The Best Reminder Apps for Android – August 2017

We don’t think it’s far off to say smartphones are one of the most important and influential innovations of the past fifty years. In fact, we think you could argue smartphones belong in the top ten most important inventions of all time, since without them, our civilization would be entirely different today. Smartphones and the rise of always-available connectivity have given rise to companies like Uber or Lyft, that bring you where you need to go without the risk of driving yourself or using a taxi cab service, and Venmo, allowing you to pay people back around the world instantaneously. There’s no shortage of conveniences and advantages to owning a smartphone, and many people today would probably find themselves lost without their devices.

One of the advantages to smartphones is the ability to no longer have to rely on your own personal memory to remember important information throughout your day. Instead, we have apps on our devices to help you keep track of appointments, important dates and birthdays, and even what to pick up from the grocery store on your way home. Using your device for reminders is a must for anyone who leads a busy life. Even more than a notepad or a notes application on your phone, using a reminder application on your phone can help you keep track of important information in an organized, easy-to-use layout.

Unlike iOS, most Amazon phones don’t come with a built-in reminders app. For that, you’ll want to turn to the Play Store to change how you organize your life. Reminder apps are a dime a dozen on Android, but there’s a stark difference between a good and a great reminders app, and most users will want to ensure they’re using the best apps they can when keeping track of their dates, appointments, and other reminders throughout their lives. These apps that will make you forget the days of small notepads and personal voice recorders. Instead, these keep your reminders organized, helping you get your work done faster without getting in the way. Here are our picks for the best reminder apps on Android.

Everyone else

TickTick isn’t necessarily a dedicated reminders app, since it also focuses on organizing your to-do lists and calendar. But, as you’ll see throughout this list, to-do lists and reminder applications often go hand in hand, and there’s no reason to avoid a great reminders app because it offers more functionality. The app uses an account sync to provide TickTick across your multiple devices, making it a great web and mobile organizer for your reminders and lists. A built-in voice prompt makes it easy to add reminders on the fly, without having to fully type out your thoughts. A robust notification and alarm system help keep track of your reminders without having to worry too much about when you’ll be reminded for something. The visual layout of TickTick has fully adapted Material design, with a built-in theming engine that allows you to select the colors of your system inside settings. Finally, you can sort specific reminders by their importance, using an exclamation mark-system similar to what we’ve seen in email systems like Gmail.

TickTock has a premium plan, called TickTock Pro, available for $2.99 monthly that allows you additional settings and features like monthly calendar views, additional widgets, and a duration system for your tasks. There are some reminder-specific settings we’ve seen in the Pro version that allow you to add additional reminders to specific task lists, and the ability to add additional attachments to your tasks and reminders make it easy to setup reminders based on photos for viewing documents and other prompts. Overall, however, we found the free version of TickTick worked great for a simple-yet-robust reminders app, and hey, if you find yourself creating to-do lists constantly, it’s a great app for that too.

A basic name for a basic app, Reminders is perfect for users looking for freedom and simplicity in their applications. Unlike other apps on our list that focus on providing you entire productivity suites filled with calendars, lists, and more, Reminders is built for just one thing: keeping track of the information you need at a moment’s notice. The simplicity in their goal is presented in the layout of the app itself. There’s no account sync or signing in, no in-app purchases or ads. Instead, just a small circle icon in the lower-right corner of your display, allowing you to input reminders using the app’s menu interface. You simply enter your reminder title, a date for the alert, enter a time, and save your entry. Reminders can be set for recurring, and your sound for notifying you can be changed as well. Finally, your reminder can be highlighted with one of five different color choices, making it easy to sort your information without having to spend hours sorting through your reminders and information. Saved reminders are sorted by day, making it easy to read your agenda for the day.

Only two real complaints exist about the app: first, its visual design, though clean and basic, leaves a lot to be desired when compared to other apps on this list. Second, the app’s features are relatively limited in scope; you can’t even reorganize how the date and time is displayed in-app (it’s shown in the European layout and military time, respectively). Still, if you’re looking for the definition of a basic reminders app, you can’t do much worse than what we’ve seen with Reminders. The app is early in development, not having yet reached a full version 1.0, and with less than 5,000 downloads so far, we look forward to seeing additional features and functions added to the app. For many, however, Reminders is a perfect application for quickly keeping tabs on your day without having to deal with ads or subscription services. If you’re a bare-bones reminder user, definitely check this one out.

