Remembering More with Due and Recall for iOS

appsI will admit to a fondness for single-purpose iOS apps. I recognize that there’s a real virtue in keeping everything in text files, say, or in having one omnibus app that tracks everything in one’s life, but I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that. This morning, then, I wanted to alert folks to two new-to-me iOS apps that scratch very specific itches, Due and Recall.

Due: Reminders/Timers

There are things that I am sometimes prone to forget, but which don’t really fit into a calendar or a to-do list. One example is bringing a particular book home from campus, or vice versa. Another, more weirdly specific one is that when doing laundry, I can’t always hear the timer on the dryer, and so the whole process will get slowed down by the fact that the laundry’s just sitting around getting wrinkled. In my head, of course, I assume that the dryer is still going because I haven’t heard the timer yet, and then it’s Tuesday and I have no clothes. It seems stupid to put items like this into Omnifocus or Agenda or something.

Due is perfectly tailored to solve these sorts of problems. It only does two things–reminders and timers–but it does them with class and style. The trailer for the app shows it off pretty well:

For recurring problems (such as my laundry challenges, or remembering what to bring where), you can save your reminders and timers. You can also forward them to others via email and iMessage, though Due will try to sell them a copy of the app as well.

Due also exists as a Mac app, so you can capture reminders wherever you are, and, of course, be reminded wherever you are. It syncs via iCloud or Dropbox, and even has an API that works with other apps such as Instapaper or Drafts.

In brief, then, Due is a simple-to-use app that makes it super-convenient to give yourself little reminders. The iOS app is priced at $4.99, as is the Mac app.

Recall: Reminders for Recommendations

A great thing about the internet is that one is constantly learning about new books to read, new movies to see, new music to listen to, and more. Those recommendations come at you pretty quickly, though, so it’s easy to forget about that band you thought sounded kind of interesting, or that book you wanted to get for your partner. Obviously, it’s possible to keep a list of these in a notebook, or a text file, or Evernote.

What Recall does is checks your entries against a database of movies, music, movies, tv shows, and books against a database of such items, and then it allows you to set a reminder for when you’d like to know about it. (For example, I typically have a little bit more spending flexibility one paycheck than the other, and so I’ll often want to be reminded about that new band in a couple of weeks. Or I’m not really interested in a particular book for myself, but it’s a good birthday present for my wife. So it’ll remind me about the book about two weeks in advance.) Again, here’s a video that shows how it works:

Recall will also let you browse new releases in its various categories, but I almost never use this feature. I get recommendations from friends online and a few trusted sites, and just need a place to remember them. For my poor brain, the reminder feature helps me more than a flat text file or Evernote item, and since I don’t necessarily care if I act on any of these recommendations, I don’t like to cruft up my to-do list with stuff I might or might not ever follow up on. When I’m capturing too many of these items in my to-do list, I start to distrust the list, for some reason. But Recall keeps track of everything, and offers specific reminders at exactly the right moment.

Recall currently on the App store for $0.99 as a promotional price, and it’s certainly worth a try.

Do you have a favorite recent app? Why not share in comments?

Photo “iPod Touch Screens” by Flickr user linusil / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0

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