Reminders Archive

How We Make AlliOSNews Work

Editors Note:  Clinton’s comments are in Black while Tricia’s comments are in Red

Over the course of the past year there has been two common questions that have come up around this site.  There’s been plenty of others, but these seem to be the top two:

1.  How do you & Tricia coordinate your work on the site?

2.  Are you & Tricia married?

So let’s deal with the second one first.  No, we are not married.  Well technically we are both married but not to each other.  We have, to the best of our collective recollection never been married.  In fact Clinton has been married to someone other than Tricia for 25+ years while Tricia has been married to someone other than Clinton for 7 years.  We both have kids, not together, (Clinton’s kids could actually have their own TechTot age kids) and in fact our respective spouses are friends with each other.  So… no.

What we do have in common is a passion for sharing our experiences and trying to help you the readers of this blog.  Tricia is an award winning writer and in fact has her first children’s book coming out this September.  You can read about her daily antics with her boys at Stream Of The Conscious.  Clinton on the other hand is not award winning and generally brings the high quality of language Tricia brings to the site down to that of a potty-humoured 12 year old.

Everyone has a gift.

(Tangent: I am also quite well-versed in potty talk. TechTots are 4 and potty training was sent from Satan.)

That leads to answering the first most common question of how we make AlliOSNews work.  To be fair, it is tricky sometimes.  We

What Clinton Normally Sees of Tricia at Starbucks

What Clinton Normally Sees of Tricia at Starbucks

both have a busy schedule with our own families and work (yes, as a matter of fact, we DO work for the same company in our “day job.” I write stuff there too.).  Ultimately it leads to a lot of time communicating and we do that through a variety of tools because visiting 1:1 in person just isn’t really an option.  Clinton lives in England.  Tricia lives in California. (Because we have better weather)  That is roughly 5,360 miles and 8 timezones.  In the past two years we have seen each other in person a total of 9 days.  Nine.  And what did we do when we caught up, like first thing?  Go get coffee and talk Apple stuff of course!

(Damn skippy, that’s really my laptop. And for those wondering why Snow is wearing glasses – it’s because I wear glasses, so they obviously make her cooler.)

Communication for us is key in making sure we coordinate posts, particularly the TechMomTuesday posts.  To do this we leverage Messages heavily.  Both of us are Mac, iPhone and iPad users so getting Messages no matter where we are or which device is a huge, big deal for us.  Because of the timezone differences, it is usually the beginning of the day for Clinton & the end of the day for Tricia when we do catch up on Messages or vice versa.  For us, Messages is the quickest way for us to discuss story ideas, news or things we’ve seen Apple related and of course discuss our families and drink of the day.  Clinton likes Martini’s for those interested.  Tricia, she’s a whiskey girl.

Messages is probably the most crucial component of our communication as the majority of iOS discussion takes place not in set meetings, but in off-the-cuff snark or wonderment at “shiny object” moments during our days. You may have noticed this by the subtle series of conversation screenshots sprinkled throughout posts.

When Was My Last for iPhone: Keep Track of Life’s Important Events

Developer BigSprocket has released When Was My Last for iPhone and iPod touch. Sitting at the intersection of the Calendar and Reminders apps, When Was My Last is the ideal way to track items we need to remember. Tetanus Shots, Dental Cleanings, Oil Changes. You need to know when these events last happened, but the iPhone Calendar is a terrible way to track them.

Flexible tagging allows you to find your events quickly. Optional reminders to tell you when to do them again. Not only is When Was My Last an app all users will appreciate, it truly is designed for all users: It supports VoiceOver and Dynamic Type for the visually impaired, and is localized for international users.

When Was My Last? – .99 Cents – Download Now

TechMom Tuesday – Remind Me to Review Something…

Did you miss me in February? (In my defense you did get two TechMom Tuesday posts in January.)

Nevertheless, it is with a heartfelt apology that I shall now regale you with my thoughts on Apple Reminders. (Because I totally could have used a reminder for the last TechMom post. And since we’re airing confessions – I’m writing this right now because a reminder just buzzed at me from my shiny iPhone 5 toy.)

I’ve been trying to go paperless for a while now. Between the terrific toddling twosome creating confetti out of receipts and other important papers and my giant dogs who seem to believe pulped paper products are a culinary delicacy, the precariously placed post-its weren’t cutting it any longer.

Also, I was forgetting things.

Managing my tasks as work (SHOCKINGLY, I am not a professional full-time blogger), tracking family commitments, remembering doctors appointments, calendaring my blogging exploits, random to-dos, a shared honey-do list, the grocery store checklist indicating whether or not we’re out of Cheerios, and of course noting the movies that my friends seem to be so incredulous that I haven’t yet seen. (Who am I? Where are we?)

I needed something that would ideally encompass all of the above in one fabulous app.

Reminders-iPhoneAnd Apple Reminders is a standard app on all my iDevices (and my MacBook, but I couldn’t figure out a clever iPhrase for that one).

