Based on my first night with iOS 5 on my iPhone, reminders are all the rage in cheap apps. Cheap. As in free. Apple gives you Reminders in iOS 5. And reminder-like apps abound for Mac users; many also free.
Why are these apps so popular? It’s one thing to have a to-do list, but a reminder gives you an alert or alarm when something needs to be accomplished.
A quick search of the Mac App Store using the keyword reminder brought up about four dozen apps, few of them more than a few dollars, many free, most useful, all a little different in their implementation of how to set a reminder, and how to remind you.
Remind Me On My Terms
Other than what Apple’s new intelligent assistant Siri brings (a voice tells you about a reminder), a reminder needs just two things. An easy way to add a reminder. And some way to alert you (bells, whistles, message, email, vibration).
Among those I like is a simple one called LightBulb. It works like the new reminder app for iOS on iPhone and iPad. Enter a reminder, set a time, set an alert, wait for it.
A few bucks beyond free gets you Bulb, which is the pro version of LightBulb (Bulb Lite?). The look and feel is the same, but this version comes with repeating reminders and Dropbox sync. The former is handy, but the latter is what you want to keep reminders synced between Macs; one for iMac on the desktop, one for a MacBook on the road.
If only there were a nice way to sync these reminders with iOS reminders. Two sets of reminders is one too many.
From what I can see, there’s overlap in the reminder category with apps in the alerts and timers categories. In one way or another, they all count down to something and issue an alert or alarm when the set time is reached.
Bulb and LightBulb (Bulb Lite) are simple. More complex are apps like Remind which costs a few bucks more, works similarly, but for more money you’d expect more stability. For the same money, there’s Little Alarms. It is exactly what you think it is. A small app that does alarms. This one is a calendar based reminder, though. It’s all about hours and minutes and counting down.
A lot less money (but not free) is Nag, another timer reminder. Click a button for the minutes up to an hour and get nagged incessantly until you turn it off. There’s also an iPhone version, but no way to sync the two. Hell? Dropbox, anyone?