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Lifehack App Review: Due for iPhone

Lifehack App Review: Due for iPhone

Due for iPhone - Logo

    If you are anything like me, then if you don’t write down something to remind yourself of it later, it either won’t happen or will quickly forget about it. For most of all my task management I use the all-powerful OmniFocus, but if I have to remind myself of little things, especially if they are timed actions, then I find myself turning more and more to the reminder and timer app for iPhone, Due.

    Let’s take a look at what Due has to offer.

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    Speed

    Due for iPhone - Setting a reminder
      Setting a reminder

      One of the best parts about Due is how fast you can create a reminder or start a timer. Simply tapping on the reminder tab at the bottom of the app, tapping the add button in the top right, and then entering your requirements for you time reminder is all you have to do. Due includes a nice touch for reminders where you can add a repeat function to the reminder, like every week, or every 6 days.

      There is also a bar on the reminder screen called “Quick Access Timings” where you can set times such as when you wake up, lunch, after work, or before bed. Then with just a tap the time in the create reminder screen will go to that specified time. It’s fast to set one of these quick times and then go from there.

      Once you have reminders created you can swipe them to delete, duplicate, email, message, or even tweet them. There is also a very nice quick access bar on each reminder that speeds up the process of postponing a reminder until tomorrow, or moving it’s due date back an hour.

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      Setting timers is a fast experience too. Go to the timer tab, tap new timer, set your criteria, and you are done. To start a timer just tap the timer toggle and the timer will start.

      Design

      Due for iPhone - Quick settings on a reminder
        Quick settings on a reminder

        Due is all about simplicity. It doesn’t have a ton of features so the interface isn’t all clogged up with buttons, crazy repeat settings, messages, and confusing items. What I like the most about Due’s design is that it gives you access to features right when you need them. For example, after you have set a reminder and when you tap on it you get the quick action bar at the bottom of the reminder to postpone it, turn it into a repeat, etc. This type of “just in time” feature addition allows Due to keep a very streamlined and non-complicated interface. This is something that makes the app highly usuable and one that I find myself going back to more and more for timed tasks.

        Smarts

        There are definitely some smart ideas built into Due like being able to use the Quick Access Timings when setting a reminder and being able to change those times in the settings of the app. Also things like default snoozing of reminders to every minute or every hour.

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        Another smart idea was to allow for your Due’s app badges to be controlled in such away that you can have a badge count for everything or only the things that you care about the most. This is another addition that Due makes sure that it is simple yet powerful.

        Sync

        Due also can use iCloud or Dropbox to sync all your reminders, alarms, and settings as well as keep them in sync with the Due app for Mac. The only thing that I tested was syncing my Due app with Dropbox and then restoring it. It works a treat.

        Negatives

        Due for iPhone - Timers
          Timers

          There is only one real negative that I found with my experience with Due, and that is not being able to set a repeat on a reminder for every few hours and then also setting a “quiet time” for the reminder. For instance, if I want to be reminded to check email during the day, every three hours and then shut it off at 6 PM, I can’t do that. I’m sure that is a rare case, but is something that other apps like Alarmed can do.

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          Other than one small feature I feel is missing (at least for my workflow), Due is by far one of the simplest, cleanest, fastest apps for setting reminders and timers on the iPhone. The app will set you back $4.99 but I can’t recommend it enough.

          More by this author

          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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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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