How Using Reminder Apps Can Change Your Life

Say hello to an extension of your brain.

A reminder can be a lifesaver, literally as well as metaphorically. Whether it's an alarm that helps you remember to take medication or another method that pokes you when it's your anniversary — not to equate physical death with the animosity of a spouse — technology allows us to focus our energy more and more on the now, and let such things pop up when they're supposed to.

If you have an iPhone, there's an easy way to start your reliance on reminder apps — it comes with one already downloaded. The nice thing about Apple's Reminders app is that is syncs across all your devices through iCloud. So you can type a reminder on your laptop and have it appear on your phone or vice versa, and both will alert you at the appropriate time (if they're both active). It's incredibly easy to use, and very straightforward in its benefits: you write a reminder, set a time to be reminded and it reminds you at that time. It almost sounds stupid typed out.

Whether you need to set a one-off reminder ("buy wine for dinner party"), a weekly recurring alert ("call mom") or a swift kick in the *ss to do something you've been putting off ("CLEAN YOUR SHEETS"), reminder apps come in many forms all suited to providing the same service: an extension of your brain.

That's right, your brain.

Used enough, a reminder app becomes a virtual extension of your memory. Things you can't stuff into an already endlessly churning mind get launched away like a boomerang, only to return and smack you in the face exactly when they're supposed to. This kind of functionality can have far-reaching effects relative to its shocking simplicity, even providing the line between something like a healthy relationship and a nasty divorce.

Considering how many couples fight over small things forgotten on a consistent basis, that's not a stretch statement to make by any means. A reminder app is all about helping out your future self — you're on the same team and that future you will always appreciate past you's forward thinking. Every time.

Just don't get too dependent.

At some point it can feel like you can form a dependency on reminder apps, prompting the question of whether or not it's wise to commit crucial reminders to what is essentially the ether if your devices happen to run out of battery. That is valid to some extent — maybe you really shouldn't rely on reminder apps to literally save your life since smartphones aren't yet hardwired directly into our bodies. They can get lost, run out of battery and get damaged in a number of different ways.

At the same time, there's no need to be afraid of what is blatantly a very helpful tool. It's up to you exactly how you use it and the level of importance certain reminders hold, but one thing always remains the same: reminder apps help future you. Anytime you can help out future you by doing something totally painless in the present, you've just won.

For a bit of a deeper dive into which reminder apps can help with specific tasks, check out AppsRooster.

Cover image: Wikimedia