Being Organized With an Apple

Being Organized with an Apple is the first part of a six-part series. First, we’ll look at gaining a general understanding of this concept. In the following posts, we’ll then take a closer look at each app and find out how it can help us in particular. And last but not least, in the last two posts we will look at the daily workflow that makes these apps so good and we will look at how to collaborate using these apps.


Reminders are the first, important element in this concept. We all know the little yellow pieces of paper or the list on the desk with which we record what we should remember and/or remind ourselves about.

“I need to remind myself to do this later.”

“I need to remember myself where I left this.”

In the Apple ecosystem, there’s an app called Reminders for that. At first glance, it seems like a simple to-do list organization app, and it’s often used for this purpose. The problem with this is that we have so much to do, so much planned, that this app quickly reaches its limits. Not to technical limits, no, but to the limits of clarity and thus it is no longer helpful.

The inbox-list

The Inbox list is the list where we collect reminders. The goal is to fill this list and empty it in a timely manner.

What to put into it?

Everything! No kidding! Ok, not really everything; - we’ll get to that in a moment. But in itself, everything we need to do, be told or plan is something we can’t neglect or worse, forget. So we write it down and that’s what ends up in the inbox list.

“I need to send an email to Mr. Schnitzelbruzzler about the bill today.”
Into the inbox list.

“I need to order some more coffee or we won’t have any in the cafeteria soon.”
Inbox list it is.

“I still need to read up on Project X and note what questions I have about it.”
Inbox list!

The good thing is, with the Reminders app, we can capture things like that extremely quickly in one line, or we use Siri and tell her we want to remember it.

What not to put into it!

Here is the moment to clarify what does not belong in the inbox list.

If we get a task and we can interrupt our work and the task takes less than 2 minutes, we do it right away.

Why? It simply takes longer to create a reminder than to just get it done right away.


Notes is the second, important element and almost more important than reminders. Because, for people who can easily remember things, the above mentioned Reminders app may not even be necessary.

We all take notes in various forms, lengths and levels of detail. We sometimes have more motivation to go into detail and other times less and just scribble down something short. On top of that, we often don’t even have time to create our notes as detailed as we’d like. - But all that doesn’t matter anyway, if we don’t have these notes at hand.

And this is where Apple offers us the Notes app. And it is underestimated by many.

The inbox-note

Here, just like in the Reminders app, we collect our notes. We simply write them down one below the other and keep them logically separated from each other with as little effort as possible. Here it is also important that we spend as little time as possible on it in order not to hinder ourselves in the actual work.

What to put into it?

Everything! This time for real! In the fifth part of the series, we will look at the workflow and its daily routines with which we get the maximum efficiency out of this concept.

Until then, everything really means everything.

  • Phone numbers
  • E-mail addresses
  • Scans
  • Images
  • Links
  • Handwritten notes via iPad if available
  • Drawings
  • you name it


The calendar is the third and final tool in the collection on which this concept is built.

For many, the calendar is a to-do list in calendar form. For others, it is mainly there so that they do not forget any appointments and thus helps to “be reminded”.

And then there’s us. Together we will shed light on how much more a calendar can be and how much a calendar can even reduce stress.

The big difference between a reminder item and a calendar item

And here is another important question and the corresponding answer.

What is the difference between a reminder and an appointment?

A reminder, like an appointment, has the following characteristics:

  • Time
  • Text or subject

But an appointment has an important additional property:

  • Duration

This will play an interesting role in the fourth and fifth part of the series.

Posts in this series