In December, I covered This Week, a lightweight Reminders client for iPhone that displayed todos on a weekly basis, providing a simpler and more intuitive interface than Apple’s Reminders app. Since my post, the developers added three additional views to the app (List, Day, and Month) and, last week, released version 1.2 with iPad support, making This Week Universal.
On the iPad, This Week is a nice alternative to the stock Reminders app: on the left side of the screen, you’ll get a small calendar widget at the top and view filters at the bottom. Depending on the view you choose, time blocks in the calendar will be highlighted with a white selection; by default, All > Month gives you a complete summary of all your due and overdue reminders from all your lists. Tap one of the lists, however, and the app will filter results on the right, dimming unselected lists in the sidebar. You can tap reminders to view details in a popover, or tap & hold them to open the popover in “Information” mode, where you can’t edit and you’re limited to viewing details.
This Week 1.2 is a nice update but the app still has a long way to go to become a full-featured Reminders client. URLs in notes aren’t tappable and there are no settings to control font size; there’s no URL scheme for power users, and the app could use more filter and navigation tools to, say, only show repeating reminders or those with a location attached. Considering the scarcity of Reminders clients for iPad, though, This Week 1.2 is a welcome addition, and $4.99 on the App Store.
This Week, a $1.99 iPhone app developed by haha interactive, provides a simple way to see all your reminders on a weekly basis without having to use Apple’s Reminders app. It’s a mix of Fantastical and Apple’s Calendar app for iOS 7, but it’s only focused on reminders (not calendar events) and it doesn’t come with any sort of natural language support. Read more
Reminders.app on OS X is somewhat limited and inconsistent, but for its simplicity offers a lot of possibilities. For many this is all they need to keep control of their tasks and reminders.
Sven Fechner has a nice list of tips, tricks, and links for the OS X Reminders app. I use Reminders every day through Fantastical 2 on my iPhone, but I have to rely on Apple’s apps on my iPad and MacBook Air. I would love to see better consistency between all platforms (just one example: clickable URLs in notes).
Last month, I was discussing my schedule for this Fall’s check-ups with my oncologist. During our conversation, she asked me if I had a list of all the appointments and todos that I had saved for the next weeks because she couldn’t find the department’s calendar and she doesn’t save patients’ information in her personal one.
I know that my doctor has an iPhone, and I know that she uses Apple’s Calendar and Reminders apps to manage her own schedule, so I showed her the beta of Fantastical 2 that I had on my iPhone. “You can search for events and reminders that match a keyword or location and get a single list showing all results”. She was intrigued. “For my appointments here, I save them with the hospital’s name, so I can just look for that if I want to see them all at once”. At that point, I’m pretty sure she was sold on the app. “But you can’t buy it yet”, I added with a subtle smirk.
Fantastical 2 for iPhone, released today on the App Store and on sale at $2.99 for a limited time, is one of the best iOS 7 apps I’ve tried so far and the best calendar and reminder client for iPhone, period. It improves upon several aspects of the original app and it introduces powerful new features while sporting a complete redesign that makes the app feel at home on iOS 7 without compromising its identity.
Fantastical 2 is, for my workflow, better than Apple’s built-in apps, and it builds upon the solid foundation of the original Fantastical to offer new functionalities and more flexibility. Read more
Released last week amid the plethora of iOS 7 app updates, Agenda 4.1 addresses some of my initial complaints about Agenda 4.0: you can now complete reminders from the app, hide completed ones, and toggle the visibility of individual Reminders lists. Agenda still hasn’t been optimized for iOS 7 and there’s no iPad app, but the new Reminders options are much welcome.
Agenda is $1.99 on the App Store.
Savvy Apps’ Agenda, one of the most popular third-party calendar apps for iOS that we’ve been covering on MacStories for years, has been updated today to version 4.0, which adds a beautiful new user interface and builds upon the previous version’s app integrations, support for Reminders, and gesture-driven event management. Agenda 4.0 is sold as a separate app for $1.99 on the App Store.
I’ve had the chance to test Agenda 4.0 before today’s public release, and as I kept using the app I noticed how it was turning into a powerful complement to Fantastical, my favorite calendar client for iPhone. As I have discussed this week on The Prompt, in fact, I’m currently going through my annual re-evaluation of my workflow, and, partly because of my curiosity in regard to iOS 7, I’ve started using Apple’s Reminders on a daily basis again. Reminders are easy to use, the app is fast, and, more importantly, it’s one of the Apple apps that can sync in the background all the time with iCloud. I can integrate Reminders with IFTTT for iPhone, and, overall, I have been enjoying the simplicity and deep system-wide integration of Reminders. While I’m a big fan of Fantastical’s Day Ticker (I think it’s one of the best calendar interfaces ever shipped on iOS), Agenda allows me to view calendar events and reminders in the same list (something that Fantastical for iPhone still isn’t capable of), and with version 4.0 this list is even more polished and clear than Agenda 3.0. Read more
I used to heavily rely on IFTTT for my daily automation workflows that involved appending bits of text to files in my Dropbox, forwarding tweets to my OmniFocus inbox, generating PDFs, or archiving Instagram photos to my Dropbox account. IFTTT, acronym of If This Then That, is a web service that lets you connect other web services together to create automated workflows that run every time a piece of data is triggered: by leveraging a variety of APIs from compatible channels (such as Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, Feedly, and more), IFTTT lets you automate the web in powerful (and sometimes unexpected) ways. Browsing Popular recipes on the IFTTT website can give you an idea of the scope of web automation that’s made possible by the service, and we’ve covered IFTTT in the past on MacStories as well.
However, I stopped depending on IFTTT because, once I got more comfortable with my own Mac mini server as a remote automation assistant, I wanted to control the pipes of my personal data. I’m still using IFTTT for things like receiving an email if it’s going to rain tomorrow or a new SMS for press releases published by Apple (just an example of the power of IFTTT channels and recipes), but it’s not the primary system that I rely upon for automating daily tasks. The new IFTTT app for iPhone, which I have been testing and has been released today on the App Store, may make me (partially) reconsider my decision. Read more
As The Omni Group keeps working on OmniFocus 2 for Mac and Apple continues seeding new betas of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks to developers, I have been reconsidering Reminders’ simplicity and enjoying the built-in iCloud sync, which, unlike other types of iCloud, is working fine for me. However, two things I miss from OmniFocus are the possibility to integrate the app with a web browser through bookmarklets and the system-wide Quick Entry panel; I use both tools on a daily basis to easily save a browser’s tab into OmniFocus’ Inbox, or to bring up a text field where I can jot down an idea and know that, no matter the app I’m using, it’ll be saved into OmniFocus. Luckily for me, Apple’s Reminders app comes with a good AppleScript Dictionary, which is likely something that Reminders’ core mainstream audience won’t ever care about, but that we can leverage to extend the app’s capabilities and input areas beyond Mountain Lion’s leather-and-paper window.
Another nifty solution by Brett Terpstra:
Inspired by Evernote, I whipped up a little script to find “@reminder” tags with date parameters in nvALT notes (or any folder of text files). It can generate notifications or send HTML emails at the specified time. It’s just for fun right now, but I thought I’d put it out there to see if anyone had any ideas for it.
Brett is already working on Reminders integration, but I’m more interested in the idea of “self-hosted” Evernote-like reminders from nvALT. This is a great match for a TextExpander feature that’s not mentioned very often – date/time math macros.