in Apps, iOS, iPhone

Checkmark: Reminders with power

We live in a world that is constantly throwing tasks at us. From things to do, errands to run, people to call and places to go, it’s almost impossible to remember all these things. What’s a human to do? I use my fancy aluminum and glass iPhone 5 to keep me on top of all of these random reminders.

While I use Things as my GTD power horse, for random things and reminders, I turn to an alternative app. Even though I have tried to use the Reminders app on the iPhone (and now OSX Mountain Lion), I find it to be very inconsistent and very user-unfriendly. Sometimes the app ignores my locations, other times it takes too long to enter a task and it’s frustrating.

Welcome Checkmark

Checkmark, a reminder app on steroids, is a much better solution than Apple’s Reminders. In essence, this is the app that Apple should have made. The app is very simple and it works with time-based and location-based tasks. For a location based task, it takes 3 taps to set up. You first start off by assigning locations where you mostly need to get some things done. I currently have the following locations set up:

  • Home: things that I need to do at home when I arrive or before I depart
  • Office: Things that I need to do when I arrive or when I leave the office
  • Stop & Shop: Things I need to pick up when I’m driving past the supermarket (milk anyone?)
  • Church: This is my place of worship. Things I need to do when I arrive or upon my departure.
  • Child care: Things to do when I arrive to pick up the kids (pay them, remind them of certain matters, etc.)

The app is very simple and works very well. You can also modify the “nearness” of your location. For example, I can set up my Stop & Shop location to notify me of any task that has to be done there when I get within my desired closeness to the location. In my case, when I’m within 500 feet within the supermarket, any task that needs to be there alerts me of the task. I love to have this control. Though the app uses the iPhone’s location services, it doesn’t take a hard toll on the battery. This is because it’s not using the full GPS antenna. It’s using the cell towers (which are always on for phone calls, data, etc) to triangulate your position. This is a genius approach that allows you to use this app with no hit to your device’s battery.

Another great feature is that you can setup delay alerts for location tasks. For example, If you are like me, sometimes you don’t want to “take out the garbage” when you get home. Sometimes you need to unwind a bit. In this case, Checkmark allows you to set a timer when the task in your location is due. This way, the alert goes off when you’re ready, like 15 minutes after you arrive. You can also setup recurring reminders, snooze tasks, and sort by distance. This level of controls is what makes this app a must have over competing apps.

Highly recommended.

Check out some screens below:

Welcome 1


Office tasks


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