Write it down

To-do lists has become so essential to so many people's lives that they've actually evolved into their own category of software. Power To-Do List from Five O'clock Software is a fine example of the species. It lets you group your tasks in eight different views, including Next Actions and Tasks by Project, Importance, and Due Date; All Tasks by "Context," and more. What sets it apart from other time-management tools is its underlying concept. It's based on David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) method, which essentially takes the commonsense notion that writing things … Read more

Unprofessional organizer

What can we really say about an application that looks like a run-of-the-mill personal organizer but opens with a scantily clad woman rapping on our screen to get our attention? We're no prudes, but perhaps if eReminder Sp1 - Easy Planner Secretary wants to be taken seriously, it should reconsider its nipple-baring virtual spokesmodel.

Virtual babe aside, this is an OK program. There's nothing about it that really blew our minds, but it offers a solid set of organizational features. The calendar function has six different views, allowing users to see everything from the current day to the … Read more

CNET to the Rescue: Reminders and to-do lists

This time, Rafe and Josh's favorite apps for keeping track of stuff. Also, we answer questions on Synergy, domain names, waking up snoozing Macs, calendar apps for Thunderbird, and more.

Thanks to Tales (from the chat room) for saving our bacon!

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Desktop calendar

HyperCalendar from Foryousoft is a full-featured Personal Information Manager (PIM) that combines a desktop calendar and scheduling program with multimedia reminders, an analog clock display, sound recorder, and an encrypted diary in rich-text format. You can change the look, position, and other aspects of the display. Password protection secures the program from prying eyes, a feature that shouldn't be underestimated.

The first thing you notice about HyperCalendar is its semitransparent TopCalendar display, which features the month's calendar, the analog clock, and navigation buttons. You can drag the calendar anywhere on the desktop, resize it, and alter its transparency … Read more


Everyone can use a reminder now and then, and developers have stepped up appointment and scheduling software at all prices. We like "free," as in EfficientSoftware's Efficient Reminder Free. It's a powerful, capable, and businesslike tool that will remind you when it's time for meetings, whether they're every Tuesday or once a year, or give you a timely heads-up for looming events such as birthdays, anniversaries, sporting events, concerts, or anything you might forget or need a nudge to get going on. You can configure various types of reminders, including pop-ups and sounds, and … Read more

BugMe!: A Palm classic reborn for iPhone

There's something to be said for a simple, straightforward note-taking app that borrows from the familiar: sticky notes. BugMe! is one such app.

If the name rings a bell, you probably owned a PalmPilot at some point. That's where the app originated, and call me nostalgic, but I'm happy to see it reborn for the iPhone.

Admittedly, the App Store is already replete with sticky note-inspired task managers, so what sets BugMe! apart? In a word: simplicity.

Instead of packing the app with features, developer Electric Pocket kept the interface about as straightforward as they come. Tap &… Read more

Computer reminders help physicians less than hoped

A systematic review of 28 clinical trials, which appears today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, finds that computer reminders to physicians regarding prescriptions yield smaller improvements than expected.

The study shows that computer reminders sent to physicians during routine electronic ordering or charting improve process of care by a median of 4.2 percent, with the best outcome showing a median improvement of 5.6 percent--numbers that are "below thresholds for clinically significant improvements," writes Dr. Kaveh G. Shojania, director of the University of Toronto's Centre for Patient Safety.

The authors conclude that further research should … Read more

HouseKeeper app reminds you to do forgotten chores

When was the last time you checked your dryer's vent tube? My guess is this serious fire hazard slipped your mind, as it routinely does mine.

Speaking of fires, isn't it time you replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors? Don't worry: That low-battery beep will remind you--most likely in the middle of the night.

Household chores like these are critical, but are usually difficult to remember. Enter HouseKeeper, a clever--if slightly incomplete--app that reminds you when it's time to replace the furnace filters, clean the chimney flue, and so on.

HouseKeeper lets you set reminders for 10 easily forgotten items, including the baking soda in your fridge, the water filter, the fire extinguishers (they're supposed to be inspected regularly), and even your toothbrush (conventional wisdom: replace it every three months).

For each item you can specify the date of your last action (like if you already replaced your toothbrush a month ago) and the number of interval days between notifications.

HouseKeeper will deliver its notifications via e-mail and/or text message. Unfortunately, standard SMS rates apply for the latter; the app can't deliver its own push notifications.

What's more, you can't add your own reminders. In my house, for example, I routinely need to add salt to the water softener. Where's the option for that?… Read more

Forgot your anniversary? Facebook's got it covered

Lately Google seems to have put forth most of the little niceties that turn forgetful, or otherwise inept, people into functional members of society. Late Wednesday Facebook rolled out one of its own features that falls within that category. Now those who are lucky enough to be in a relationship can plug in when their love affair began. Facebook will then send both of those users a reminder (in the form of an event) when it's coming up.

Right now the feature has the same privacy level as a relationship, so if your friends can see it, they can … Read more

Reminder minder

AllNotes Personal Organizer provides a simple set of tools for keeping track of a date and staying on top of events. The program's bare-bones simplicity and easy navigation make this a great choice for basic reminders.

We enjoyed the program's simple interface. It buries itself in your task bar and only has a few, easy-to-understand command options. Nothing about it left us with questions about how to operate this software. With a few simple clicks, we were able to enter dates and times, write ourselves a quick note, set an alarm, or post a note or event on … Read more