In today's world, it seems that all of us are busy all of the time. It's hard to relax sometimes when you're responsible for so much, and keeping track of all of the tasks that need to get done becomes quite arduous! Fortunately, we are equipped with our iOS devices, and they've proven to be incredibly useful when it comes to keeping us on track when we need it.
For the record, while Apple includes their own Reminders app on all devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac), it's still pretty barebones when you stack it against the competition. Here are our top picks for reminder apps in 2019.
- Fantastical 2
- Remember the Milk
- Things 3
- Microsoft To-Do
- Google Keep
Simply put, Due is one of the best options if you're strictly wanting reminders, without the complexities of a task manager. Due lets you add reminders for anything and give it a due date and time. Once the reminder comes, you can "snooze" it for 10 minutes, an hour, or push it back to the next day if need be. Otherwise, Due will keep "nagging" you with the reminder until you take action. Honestly, while the nagging bit is annoying, it definitely helps motivate you to, you know, get off your butt and do the thing you're supposed to do.
Due also looks great with the simple and clean interface, and it's easy to navigate with swipe-based gestures. There are a ton of different notification sounds and a few themes to choose from too.
While Fantastical 2 is a calendar app, it has great integration with the native Reminders app, if you choose to use it. Fantastical 2 is great because you'll be able to see your entire schedule for the week or month, along with any reminders that you've added. New reminders can also be created right from Fantastical itself, so honestly, there's never a need to jump into the Reminders app again. Plus, Fantastical 2 has a beautiful design and is easy to use with the natural language input.
If you prefer another all-in-one solution for both your schedule and reminders, then Any.do is a good alternative. Any.do allows users to create a list for everything they need, and it organizes everything into a chronological timeline so it's easy to see what you have to do now and what's coming up next. It even uses geolocation so you can set reminders to go off when you're actually near a store, so it'll never slip your mind! And the best part is that Any.do is cross-platform, so you can access it on your iOS devices, Apple Watch, web, and even Android.
There is an Any.do Pro subscription that starts at about $2.99 a month, and unlocks all features.
For the ultimate in simplicity, Clear is it. Clear mimics the simple days where your reminders and tasks were just written down on paper, and when you were done with them, just cross them off the list. With Clear, you'll find that familiar concept redone for the digital age. Create an unlimited number of lists for everything, and add items with intuitive gestures. Every item can be assigned a due date and time, and when it comes around, you'll get notified. Just mark it off as done, and move on with your life. There are also a lot of gorgeous color themes in Clear, which act as nice eye candy for the mundane. It also syncs with Apple's Reminders.
Remember the Milk
With Remember the Milk, you'll never forget the milk (or anything) again! This minimalistic app lets you quickly add in the tasks that need to be done and when they're due by. When the time comes, you'll get notifications by mobile, email, IM, text, and even Twitter, so you have no excuse to not get the thing done. Your RTM account syncs all of your data across devices too, and you can share lists with others to make sure that they stay in the loop. RTM also integrates with many other services, which is convenient.
Remember the Milk Pro is a subscription that costs $39.99 a year and unlocks a lot of premium features, such as unlimited storage, file attachments on tasks, subtasks, color tags, and more. The core features of RTM can be used without a subscription, however.
Todoist is the app where you spend less time organizing and more time actually doing things. In Todoist, reminders and tasks can easily be added with natural language input through the "Quick Add" feature. As you add due dates and complete things, Todoist learns your habits and helps you stick with them, since it gamifies reminders and tasks with a streak system. You'll also see when you were the most productive in the past week, and hopefully, that motivates you to do even more the following week. Todoist lets you prioritize certain items over others too, and lists can be shared with others.
Todoist is free to download and use with some limitations, but going Pro grants you unlimited access to all features.
Things 3 is more of a complete task management system like OmniFocus, but it's much more simple to use and I think it's a great option for reminders.
You can create various Areas (categories) and Projects to go under those areas. Tasks can quickly be added to projects and organized with headings if you need structure. Everything can have notes attached, tags, checklists if there are more steps required, and assigned deadlines or due dates and times.
By default, Things due times are more like time frames, but you can be more specific and add "reminders" to get notifications at a certain time. Things also pulls in data from your Calendar, so you can see your entire day in a single glance.
Things also uses Things Cloud for syncing data across all platforms (iPhone, iPad, and Mac). It's free, and syncing is invisible and seamless.
Microsoft acquired Wunderlist several years ago, and eventually, Wunderlist will be shut down and replaced fully with Microsoft To-Do down the line. Still, Microsoft To-Do is not a bad app itself. Microsoft To-Do will be able to work anywhere, whether it's your iPhone, iPad, or computer. You can create lists for whatever you need and quickly add items as you go. The Smart Suggestion feature learns your habits and helps you fill out your items over time, reducing time spent.
Microsoft To-Do even features subtasks, and you can add detailed notes to every task, turning it into a pseudo-note taking app as well. All of your lists may get shared with others, and you can prioritize things with colors if needed. Due dates and times can be assigned, sending you notifications when they're supposed to be done so you stay on top of your tasks. Outlook users will be pleased to hear that Microsoft To-Do integrates with your Outlook tasks too.
It may still need some time to get up to Wunderlist, but since the latter is going to be shuttered down the line, this is the next best option. Plus, it's completely free to use with no subscription model.
If you tend to set up reminders for things like forming habits, then Capsicum is a great contender. It also works nicely for your other to-dos as well, and even note-taking. Think of Capsicum as your digital planner.
With Capsicum in hand, the app will help you plan out your day, track your good habits (and remind you of them), and even tell your story. The app is reminiscent of a digital planner, as you can set up different notebooks for various subjects, and each one can be customized to suit your personal style. Capsicum also integrates with your calendar, so all of your important appointments, tasks, reminders, and habits are in a single place.
Capsicum is free to download and will give you a 2-week trial. After that, you'll need to subscribe for full access to the features of the app. Subscriptions start at $2 a month or $20 annually.
If you're a Google user, then you should look into Google Keep. It's an all-in-one app for your notes and lists. When creating lists and reminders, you can even make them so that they're location-based and remind you as you're near the intended location, or you can opt for the standard time-based reminder as well. Google Keep also lets you share your lists and notes with other people, so there's no need to text each other back and forth.
Google Keep is free to download and all of your data will be synced with your Google Account. There are no in-app purchases, and it's fast and easy to use.
Become more productive
These are some of our favorite apps for reminders on our iPhones and iPads. Personally, I use a combination of Things 3 (work and other big tasks) and Due (small reminders for bills, medications, and whatnot).
What are your favorite apps for simple little reminders? Let us know in the comments!
May 2019: Added Capsicum and Google Keep to the list. These are the best options for reminder apps for your iPhone and iPad!
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