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First Look at Checkmark for iOS: Reminders on Steroids

First Look at Checkmark for iOS: Reminders on Steroids

Apple did every iPhone user a great service by adding in its Reminders app to iOS 5. With full Siri integration, it allowed them to create a quick list of tasks or simple reminders so that they’d know what they needed to do throughout their day. But it’s missing a key ingredient: location awareness.

Enter Checkmark by Snowman, which solves that problem.

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    Checkmark allows users to name locations (such as Home, Office, Grocery Store, etc.) and they can then add reminders based on those locations. Users can tell Checkmark to notify them within a certain timeframe as they approach a preset location – and they can even define how close they need to be to the location before they are notified. Better still, if you are prone to “forget the milk” when you go grocery shopping, Checkmark can remind you after you leave the location that you were supposed to pick it up. (Note: Location-based reminders are available only for iPhone 4 or 4S)

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    Checkmark is quick and the amount of time it takes to get used to is just as quick. The user interface is slick, elegant and simple, which is ideal if you’ve designed an app that is trying to usurp one that was created by Apple.

    In fact, Checkmark already has Apple’s Reminders beaten in several areas. For example, you can create location-based reminders in only 3 steps with Checkmark, compared to 11 in Apple’s Reminders app. And time-based reminders can be created in only 3 steps as well, compared to 8 in Apple’s Reminders app. So not only is Checkmark simple to use and fast, it is simpler and faster to use than Apple’s own Reminders app.

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    And the team at Snowman has also developed a pretty cool video to promote Checkmark, which you can watch below:

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    (I’ll be giving Checkmark the “30 Days With” treatment here at Lifehack, so check back here in a couple of weeks for a more comprehensive review — as well as to see how the app holds up over an entire month of use.)

    To celebrate its launch, Checkmark is only 99 cents for a limited time in The App Store – and it is worth every penny. If you’ve been looking for Reminders on steroids, then Checkmark is the app for you.

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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