I believe reminders started out as a cover term for ticks that can remind us about doing something, where the ticks could also be other humans. To-Dos on the other hand are basically a checklist to just mark things off as we do them.
The difference here is → reminders are for time-sensitive things while to-dos are for making a list of items we need to do.
There can be many methods of doing productive work online using reminders and to-dos effectively - many frameworks and many usage ideas. However, going blindly behind those preachings is not a good idea as it only overwhelms a person in what is sustainable for them. As such, this is a disclaimer section telling you that you should explore techniques and tips, put them into practice, and then pick and choose those methods that actually work for you. Ideally speaking, a month is a good amount of time to confirm whether a technique sticks with you or not as that much of time usually covers a busy day as well as a comfortable day, both of which are important to judge the efficacy of a productivity techinque.
So, the golden path for someone trying to improve their reminders game, is → research fundamental techniques that look appealing and feel promising to you. Then list out a couple examples of things that you forget and things that you make (or would make) a post-it note for. Soft-check against those techniques based on what may work or what may not work. Take the top 3 techniques and implement those one by one. The last step is to reduce copmlications - apply your own twist to the technique you choose and then keep improving it!
A funny way to name something I do using Apple Reminders, but here it is →
There is just one list of reminders called “Master”. This list stores all time-bound actions whether it be something I want to do at a specific time or periodic ones like rent payments. Eevryhing that I want to be reminded about at a specific time goes into this list, irrespective of what it’s related to. At the end of the day, the philosophy behind reminders is - when you get a notification, take an action immediately (perform or reschedule). And that’s it! That’s all that I have for reminders!
Mostly everything apart from time-bound actions fits into to-do lists. I maintain 6 separate lists →
- Activities → Things that I need to do in my personal life (change bottle filter, look at smartwatches, analyze my health data, etc.). These are things which I need to check off in the near (not long) future.
- Work Activities → This list is like Activities but for my professional life; something that is not meant to carry details but just things to check off (review calendar for the next week, collect notes for the next manager meeting, etc.).
- Groceries → Self explanatory!
- Household → Like Groceries, but for household items (bulbs, cleaners, portable fans, mousepad, etc.).
- Purchase Wishlist → A checklist of links for items I like online and want to buy at some point.
- Hobby → Things I want to do for my hobbies such as try drawing a landscape on iPad, reduce size of a docker image I maintain, automate something in my home, etc.
The philosophy here is that when breaking down tasks into subtasks, it is easy to make that a checklist and complete them one by one. And such tasks generally don’t have a deadline per se. When I get some downtime, I turn to these lists to see what I can do and check off. It’s a tug of war between growing and shortening the lists.
Generally, all applications nowadays can do more than enough. I use Apple Reminders app, but a complete list of apps I’ve tried (on the Android+Windows side as well), all of which work just fine for the Etherios Way are as follows →
- Apple Reminders
- Tick Tick
- Google Tasks + Reminders (Reminders exist within the Calendar app and is only reminders not to-do lists, while Tasks is both and is a standalone app)
- Microsoft To-Do
There are also probably a million other apps but I’d recommend sticking to the top 25 list only as they’re going to be supported for long and will get visual updates regularly (aesthetics are imprtant).