Mail and Reminders: going stock

Tomas Ahlbeck
4 min readSep 22, 2023

In earlier articles I have written about time blocking, email apps and task managers. Being a more or less semi-professional procrastinator I tend to spend a lot of time thinking of what app to try instead of actually getting things done.

I am in no way an expert, I am — probably like most of you — a Mac and iPhone/iPad user that gets lost in all apps and constantly try to find a way out of that spinning wheel of procrastination.

My main problem I have found is that I have tried to understand and use the GTD-theory. But my mind does not work in those ways, so I realise I will never be able to function if I lock myself to a certain theory.

As example: I think the ‘important’-function in Apple Reminders is really good. That way I can easily see what tasks are of most importance to me, regardless of WHEN I am supposed to do it. To get that function in Things 3 I have added a tag [!Important]. I also like the flagging in Reminders.

But I have so far not taking the step to drop Things 3. By some reason I miss the calendar overview that Things 3 has. And getting GoodTask as ‘add on’ is rather pointless, since then I will just swap one third party app for another. And that will just result in a zillion new buttons to click on.
So: why not just jump to Reminders?

When it comes to email apps I have ended up using Apple Mail and Airmail. Mainly because I have an active subscription of Airmail, it has Swedish localisation (along with many other languages). It also, at least in the iOS app, has better integrations with other apps than Apple Mail. But Apple Mail integrates with Reminders, Apple Notes and Calendar. Not the most obvious way, but by control-clicking on the subject line. And as with Reminders: since I can do most of thethings I want with Apple Mail, why not just jump to Apple mail all together?

My goal has for some time been to have as few third party apps as possible. That’s why I dropped Evernote for Apple Notes. Not that I have anything against third party apps, I just think my way of thinking doesn’t work with all the bells and whistles most apps have. And experiencing the changes in Reminders in MacOS Sonoma and in iOS 17, I think they will be good enough for a person like me.

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Tomas Ahlbeck

Swedish Standup comedian, writer & diabetic. Published a few books, done a few gigs. ‘Sweden’s own dirty uncle, brilliant writing and some very dark humour.”