!

And now I’m a happy girl! But off to do payroll today. And then dinner with a friend/neighbor tonight! Excited to get out some in the world and to have a few things on the calendar. George and I even talked about taking a few vacation days and also considered the possibilities of the next Texas trip. But it’s too soon for that. But we do have our sights set on a log cabin long weekend some time this year! Gotta go!