The new Apple reminders app is brilliant

Apple reminders app
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As a to-do app fan I was actively looking for an alternative to my OmniFocus app. Just last week I switched to Sorted 3. But then I accidentally discovered the new Apple reminders app. Which has now become my standard app for reminders. Keep reading.

The Apple reminders app was just updated on MacOS, iOS and iPadOS and it is brilliant!


Only last week I wrote a blog about how I stopped using the OmniFocus app – which I had been using for three years – and started trying out the Sorted 3 reminders app. The reason I was looking for a replacement of OmniFocus was because I was only using 25% of it’s possibilities. OmniFocus is a large planning and ‘Getting things done app’ and I was basically only using the reminders. Also, it was starting to look outdated and updating to the newest version of OmniFocus on all my devices would be quite expensive.

Sorted 3

I must admit I really enjoyed using the Sorted 3 app when I was trying it out for a few days. It looked great and was extremely easy to use. But I did miss a MacOS (desktop) version of Sorted 3. I read somewhere that it is still in the making. Still, I was trying out Sorted 3 for two weeks and I was positive I would end up buying it for € 16.99 when the try-out period ended.

The new Apple reminders app

But then, later that week, I updated my MacBook to MacOS Catalina. And that is how I suddenly discovered the updated Apple reminders app on my MacBook. An update of the app that was already on my iPhone when I installed iOS 13 a few weeks ago but that I had not noticed before.

The old Apple reminders app was okay. But it looked pretty outdated. Especially compared to third-party aps like Things, Bring, OmniFocus or Sorted. I can tell that, when creating the new version, Apple has taken a close look at those competitors. The lay-out has a lot of similarities. So has the functionality.

Seamless iCloud integration

The lay-out of the new Apple reminders app looks fresh and clean. But the true power will show when you start to use it on all your Apple devices. The iCloud integration is seamless and just perfect! When I used OmniFocus, syncing the data on all my devices did work but was far from perfect. I am not sure, but I think it was not even using Apple’s iCloud for synchronisation but an external service.

The same goes for Sorted 3. Syncing it on my iPad and iPhone worked, but was not seamless and perfect either. Although it did use iCloud. Ofcourse, comparing third-party apps with Apple native apps on iCloud integration is not fair. But who cares about fair? I just want something that works! And this just works perfectly.

A few days ago I started transferring all of my Sorted 3 reminders to the Apple reminders app. Setting it up was a breeze and I was done in fifteen minutes. The differences I noticed were minimal. In Sorted 3 I had the possibility to tweak the notifications in more detail. For example, you could set a reminder to show a notification five minutes before your actual appointment. In the Apple reminders app that is not possible but you can easily fix that when you plan your appointment five minutes early in the app.

Sorted 3 also has some advanced options that the Apple reminders app lacks, like Auto Schedule, the Time ruler and Magic Select. But those are features I did not use and will not miss.

Advanced features

The new reminders app also has a lot of new advanced features, like showing a notification when you are in a specific location (like when you arrive home), making a list with sub-items, sharing reminders lists with others and recognizing text (like a time or a date) immediately when you type it.

I also love the seamless Siri integration. Just summon Siri, say ‘remind’ and the thing you want to add to your reminders. It will instantly appear in your reminders list!

When you are ‘trapped’ in the Apple ecosystem like me, and you are looking for a paid reminders app, keep your money in your pocket and try out the all new Apple reminders app. You will not be disappointed!

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