The Good:

  • It reminded me of stuff to do.
  • Integrates with Outlook tasks for work purposes. (I couldn’t test Apple Mail notes, because, well – that died.
  • I can share lists. And everyone with an iPhone already has the app. (Honey…I’ve got a great idea! Also, Clinton can cull my crazy ideas long before they’re threatening to go live on the AlliOSNews site.)

Reminders - DesktopThe Bad:

  • I am restricted to one folder (“Tasks”) for my work tasks.
  • If you aren’t a complete Apple shop, you miss out on desktop access – which could be a pretty big pain for work items.
  • There is very little space for in-depth notes about the task.

The Ugly:

  • Can you see my shopping list? We’re out of toddler snacks AND wine! (APOCOLYPSE NOW!)

Overall, Reminders is okay. It’s not great; I don’t think it sucks.

It served its purpose – blinking up reminders of the items I entered in. However, Reminders very much works best as a straight series of lists, not a comprehensive life organizer.

Now, because I know “meh” isn’t really a review you can do much with, I’ve gone a step further to look at some of the other productivity apps available.

WunderListIf Reminders is just to basic for you, check out WunderList.

It’s a free (highly rated) app that syncs across all your devices – including a Web portal and PC desktop plan – and also sharable provided your desired share-ee also has the app.

With a more comprehensive notes section as well as sub-tasks you can enter, WunderList is a much cleaner option for paperless life task organization.

If only one of the apps could now remind me what direction my iPhone toddled off… (FYI – Find iPhone app does not share which toy bin your shiny toy has been stashed in.)

How To add a Shared List to Reminders in Mountain Lion

Whether it is a “Honey Do” list or a grocery list, couples always need to share tasks and lists with each other.  Fortunately for couples on Macs and/or iOS devices, doing so is quick and easy with the Reminders app.  The Reminders app is built into OS X Mountain Lion as well as iOS 5/6 for iPhone and iPad.  Through iCloud, any list you create is replicated to all of your devices and when you create a shared list, it is sent to those which you have designated to share the list with on their devices.

In this How To I show you how to create a list in Reminders in OS X then how to share it with others.

YouTube Preview Image

Review of Reminders in OS X Mountain Lion

One of several apps or features that has migrated from iOS to OS X is Reminders.  Reminders, as the name suggests, is an app designed to remind you when tasks are due to be completed.  Items in Reminders can be set to remind you about them at a specific date and time or location and are synchronized across all of your iOS devices thanks to iCloud.

The video I’ve posted on YouTube gives you an overview of how Reminders works and how to use it when you get Mountain Lion next month.

YouTube Preview Image

How To Change Tasks from Exchange to iCloud Reminders

One of the many new features that came in iOS 5 was Reminders, an application that allows you to create tasks, lists and other things that you need to be reminded of at some later point.  Reminders leverages iCloud so your items will appear on all of your iOS devices and with the preview of OS X Mountain Lion last week, Reminders is coming to the desktop later this summer.  One of the best attributes of Reminders is that it can leverage iCloud for storing your items or you can leverage Exchange if you are using that platform at home (think Office365) or in your corporate environment.  Depending on your work flow and how much you want to leverage iCloud, you can move your default reminders list (or tasks) from Exchange to iCloud and vise-versa easily on your iPhone or iPad.

The first thing to go to Settings>Mail,Contacts,Calendars on your iOS device.  Here you will see all of the various settings for your mail accounts as well as your calendars and contacts.  The Reminders settings are at the very bottom of the page and give you two options.  The first is how far backReminders Settings in Mail Settings you want to synchronize data to your device.  If you use Reminders as a task list then it is a good idea to synchronize back a couple of weeks if not a month to make sure you can access this information quick from your iPhone or iPad.  The second setting is the Default List.  This is where the actual location of your reminders are kept.  In my case I can chose between Exchange and iCloud.  Since I’m leveraging iCloud more – and that will be even more the case with Mountain Lion – I’m saving my Reminders in iCloud.

If you move from Exchange to iCloud any existing reminders will remain where they were created.  If you want to move them you will need to go into each of them and move them to the new location.

If you ever want to move back from iCloud to Exchange, just follow these steps in reverse.


Apple Announces OS X Mountain Lion further blurring the lines between OS X and iOS

When Mac OS X Lion was released last year, it was pretty clear that Apple (AAPL) was beginning to blur the lines between the venerable desktop OS and their mobile iOS platform.  Today’s announcement of OS X Mountain Lion takes it even further.  Many of the features and functionality that we have enjoyed in iOS 5 are going to be a part of this new OS which is expected to be released this summer.  I for one am glad to see some of these new features coming to MacBooks and iMacs and it is clear that this is a merging of technologies, not alchemy.  These new features just make sense.

So what are these new features?  Think of your favorite ones for iOS and they are likely in there.

  • Game Center
  • Embedded Twitter Accounts
  • Reminders
  • Notification Center
  • Notes
  • iCloud (already there in Lion so the question is if it will improve)
  • Messages (buh-bye iChat)
  • Share Sheets
  • AirPlay Mirroring
  • GateKeeper

Some of these new features are going to sound familiar if you are using an iPhone or iPad with iOS 5.  But some of them are new and I’ll explain their features after the break.