Remind me to remember to ask this question
April 21, 2015 8:10 AM   Subscribe

I need a reminder system for tasks and follow-ups with some sort of desktop pop-up reminder.

I need something to help me follow-up on emails or tasks. A lot of my job involves sending something off to someone to work on and then relaying that information back to someone else. The first problem is I have so many of these little tasks going on that I can't keep track of all of them. The second problem I have is that these little tasks arrive to me in a variety of ways (phone, email, ticketing system, walk-ups) so I have trouble keeping all of them in one tracking system. I have found the type of reminder that works well for me is the outlook pop up type where I can snooze or dismiss (close) something.

Why don't you use outlook you might say? Well I have been but now my problem is that I have WAAAAAY too many things on my outlook calendar that I can't see my actual schedule and I end up missing meetings because in that list of 25 things that I snoozed there was a meeting in there that I was supposed to go to.

What I want is to be able to easily set up a reminder and get desktop reminders of due dates and either easily change the due dates or snooze something for a period of time. Ability to set up recurring reminders for monthly/weekly tasks would also be lovely but not a dealbreaker because I can keep those on my outlook calendar if I need to.

I use trello for other things but I need better reminders. Email reminders are not going to cut it. Other people in my team really like omnifocus but I'm the PC of the group so that won't work for me. I've looked at Asana but that also appears to only have email reminders.

I have no problems with paying for something.
posted by magnetsphere to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Google Calendar. It does pop up reminders at intervals you can set and you can sleep them, sends you email reminders if you want as well, you can have reoccurring tasks and works on desktop or phone/tablet. It's not fancy but it is simple & works.
posted by wwax at 8:36 AM on April 21, 2015

Would you mind keeping a separate Google Calendar for these items?
It would be like starting fresh and would have the ability to allow you to set reminders (SMS, Desktop, etc) and to also have recurring items, along with clicking and dragging in case things change.

Unfortunately, it's a one time only notification and doesn't have the snooze capability.

Can you create another Outlook Account and make yourself a responsible party for it, and then just click over to that "person's" calendar and see the clean and neat calendar?
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:37 AM on April 21, 2015

Google Calendar reminders have always felt pretty useless to me - there's basically no notification until I happen to switch to that tab and see it sitting there, and there's no way to snooze it either. It's pretty lightweight on my phone too, not the kind of active "HEY YOU" that I need.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:35 AM on April 21, 2015

I actually have multiple outlook calendars -
- "my" outlook calendar, which has a ton of reminders (probably like yours!)
- vacation/time off calendar, which has everyone's availability/timeout of the office
- accounting calendar, shared with the rest of the accounting dept, with general reminders and task deadlines on it

Could you create another outlook calendar for all the reminders? You'd still have to watch when the reminders popped up, but you'd be able to reference your calendar more easily.
posted by needlegrrl at 10:17 AM on April 21, 2015

I've recommended it before, but Todoist!

It can integrate with Outlook (and gmail), so you can set emails as tasks, websites as tasks, etc, it can send reminders to your phone as well. It also allows recurring tasks and is easy to update and make changes to the due dates.
posted by HermitDog at 11:09 AM on April 21, 2015

Outlook Tasks! It took me an ungodly long time to find this functionality, but it has great usefulness for people who tend to put things on the Outlook calendar just so they can get reminded of them. If you set a reminder on a task, it'll pop up a reminder screen identical to the one you get for calendar appointments. Relevant help pages are here and here.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:30 PM on April 21, 2015

Whoops, upon further review, I see that part of your problem is an overload of Outlook reminders. In that case, you should check out Task Scheduler, which is actually built into the Windows OS. There's a nice explanation here.

Todoist would also work, though it won't do desktop pop-ups--I use the push notification to send phone reminders for my non-work stuff, which works well for me since I don't text, so if I hear the "text noise," I know I've got a reminder waiting.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:57 PM on April 21, 2015

Google Keep has configurable reminders for a specific time, a vague time of day, recurring, or by location. On top of that, Google Now adds vaguely-future reminders and creating reminders using voice. They have notifications on phone and desktop.
posted by spreadsheetzu at 5:15 PM on April 21, 2015

What you need here is both an Android phone AND Google Calendar, which are integrated. AND the app Pushbullet, which integrates the phone AND the desktop. So they work in synergy.

The desktop runs Chrome which generally opens to Google Calendar. You do any and all data entry through that.

Google Cal (or just GCal from here on) can have SEVERAL notifications as "alarms", not just one, for each event.

It will easily do recurring, snooze, and so on.

The Android phone will notify you if your desktop is not opened to the right thing. AND Pushbullet will echo that notification back to the desktop as well, so you get notified more than one way.
posted by kschang at 6:57 AM on April 22, 2015

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