Excellent iOS 15 Reminders and Notes Feature Review

During my run this morning I listened to the latest episode of AppStories (Episode 239) where they discussed Apple Reminders, Notes, etc. I’m posting this as it may be of interest to others. I like Chris’s style–friendly, well produced video and straight to the point with no wasted time.

Below the videos I’ve added a link to a cool battery system (Mission Battery Base) for the iPod Mini that Chris reviewed. I may put that on my Christmas list. :slightly_smiling_face:

Apple Notes:


Mission Battery Base:


Looking forward to this. I’m currently using GoodTask which sits on top of reminders and gives all this functionality and more, but still allows all the benefits of Siri, sharing lists easily with family etc. I will probably stay with GoodTask since I’ve found I can make widgets or screens that are the equivalent of fantastical “groups” but man Apple reminders will essentially have most of the features I need.


@jmanko16 I’ve never explored GoodTask but Federico at one point was using it and raved about, though as he is prone to do :slightly_smiling_face: he has adopted another task manager, Todoist.

Are you aware of a high quality video that gives a good overview of Goodtask?

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GoodTask user here too. Like you, I’m really happy with it, particularly with the different views it offers (kanban for the win). Curious to know whether the new features in Reminders will give Hanbum anything to build new GoodTask features on…

@bmosbacker: one thing I would say about GoodTask is that it has a lot of options for customisation. Works well out of the box, but really rewards a deep dive…

GoodTaskapp.com has nice videos, and then there is a new video on the forums posted with features of each “dot” update which seem like they come every few weeks.

It really turns reminders into a massive power app. Visually threw me off at first, but once you tweak it a bit really is the go to for tasks and now calendars. Highly customizable views, addition on kanban boards, drag and drop on iPhone or iPad, and best widgets I’ve seen.

I agree I can’t wait to see what else can be done with ios15 with this.


I really like what Apple has done with the new Reminders. With these smart lists, I could go from Things 3 to Reminders.

I just began experimenting with Reminders as a potential Things replacement given the new features in iOS 15. :grin:

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Let me know what you find. So far the only downside (for me) of using Reminders is that all the text of the notes field is shown in the list view. I put a lot of text in my notes fields (links to documents, emails, etc). It can get unwieldy. It does cut off after 4 lines, luckily. Otherwise, I’m loving it.

I too would prefer fewer text lines but that is a minor inconvenience that is resolved by using Apple Notes. The cool thing about this is that I can seamlessly add the Apple Note and it shows up as a simple icon in Reminders–see below. The same thing is true of Apple Mail. I also really like using Siri to add emails and notes to AN and Reminders.

I’m still deeply committed to Obsidian and that will remain, especially for all writing and research. But with the new features being added to Reminders and Notes in iOS 15 and Monterey, I am experimenting to see if Reminders could replace Things and if I can effectively use AN for work meeting and project notes. As to AN, I like the ability to easily create tables and to add drawings/sketches or handwrite notes as needed.

Everything being equal, and they never are, I prefer deeply integrated, free, native apps whenever possible. There are downsides to the latter–the biggest is that I prefer the non-proprietary nature of plain text with MD, though I’m not a big fan of notes littered with MD syntax. Craft is better in this regard but I find typing long notes or anything else in a block-based system to be tedious.

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You’re preaching to the choir. I have so much in Obsidian now I can’t and don’t want to switch to Apple note, but I really do love the ability to add tables and drawings. I know Obsidian has plugins for this sort of thing, I haven’t explored it yet. I haven’t gotten the Advanced Tables to work on iOS yet.

Though I will say this, if I switched to all Apple Notes, the whole thing would be seamless. Perfect. I, too, want to leave it in a non-proprietary format and i don’t want to convert 100s or maybe 1000s of MD files to Apple Notes.

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When I tried it last January, calendar syncing was somewhat impredictable in terms of the time it took to propagate changes between Tick Tick and Google Calendar, has it improved? And if I remember correctly you needed to subscribe to the iCal feed from Google Calendar to get events from there. Has it improved?

(For the record, I am back to using Amazing Marvin)

I definitely would NOT recommend changing all of your stuff from Obsidian to AN. I still testing but overall I find that having EVERYTHING in Obsidian (writing, research, and all work related project and meeting notes) is too much and a bit too fiddly. I’m experimenting with this final workflow–it is only a minor tweak from what I’ve been doing for several months:

  • Obsidian is my writing and research app. I’m committed to this and do not expect to change. This material is intended to be permanent, is personal, and I want it in plain text and I want robust linking.

  • I’m considering moving work project, meeting, and reference notes to Apple Notes. The main reasons for this experiment is:

  • There is too much friction in creating meeting and project notes in Obsidian–for my work needs. For example, I need and/or prefer to have a number of features available to me when composing project notes or when taking notes in a meeting.

  1. Immediate access to a Word, Pages, Numbers, Excel or PDF document in that note. The problem with Obsidian is that one has to put those files in an Obsidian folder (mine is called Attachments) and then add the transclusion syntax for the document. This is extra work and is messy. In AN I simply “throw” the file in the note and I can easily and immediately open it and it does not make a mess of my notes with a long string of syntax. See below.



