All in with Apple Productivity Apps (Mail, Notes, Reminders, Calendar)

Yes that is correct. I do not use a due date as a “Defer/Start/When” date. I use Flagging or the High Priority setting for this purpose—I’m still deciding which I think works best. However, I do not use that process for all tasks with a deadline—that is not necessary. Most of the time a due date is the date I will start and finish something or when someone owes me something (also tagged with “person’s name and Waiting for tags). For example, as shown below, I only have 4-6 tasks (the discrepancy is due to my still experimenting with this) that are flagged and/or have high priority set out of 294 tasks. This means that I have 4-6 tasks that I need to be working on until they are due. The time span is usually two weeks, e.g., to prepare a report or a presentation. After all, I can and only need to start on a few major tasks at one time.

I hope this makes sense.

Finally, I’m not trying to persuade anyone to use Reminder or any app for that matter; I’m merely describing my process and where I’ve landed. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Clever. I will switch to using the flag to indicate that I’m working on a task. That will free up the date field for when I have a future date driven task that must be done/started on a particular day. If there’s a separate due date that can go in the title so I’m aware of it.

I’ve adapted a shortcut automation so that each morning it’ll automatically flag any tasks dated that day so they appear in my working list alongside manually flagged tasks.

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No worries. Stealing code/ideas is what it is all about :grinning:

Here is the link to the Standup Shortcut

The Shortcut calls upon some modules I created to extract Reminders and Calendar Events so you will need these as well.

Work Calendar Events
Work Reminders Completed
Work Reminders Open

Any problems give me a shout


This is what I think is great about Apple’s apps – they are simple, and you can bend and shape them in many different ways to do just what you want. Using links between Mail, Notes, Reminders, Calendar, and Maps, I can do just about anything I would need to do. It may take some creativity as some have mentioned here with using flags in particular ways, but that’s part of what makes it personal. Figuring out how to make these apps do what you want is part of the fun. Just the discipline of not continuing to switch between the latest apps is beneficial in itself.


I’ve looked at doing this but….

  • I write notes in markdown and Apple Notes doesn’t support markdown. I use Joplin instead.
  • Reminders doesn’t have a “repeat after completion” feature which I use in most of my repeating tasks. I use Todoist instead.
  • Apple Mail doesn’t let you search folders when moving mail. Fastmail has this and it saves me a ton time when filing email. I have a lot of folders so navigating the folder hierarchy to find the dest folder takes a long time! I use Fastmail instead.

I do use Apple Calendar. No issues there!


One great thing about Apple’s apps is they’re scriptable (as, of course, many third party ones are too).

I’ve just implemented this automator script from a few years back (Services are now called Quick Actions) which lets me very quickly turn an email from the Mail app into a reminder (and flag the email in purple so I know it’s already set as a reminder).

Back in 2018 @Woteva rewrote a script (from the second half of that article) which allows a reminder to be quickly created from anywhere, using the clipboard as the title or the reminder note as desired.

I’ve assigned a keyboard shortcut to each of these. I may amend these scripts, but a nice little addition as I try to make Reminders the core of my task management and probably adaptable to create reminders from any app that supports scripting.

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@Woteva is my old alter ego, glad you found the code of value.

I enhanced Michael’s script to generate a Reminder from a Mail Messages. The latest version will check to see if a Reminder already exists and depending on whether it is open or closed give you options on what action to take.

Any questions give me a shout.


Is there an easy way to link to an Apple Note from another app without doing the share with other people thing?

Unfortunately, not that I’m aware of but if you share to your own iCloud email address you don’t actually get an email, you can just copy the URL and paste elsewhere. Not great but fast and easy nevertheless.

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I use Hook to do this. It creates a URL like:


which can then be used anywhere.

Mac only - does not work on iOS but I use it everywhere to create links to files and notes from across the system.

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I also use Hook to link Notes in my tasks.

Apple Notes and Reminders unfortunately have limited Apple Script support, but for Notes Hook as found a way to get the address of a note in Notes, for Reminders it is a different story… no way to get the address for a reminder so you create a link to it.

A neat little trick for Notes users who want to use it for journaling/daily notes.

Simple (downloadable) shortcuts to create a daily note in a folder (which can be automated), to go directly to today’s daily note from a home screen icon making adding to it through the day a breeze, and to pre-populate some content.

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Over the years I’ve become pretty entrenched in 3rd party apps. The Apple ones are fine but I much prefer third party

Apps that replace Apple apps I’ve been using for 5+ years:

  • Fantastical
  • Drafts (I really only need text notes, I have very few image based notes in Notes)
  • Due, I also use OmniFocus but I’d never let Reminders function as my task manager
  • I do use Safari for my browser though
  • I don’t do email on my phone but I do have my account setup if I need to send an email. On the Mac I use MailPlane for gmail (work)

I use Notes extensively, typing some and handwriting others. I sometimes print to PDF so I can either file a note in a folder or send it on to someone else who doesn’t have access to Apple Notes.

I’ve just discovered that on longer handwritten notes at least it’s only printing some of the content. I only realised when I tried to review a generated PDF of some notes I’d made. Thankfully, the content is still OK in Notes, but that could be a bit of a deal breaker for me if I can’t reliably export content to a standard format.

Edit: Printing to PDF on the iPad from Notes works fine, so it’s a bug on the MacOS version.


I use Apple Notes, Mail and also Calendar. Until a month ago i used Fantastical, but i did not use enough of its features so i did not pay for another year. Reminders is getting better, but i still prefer OmniFocus and Due.

I wish Apple would give the Mail, Notes, Reminders and Calendar app updates apart from OS-releases…

The only thing that annoys me about Mail at the moment is that is does not give me the possibility to ask which account to use when sending mail… sometimes when replying fast i forget to select the account i want to use for the email.



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This was the main reason i like Fantastical on my iPhone, but i’m still working from home most of the time and travel a lot less and therefore mostly work from behind my Mac.

On macOS Apple Calendar works fine for me, its not as pretty but it gives me a good enough overview of the appointments for the day and week.

If at any time i need to rely more on my iPhone for creating and viewing appointments i probably would pay for Fantastical again. I still would prefer to pay a single license fee, as i do not use most of the new features.

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My wife complained about this and I told her it’s why I don’t use Apple mail. Can’t be replaying and mixing personal, with school, with church, etc.

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Late to the party. Oops but then only discovered MPU a few days ago.

I use Apple Mail, Calendar, and Notes because in addition to a Mac mini, and MacBookPro I also have an iPad Air ($th gen) and an iPhone so everything is linked/shared via iCloud. Two Apple app I don’t use are Safari (on macOS anyway where it serves only to download Firefox) and Reminders.

I looked at Thunderbird as a replacement for Mail and Calendar on macOS but something about it didn’t gel with me. I have stuck with the standard applications.

Most of the time the Clock app’s alarms are sufficent for me because my iPhone is always in reach and have no real requirement for anything else.

I do not bother with Pages as the paradigm on an infinite roll of paper doesn’t work for me. Scrivener is my writing tool of choice with it installed on all my Apple devices each connected together via Dropbox.


Could you share the way you would link internally between notes. I’ve been looking for a type of way to quickly link between notes, rather than share copy link and pasting in the note you were working on. Preferably even bi-directional linking such as in roam-research or obsidian.

Additionally with internal linking looking for a quick way to share reminders/email/note to Calendar with a click-through link taking me back from calendar