What To Do About Android To Dos?

Google Calendar Reminder

Calendar, Contacts, Notes and Tasks… the four cornerstones of Personal Information Management that go all the way back to my first Palm OS-powered PDA. For me, PIM sync was one of the hallmarks of early smartphones—freeing me from having to manually input my contacts’ names and phone numbers every time I upgraded to a new device.

Cut to 2015 and one aspect of PIM is failing me, and failing hard. So today I’d like to task you with providing your solution for managing to dos.

What you’re looking at in the screen grab above is a new feature in Google Calendar, called Reminders. Here’s the video:

Unfortunately, this handy feature has yet to make an appearance in the desktop version of my Google Calendar Account; until it does it’s just not an option for me. What’s also weird is that Google Calendar has supported to dos for some time, just not very well. If I remember correctly support first appeared in Gmail, of all places—I believe this has something to do with the way Windows users manage their tasks in Outlook. I myself haven’t used Outlook enough to speak with any authority on that.

At some point to dos became available on Google Calendar; they still are, but accessing your to do list on an Android device requires a third party app. I’ve used two of the most popular ones—GTasks and Tasks—and have had to deal with corrupted syncs (ie. data loss) on both.

Google Keep seems to be a popular task solution for redditors on r/Android, but for me it’s a note-taking app—great for grocery lists and such but too cumbersome to enter a simple task with an alarm. Also, I’d much rather have my to dos accessible on my primary calendar.

There’s no shortage of third-party task managers—Remember the Milk, Tick Tick, Todoist, Wunderlist… But again, all of these take you out of your primary calendar, and many of them steer you towards an ongoing paid subscription.

My current solution for important reminders—bill payments and such—is to use day-long calendar events with alarms. What I lose is that all-important ability to mark something as “done”. If you’ve got a better way to manage to dos on Android, l’d love to hear about it!

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