Notability setup

apps, Tech

My problems with iOS 13 iCloud sync is well known now if you’re reading my blog but I haven’t really shared what I’m doing about it. I’ve used a few different third party Notes apps in my time with an iPhone but the one I’ve landed on is Notability.

I’m using it for everything.

This is a work in progress but at the moment I’m using dividers and subjects to spit out my content. You can see my dividers above.

You can then see above how I split the divider up into subjects based on context. So for example I have a watches subject that contains all of my notes about watches like a wish list and interesting articles I’ve saved.

For now I’m using the app to store everything I would in Notes such as important documents I need to reference, handwritten notes using Pencil and just those day to day ones I like to make.

I’ve got it using iCloud sync and it’s working flawlessly.

What third party notes app do you use?

iOS 13 Reminders setup

apps, Productivity, Tech

If you follow me you’ll know I’ve had issues with the backend sync of the new Reminders app in iOS 13 since July. This led me back to third party solutions but in the last couple of days I’ve managed to fix the issue and I’m back using it. I thought I’d share my initial setup.

I’m keeping it pretty basic for now. A list for each area of focus in my life. There’s more to come here but I’m starting off slowly.

I’m using the ‘Today’ view to see what I have due. This is a mix of reminders with simply a due date and ones with the complete time also set. I’ve been wanting a free running today list for years and I have it now.

I go into Today and then either update the list of what I want done or adding new ones freely, something that I do most often.

Why I’ve switched to TickTick

apps, Productivity, Tech

I’m using a new to do app (again!) and this time it’s TickTick, an app I’ve seen in numerous screenshots but never really given a go.

It’s a free app that offers a subscription that gives additional features such as notifications and calendar functionality.

I’m not writing a full review but I wanted to highlight some of the things I really like about using it.

Habit tracking

It’s not normal for a to do app to offer habit tracking but having it integrated into my to do and calendar makes a lot of sense. I don’t track a lot, just a few things like getting out for a walk.

The way to add them is intuitive and you simply tick them off as you get through them. If you don’t achieve it that day you simply leave the habit undone that day.

Customisable tab bar

I like that you can customise some of the way your app looks. I have quick access to the to do, calendar, habits and search.

Widget

The app offers two widgets, I use them both. You get a calendar view that you can tap on to see the whole week, something that I used to use a separate app for. The second is a traditional list of what you have due today.

Projects and sub tasks

The app is clean and various smart views such as tomorrow are easy to get to. Projects are easy to create and can be organised into folders. Tasks can be further broken down into sub tasks. This is something that I’ve started to use a lot more for when a task is a few steps and it’s overkill to create a project for it.

Options for repeating tasks

Having lots of options for repeating tasks is a big win for me, I like how I can separate weekday tasks vs ones I want to do every day.

The watch app

It’s one of the more reliable when it comes to sync and it’s complication and UI are simple to use.

Privacy

TickTick are using AWS as their backend and restrict access to a small number of staff so I’m comfortable with using it to store my tasks.

Initial thoughts

I’m only a few days in so I’m paying my subscription monthly if I move to Reminders in iOS 13, something that I’ve tried to use but iCloud is so unreliable at the moment I gave up. Based on my usage of both the new Reminders and TickTick though I may not be tempted as this app is fitting well with how I’m working these days. Let’s see how the coming weeks go 😀

Why I stopped using OmniFocus

apps, Productivity, Tech

I’ve been a user of OmniFocus on and off for years but on the most recent test I finally decided it isn’t the app for me.

I still think it’s one of the quickest ways to get stuff out of your head and into an inbox but for me it was adding a layer of detail that I needed to stop fussing over.

I liked the forecast view where I could see what my day looked like, including Calendar appointments but being fixed to scrolling sideways and showing tagged or items with a specific due time was limiting for me.

I do a lot of repeating tasks and found that OmniFocus wasn’t the quickest to enter these but to be fair if did have the most flexibility of the apps I tested in terms of options.

At the end of the day I just don’t think my brain works in a way that OmniFocus likes. I like to have a free today list with no time elements, I like to see my calendar in a scroll view and whilst a good Apple Watch app I found it too fiddly to get it to work as I need I.e. I wanted everything that I might do today and not just with a due time. I tagged ‘today’ but couldn’t get a perspective to work on the watch well.

Don’t get me wrong it’s one of the best apps out there but I’ve finally come to the conclusion it isn’t for me.

Diving into the iOS 13 Reminders app

apps, Tech

I’ve had a lot going on but wanted to stop for a minute and give some thoughts on the new Reminders app.

9to5Mac managed to score some iOS 13 shots and the one that peaked my interest was the new Reminders app. First off it’s not what I envisaged but it has potential. This could look pretty nice in dark mode, especially if they somehow integrate the Calendar.

Reminders, right pane

This looks to be an inbox where everything goes until you decide what to do with it. Just like any other to do app but this one puts it front and centre.

Reminders Lists

Lists look to be displayed on the bottom portion of the left pane as they do today. This makes a lot of sense and getting to the lists quickly is something I like now with the current Reminders app.

Today

This has me thinking one of two things. It’s a free list of things you want to get done today, along with (hopefully) your Calendar. I’m confused why there would be a scheduled view too as they would surely be displayed in Today if due today.

Scheduled

The best guess I have is that this is like upcoming in Things 3. It shows your scheduled Reminders due after today. Anything due today will be in the Today view.

All

All of your Reminders in one place, not sure why this view is needed. You can already see anything you have with the other views.

Flagged

At last, you’ve been able to flag reminders already but no way of viewing them all in one place.

Overall thoughts

Obviously this could be an old mock up of the app or an alternative design but it does seem official. I won’t be delving in too deep until iOS 13 beta but I’m cautiously optimistic about the changes Apple may have made to Reminders to make it more in line with other third party offerings out there.