Provide the ability to set a reminder from the desktop

Hi @Andrei

I hope you are well. I know GTD is not based on deadlines and reminders as a matter of principle but you added the possibility to have reminders on the mobile app which is sometimes very useful. I would like to be able to set these reminders from the desktop app, which doesn’t seem possible.

Would this be possible or is there a technical constraint to this?


Hello! One of the problems with this is that a reminder set on a computer will not propagate to your mobile devices until you open the app there. This makes the feature much less useful.

Okay, thanks for the explanation. But I must admit that it would still be useful because I open the application on the phone every day … In case I forget, I could even make it a recurring task :wink:

I would add that I would also find it very useful to be able to see the time of the reminder from the desktop application.

Of course, it’s still pretty useful. I’ll get to it someday.


Hello! I am new to Everdo, but I have implemented GTD using countless other apps over the years (including LibreOffice Calc at one point, story for another time). I also have a half-working app I made for myself (which I abandoned for Everdo). With this, I feel I can share some perspective.

1. Reminders are fundamental to GTD

I think it is important to make one thing clear: Reminders are not a ‘nice to have’, but fundamentally essential for GTD in 2022.

The core philosophy of GTD is to use your brain as CPU + RAM, and not as a Hard Disk. When you practice GTD over time, your work style naturally changes from ‘random work’ to Deep Work. Which means to be fully focused on task at hand - and not worry about any other task.

If I have an appointment at 12:15, but I’m free at 11:00 - I want to spend the hour actually focused on a task off my Next Actions list, and not check the time nervously in between.

Our contemporary lifestyle is clock-driven. An average person cannot be productive today without dealing with time in terms of hh:mm.

In fact, when I’m coaching other people who are starting out on GTD - I suggest them to initially create phone reminders for meta tasks. For example “Check Inbox”, “Empty your mind into Inbox”, “weekly review”, etc. Over time, they form a habit themselves and no longer require a reminder. In a world that is constantly trying to steal your attention, it is easy to lose GTD discipline without an actual notification on your phone.

So in essence, GTD as a system itself lends you to be dependent on reminders over time. Sure, it may not have been ‘in the book’ as explicitly - but what matters is the core message of having stress free productivity.

If I can trust my GTD system to simply buzz me - I don’t have to worry about losing track of time. That’s what I’m using a GTD app for.

2. plz no googl

The moment you involve Google Calendar, you lose your ability to claim full privacy. Specific employees have the ability to decrypt your data and read it - but that’s a rare scenario. What’s more pervasive and commonplace is Google using algorithms that go through your data to advertise you stuff. That is the sole reason why you shouldn’t use 90% of apps out there for GTD - because their primary business, in current or in future, is advertising.

Implementing cross-device reminders using Google would be easier, I suppose - but be warned that your reminder tasks are no longer private. Note down your abortion appointment in the USA at your own risk.

(Please note that I’m not opposed to Gmail integration - because that’s a read operation on your own mail which is ‘an Inbox’ in GTD terms. Reducing the number of inboxes by 1 is a great win.)

Long term, I would highly encourage the team to implement their own calendar with notifications.

However, as a software engineer myself, I know it involves considerable work and testing. Rather do it correctly than quickly.

3. Intermediate suggestions.

  • Allow setting time reminders on any device - but the delivery of those reminders (the buzz) will be only on the phone.
  • Integrate with open source, privacy respecting tools for calendar sync (I have used etesync in the past, but there are many out there).

Overall, I would take the fact people are using Everdo instead of 100 other apps as an indication that they care about privacy.

Random book suggestion: The Design of Everyday Things - by Don Norman


Thank you for your post, it has some great points. For me, when it comes to a calendar, I don’t see how it can be replaced with anything else for scheduling both work blocks and events. So if I’m going to use a calendar anyway, might as well put reminders there. This is what I tend to do instead of using reminders in Everdo, to be honest. Do you suggest that a calendar can be replaced by reminders?

I use GCal shared with my wife for blocking out family life, but for small things that I need to remember, I like to use Everdo. The flow works better for me if I’m already in a task’s dialog and can just set a reminder from there. Doing the same in the Desktop would be amazing as I often have a quick run through tasks for the day on Desktop before heading out and relying on my phone. GCal is my agenda for places to be for the day, but Everdo is the things I need to do.

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I just saw this topic and had actually posted something similar.

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If you can make that work, that would be fine but then you will run into the issue of making everdo work with various online calendar systems out there such as google calendar and nextcloud etc.

I mean, as long as I get good global reminders for my tasks synced across all of my devices and the big one


I don’t care if you implement that through a calendar service or not.

In the least it would be so helpful to extend your “due-date” function to have “due-time”

even without reminders (for the moment).

It’s annoying having to sift through tasks that aren’t due yet for another 20minutes.

Due time would be so useful (and scheduled time too). I use Everdo at work and it would help clear the clutter on my next list setting certain tasks to certain times of day - like scheduling a phone call for 4 hours time, or some things I need to do just before closing.

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I don’t understand how this is a problem when Todoist and Quire already have this function.

But I guess they push the reminders to the users from the server side.

So I guess Andrei is trying to implement reminders without a server?

If that is the case then I can see why a developer would want to piggy back on a cloud calendar.

How would that work?

I am starting to see (i think) what the complications of syncing reminders between more than one device may be from the developer’s perspective.

For now, even if we never get synced reminders,

at least having the ability to set a start-time along with a start-date, would be very helpful. And please stop deleting the start-dates from the tasks when they enter the focus list. I need to see the date that I was supposed to start them on.

Sorting tasks should take their start-time into account.

We should see in the focus list items that are started today in this way:

(it is 12/25 14:30)

    ----any time---^
  1. Do the dishes 12/25
    ----over due----^
  2. Do the laundry 12/25 8:00
    ----due later----^
  3. Wash the car 12/25 18:00

In that elegant order and with drop down carrots like that.

It would be very stress relieving for the user to be able to see the tasks in order by time. I am always having to read my tasks again and again and then remember, “wait that doesn’t need to be done for another 30min”

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Even if we didn’t get individual reminders for tasks, the ability to sort tasks by start-time would be immensely helpful.

And I remember saying this years ago and don’t know if it helps the development side but even if we don’t get individual task reminders, it would be enough for me to have context reminders. So the @Home context would push a @Home context list to my phone at a time of my choosing.

Again though, don’t bother if it would not be synced between devices.

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