I Love, I Love My Little Calendar Girl

Do you need a calendar app or a to-do list?


Q: Do you have a recommendation for a calendar app for my iPhone? I've kept my calendar as a list in my notes for years and have accidentally deleted it multiple times, which is all stupid, I know. I haven't found a calendar app yet that I like. I want to be able to integrate tasks I've given myself for the day and I'd like it to be easy to cut/paste from date to date. Suggestions?

A: Honestly, the built-in calendar app on the iPhone is pretty good, at least since iOS 7 came out. (Side note, if you have an iPhone 4S or higher and you haven't updated yet, you should update to iOS 7. It's great. However, if you have an iPhone 4, you should read my article before you update.) There are a few good alternatives like Cozi and Calendars by ReaddleWeek Cal and Fantastical, but I honestly don't think you want a calendar app. I think you want a good task manager or to-do list app.

Maybe I am too much of a stickler for the Getting Things Done method, but you should only use a calendar for events that are set in time, not for tasks. In other words, the meeting you have scheduled for Tuesday at noon goes on the calendar, but the presentation that you have to get prepared for the meeting goes on your task list. You can set deadlines for your tasks, but you shouldn't put them on your calendar.

The built in app Reminders in iOS is actually a pretty decent basic task app, and you can even use Siri to set reminders for you. Clear is another simple to do list app that many people swear by. However, if you're looking for something a little more comprehensive, Toodledo is a great app that will let you organize your tasks by context and by location. You can also create sub-tasks, and even assign tasks to other people.

One last note. If you really just prefer keeping a text list of tasks, you may be able to restore those lost notes that you have accidently deleted. If you have a Gmail account or a Google Apps account (i.e. your business email account is managed by Google.) your notes may have been being backed up to your email account this entire time. On your iPhone, open your Settings app, then tap "Mail, Contacts, Calendars". Now look at your list of accounts and see if any of them say Notes after Mail, Contacts, Calendars, etc. If one of them does, your Notes are saved. Just open your account on or your company's email website, and look for the Notes label on the left-hand side or enter "label:notes" in the search bar. You'll find all of your notes even if you have deleted them.

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