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I email myself reminders. It works, but is there a better way?

Discussion in 'Get productive' started by Lucy Kippist, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    I suppose this is a bit of tech question, wrapped up in the productivity section ...

    As a big fan of the to-do list, I am also a little bit off-the-cuff when it comes to ideas. When something comes into my mind I tend to email myself using the subject line, rather than adding it to my list.

    I've got 3 email addresses, so this tends to work as I can compartmentalise my thoughts into the respective account. But I am wondering if there's a better solution - an App or something that you find useful and more streamlined for this kind of thing?

    TIA for your ideas.
  2. Rowan@quaotic

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    I have 'to do' list apps on my desktop which I find much handier than I imagine emails would be, but I am sure there has to be similar apps for phones and tablets if that is what you prefer (I don't do anything on my phone except make calls and texts so I haven't looked it up)
  3. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

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    I am known to leave messages on my home answering machine if I come up with a random thought or something I don't want to forget.
  4. LucasArthur

    LucasArthur Renowned Member

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    Do you at least leave your contact details for the message
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  5. Peter - FS Administrator

    Peter - FS Administrator Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Lucy,
    I used do this a lot too, often on the weekend or nighttime when I have an idea or task that I want to remember when back working. I'd then transfer it from the email to my to-so list.

    I use a Google Doc for my to-do lists, and I recently downloaded the app on my phone so now I just open up the document and write reminders there - easier than an email and saves a step.

    I've also used the Todo Cloud app a lot in the past which has a lot of great features and I really liked it. But for some reason I keep coming back to a simple list. I've at least gone digital these days.

    A favourite topic of mine :)

    Cheers, Peter
  6. Peter - FS Administrator

    Peter - FS Administrator Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Rowan. Do you have a favourite app you could recommend? A friend recommeded Google Tasks on the weekend which I'd barely explored before.
  7. Rowan@quaotic

    [email protected] Well-Known Member

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    I just use sticky notes and to-do apps on my ighome homepage, Chrome. There are a few to choose from on Chrome apps.
  8. Peter - FS Administrator

    Peter - FS Administrator Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually, Google Keep was the note-taking app my friend was showing me. He had it set up with to-dos and list across work and personal.
    It looks quite impressive the way he used it and works across devices.
    Lots of options!
  9. Zava Design

    Zava Design Renowned Member

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    I add reminders to Google Calendar all the time.

    Gmail (which I have open on my desktop all the time) has "Tasks" built in too, which I should probably make use of. Not a fan of needing to use yet ANOTHER new app if the ones I already use can do something for me... ;)
  10. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    It's never occurred to me to email myself with reminders. I have been known to jot reminders on the back of my hand or overalls with a biro.

    I like plain old lists, and I keep coming back to them after trying heaps of specialist apps. Don't care much whether they're digital or plain old paper, and I currently use a mix of both.

    Nothing beats a series of notebooks imo, both as a todo and a historical reference (and it never needs backing up :)).

    Like @Zava Design I have Gmail always open in Chrome and also have Tasks, Calendar and Keep running in the sidebar.

    I do use 'Tasks', mainly cause it's just a simple list and it's staring me in the face always.

    I've become a fan of Keep, but I don't use it for note taking as such. I'm constantly researching stuff on the web, instead of a million bookmarks I hit the Keep button, maybe add a short clarifying sentence then move on. I reckon it's easier to find stuff later in keep than trawling bookmarks, plus I can 'pin' them or classify them easily. Every so often I have a clean out...works for me.
  11. arrowwise

    arrowwise Active Member

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    Agreed - between google tasks, keep, calendar and sheets (if you have to) - will have you covered without having to introduce any new complex and non integrated systems. The more you can do within your primary daily system - the better for all involved :)
  12. senseict

    senseict Member

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    I've just started using Todoist, it's really nice and useful :).

    I've integrated it with Google Apps so calendar etc are automatically updated, I can add tasks from email, etc.

    Plus you can write stuff like 'Update account X every friday' and it will remind you every friday to update account x
  13. Greg_M

    Greg_M Renowned Member

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    Yep, I've gone full circle, from being an app junkie to 'keep it simple stupid'.