  1. The ability to handwrite, sketch, markup as needed. This is not possible in Obsidian.
  1. The quick note feature will be very handy for work.
  1. I often need tables. While these can be created in Obsidian, there is much more friction in Obsidian than in AN
  1. Text recognition in embedded documents and images will be extremely helpful.
  1. It is just as easy, but not easier, to copy/paste follow-up items in AN to Reminders/Things as it is in Obsidian so no loss in the switch.
  1. I can scan documents directly into AN

I don’t need the above for research and writing nearly as much. Obsidian works great for research and writing and the linking capabilities in Obsidian far far exceed those in AN.

So, aside from Craft, which I like but is tedious to actually write in because of its block-based design, AN may fit my work note needs best.

The downside to AN is that exporting the notes is slow and only supports doing so as PDFs. For work notes this is not a problem. For personal work and research notes, this is not tenable.

I’ve imported the plain text WORK files into AN to give it a good test run. The nice thing is that AN will important plain text files so all I had to do was import my Obsidian work vault. The whole process took me only 30 minutes.

Based on the above,

  1. I remain committed to Obsidian for everything related to writing and research–which is what it is primarily designed for.
  2. I’m experiment with AN for work related notes testing its usefulness and most importantly, the reliability of its syncing.

I have decided on a similar work flow as well. I feel like obsidian is all the rage so I’m trying it out, but it is very forced for my workflow with too much friction. I’m a practicing physician, so my work is all clinical and no longer need to publish. I use zotero for reference manager, and love the beta ability to highlight on iPad for active reading in the many journals I keep up with. I have tried exporting the notes to obsidian and then making summary notes for topics……but without needing to publish isn’t really anything I would go back to.

For personal notes it’s just easier to get into and out of Apple notes so I think it will stay as my reference notes. I do like the ease of templates in obsidian……but shortcuts or even an app like phrase express can get me this functionality. With tags and Smart Folders coming in Apple notes will be enough for me. (If Apple notes have built in templates or onenote did I would convert my entire library today!)

I also tried putting work and life together in obsidian and it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve found dividing work and personal to separate apps helps me organize my life better, and since we are office 365 at work I find I use onenote for work notes/meetings and Apple notes for personal. Also the ability to quickly share apple notes with family who is not “techie” and wouldn’t ever even know what to do with an app like obsidian……

Also obsidian mobile apps truely are terrible. Sure you can access files but can’t particularly do much to quickly append or put thoughts in. Have found it very buggy.


So if I used QuickNote - which is tempting - I’d want to (maybe daily) export the contents of the note to, say, Drafts - and then delete the note.

Has anyone experimented with this kind of workflow?

Mac or iOS; Doesn’t matter which.

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I’m with you! I’ve looked at ‘it’, but Sharing seems to be REALLY limited. I’m thinking more 3rd party Devs have to come on board with the feature once 15 is released to the public. I’m not interested in trying to create a Shortcut for it at this point.


@jmanko16 thanks for the response. I’m obviously a “goober” because for the life of me I can’t figure out how to create a simple shortcut to create an Apple Note with pre-existing text to use as a template. :slightly_smiling_face: I’m just trying to add

Current Date:


  • List item


  • List item

I too use Zotero. I did not realize one could highlight in Zotero (beta). I’ll have to try that out! I was also not familiar with the “phrase.” I’ll also try that out. Thanks for the tips!

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Something like this?


I don’t use notes much, so the list items might be a bit off. Let me know how that works for you… :wink:

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I am no where near a shortcuts power user, only do simple things. But after fighting with obsidian for everything really backing away and using quick logging with Apple notes. The link below gets you what you need, and essentially you just duplicate it change out the text field an there is a new template.

I have several shortcuts I use daily.
-quick add text to append my “inbox to review note”
-quick add dictation text to append my “inbox to review”
-add new blank note
-add new “template here” note which is preset to go to the correct folder (Aka journal folder with today’s journal note set for example)

Without much shortcuts ability you can get copies of these quick entry and a “template” shortcut and easily edit the text or location where it goes and you have a pretty powerful mobile system. For me this is much easier and more intuitive than drafts, I felt like I always fought with it to get it to work and never understood why I would pay money to send basic text to iOS I could do free.

Also, my “import” shortcut. I’m sure there are a million better ways to do this, but essentially it takes a file and pulls out the text and if you then copy it you can paste into any app (notes or obsidian etc). I made this when trying to get extracted highlights out of pdf journal articles to then summarize in obsidian all from iOS or iPadOS. It works, but leaves some formatting to clean up. Pdf expert, highlights.app, liquid text etc that have “notes” export work pretty well for this on mobile.




Here is my attempt at a “fancy shortcut” where I figured out how to make a new note and it asks for book title and author. Lowly stuff my MPU standards but quick, effective, and cheap.


Thanks, that worked like a charm. I’ll study how it was put together so I can get a better handle on the process. Much much appreciated!

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Thanks! I’ll install both and will study how it is done. I owe you and @jsamlarose!

Guys, thanks for helping this goober!

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