To-do list Apps or How to Avoid Multiple Trips to Home Depot

To-Do List

Everyone knows we’re all too busy these days to waste time. Let’s face it. There is nothing worse than making multiple trips to Home Depot in the midst of DIY project because you forgot something else you needed, again.

When it comes to “to do” lists I believe I’ve tried just about everything. A pad by the phone. Oh, that’s right no more land line. A note pad on the refrigerator with a pen attached. I keep forgetting it’s there, lost among the photos and the crayon masterpieces created of my friends’ kids. There’s a pad in the living room next to the remote. There’s a pad in the bedroom that keeps getting shoved in the drawer of the night table. There are several on my desk. I’ve tried different shapes, sizes and colors to no avail. And not just pads, but little notebooks that fit conveniently in pocket, as well as a rainbow of post-it notes . The end result, nada. I head off to the grocery store with a general idea of the things I need, until confronted with millions of items. Suddenly, I can’t remember. Do I need breakfast cereal. I think I’m out of orange juice? Don’t I already have chicken in the freezer? Finally, frustrated, I ask myself why do I keep relying on my brain to remember? Why didn’t I write it down?

How many times have you gotten to the grocery store without a list only to have to return later for something you’ve forgotten? If you’re like me you’ve even bought the same thing more than once. Same is true for the drugstore and the hardware store. Not to mention other times when having a list to check off as you go along would really be helpful. That DIY project for example.

So, why not use that smartphone in your pocket to keep track of those things you need to do, to buy and to remember? After all we never let our phones out of our sight do we?

If, like me, you own an iPhone, all you need to do (pun intended) is go to the app store and type in “to do.” You’ll see a long list of – actually I stopped counting at around 200 – apps that claim to be just the thing you’re looking for… They range in price from free to $20. But wait, before you do that. Why not start with the native “to do” app on the iPhone called “Reminders.”

With Apple’s Reminders app you can:

• Create date and time or location-based notifications
• View your reminders by list or schedule.
• Search for specific reminders.
• Automatically update all your devices and calendars using Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud.
• Create and organize multiple lists.
• Reorder your to-dos.
• And, when you mark a reminder as complete, it moves it to the Completed list.

Apple recommends creating sets of reminders such as, Groceries, Payments Due., etc I’ve set up mine by place, i.e. drugstore, hardware store, etc. With Apples “geolocation” software which uses the phones GPS, Reminders will alert you if you happen to be near the store. To activate this feature you’ll need to turn on “Location Services” for the Reminders App in “Settings.”

For those of you using an Android device (a.k.a. a phone running Google’s Android software) you will find 250 different apps to choose from on Google play, many of them free. However, there does not appear to be a “native” app comparable to Apple’s Reminder. that comes standard with an Android phone. Google does have an “Editors Choice” page as well as star ratings and customer reviews, so you can get a feel for the app before you download it. You can also sort by “paid” or unpaid.” The Apple App store allows you to search by “Most Popular,” “Release Date” and “Customer Rating.” Of course a search on Google or Bing for reviews and ratings is as easy as typing best Android or best iPhone ‘to do” apps in the search bar. You’ll see there’s no shortage of recommendations available online.

Avoid those repeated trips and save time and gas by taking advantage of that computer in your pocket.

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