    GSuite has been the key for me achieving this (didn't think I'd ever say that). Even my one remaining construction client loves it, and he hates computers...in fact I just got off the phone from editing a spreadsheet for him "live" while he was watching what I was doing over 1000km away.

    This is amazing stuff for a couple of old blokes that started out with paper only.
  14. Daniel Courtney Gallery

    Daniel Courtney Gallery Member

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    Newby Here - We have found that Trello is an excellent tool for us as a husband/wife team.

    We have 3 boards - Personal to-do's, Business to-do's and customer orders.

    As a really small business with custom product fulfillment we don't have fully integrated order system so this works for us and our 20 or so orders a week.

    Trello as a shared experience is just fantastic and you can drag to do's around etc.
    Lucy Kippist likes this.
  15. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    Hi Newbie and thanks for the reply!

    Trello has been mentioned to me many times, I must check it out. Interesting point you make about it working for your biz set-up as husband and wife, too. There's probably a whole niche of biz tools that work for a collaboration like yours.
  16. Lucy Kippist

    Lucy Kippist Active Member Staff Member

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    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for this, funnily enough I also use this one now! I also like the reminder function.
  17. senseict

    senseict Member

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    Todoist is great, especially for notifications and such.

    I have, however, found that I need more than what Todoist offers, especially for the price to upgrade.

    I've actually moved to Notion.so as I've found it has considerably more functionality.

    As a developer and maker, having documentation, tasks, and agenda's etc all in one place makes things a lot easier.

    There are some overlapping functions, such as task management boards, and all of that fun stuff, but the added functionality and customisability makes things so much more powerful.

    There are loads of SaaS and other tools out there, just gotta try them and find the right ones to fit your needs.

    Notion is free, I'm using the upgraded personal version though.

    Disclaimer: notion link is an invite link which provides $5 in free credit.

    You also get free credits to try the subscription versions, $5 for signing into the web app, $5 for signing into the desktop app, and $5 for signing into the mobile app.
  18. Tom ISW

    Tom ISW Active Member

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    I use Workflowy for work stuff, and I use an app called Netmemo+ to send myself short voice messages to my inbox. It's on Android, not sure if there's an iPhone equivalent. Works great for me.
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  19. Roman K

    Roman K Member

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    I use a mix of low tech and high tech:

    1) When an interrupting thought enters my mind I either:
    • add it to a running sheet for the day (just a piece of paper) or
    • add it to a text file - it's always open in my computer or
    • add it to Google Calendar as an event at 9PM for further processing

      The idea is to spend as little time as possible on getting the idea out of my mind and continuing focusing on what really matters now. The reason for multiple sources is that I can be in different environments throughout the day
    2) At the end of the week I review the whole bunch of ideas from all of the above sources and reject most of them.

    Why?

    Because I love what Greg McKeown explains in his wonderful book Essentialism (summary): most things out there are totally unimportant, and there are only a few vital ones.

    Understanding this fact is more important than any tool you will ever use in my opinion.

    3) With those ones that survived a cool-down period of the whole week I use Confluence (https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence) for structuring the ideas in a hierarchical way.

    I also use other products from the same company such as JIRA for managing tasks in an Agile way. Atlassian products work like a charm for our team.

    In addition, we use Confluence for systematizing processes - it has lots of cool features, and the whole team uses this tool to deliver results fast. It has a bit of a learning curve, but like any other tool anyway.

    Hope that helps.

    Let me know if you have any questions. More than happy to elaborate.
  20. Peter - FS Administrator

    Peter - FS Administrator Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Roman,

    Thanks for sharing such a detailed process and tools.

    I love the low-tech option for initially just grabbing an idea and getting it down without interrupting too much - my main concern is forgetting the 'great' idea so once it's captured I can leave it there for a while.

    The idea of a 'cooling off period' is also very clever. Many ideas, particularly ones at 3 in the morning, can seem genius at the time but not so great after a bit of thought. Survival of the fittest is a good option for ideas that move any further.

    The essentialism book/concept looks intriguing too!

    Thanks again, Peter
    Roman K likes this.

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