Todoist, along with Any.do and (before its untimely demise by Microsoft) Wunderlist, are typically considered the go-to apps on Android for your productivity needs. Todoist probably isn’t your first pick for a reminder-based app, but we think you’d be surprised at how great the app is at handling your tasks and upcoming reminders. Once you’ve created an account—which you can do with either a Google or Facebook login—you’re brought to a quick introduction to the app, allowing you to pick a Todoist theme (color choices include red, black, and orange), and walking you through how the app works. Luckily, Todoist seems to use a fairly material design-based appearance, with a large add button in the lower-right hand corner of the display that lets you add your appointments, tasks, and reminders easily to the app.

Below that bar, there’s some selections for adding dates, alerts, and flags for importance, similar to what we saw in Remember the Milk, albeit not as powerful. Like Remember the Milk, Todoist uses hotkeys that make it easy to add suggestions and reminders through the use of specific keys. The app features four levels of priorities, and allows you to add dates, alerts, tags, and fellow users. Unfortunately, adding labels, comments, and file uploads are locked behind Todoist Premium, which also features calendar sync, audio recording, location-based reminders, and backups. Considering much of this can be obtained by using an app like Google Keep, there isn’t much of a reason to pay $28.99 a year for Todoist’s premium account, but if you fall in love with the app’s admittedly-excellent interface, it is available as an option. Overall, though, Todoist just doesn’t offer enough to set itself apart from the pack. It’s a good app, but too much is locked behind a paywall to seriously recommend.

Any.do is incredibly similar to Todoist, with everything from the Google and Facebook account signin to the Premium options inside the app. There are some key differences between Todoist and Any.do, however. First, Any.do asks you to upgrade to their premium account from the start, highlighting exactly what their paid plan offers. The app runs you either $25 billed annually or $2.99 build monthly, making it similarly priced to apps like Todoist. The major difference comes in the user interface, and how you interact with the app. Unlike Todoist, Any.do doesn’t blindly stick to its Material design guidelines, offering a quick-add button in the lower-right hand corner but not much else. Your list is sorted into Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming, and Someday, making it easy to quickly see what’s coming up soon and what’s still in the pipeline to be completed.

It’s a great user interface that makes it easy to view your reminders and tasks to complete. And the gesture for finishing tasks—crossing them out with a swipe—feels good every time, even if it is a bit finicky. Any.do is a great task list, and though the app does support reminders, it definitely isn’t built around the idea of recurring reminders and notifications. That said, as far as standard apps go, Any.do is an excellent choice if you don’t mind some extra functionality in your reminder application.

We won’t lie, BZ Reminders surprised us with its flexibility. The app seems fairly basic at first, with a simple interface inspired by Material design, but the focus on getting the details just right makes this app one of our favorite reminder apps on Android. Adding a reminder is as simple as hitting the large red button in the lower-right corner and typing in the title of your reminder. Set a date, a color theme, and you’re good to go—though you can also add a phone number, contact, and more if you need to do so. This makes setting up appointments a breeze, and allows you to get the exact details of your reminder without having to figure out which “Tom” you need to call in your phone. So what keeps BZ Reminders from being at the top of the list? First, the app features ads, which can get in the way of the reminders list when you’re trying to check your upcoming schedule. Ad removal is locked behind a pro account option that, while a decent deal, does lock a lot of features behind a paywall. In order to gain access to account syncing, “advanced settings,” your own ringtones and alerts, and a premium support service, you have to upgrade to BZ Reminders premium version. While relatively low-cost at a one-time purchase at $3.99, plenty of these features are handled for free by both Remember the Milk and Google Keep, making it a difficult proposition next to the other two offerings.

Like Google Keep, Evernote focuses more on the notekeeping side of things rather than reminders. The app allows you to divide and sort your notes into notebooks, allowing you to keep your reminders and to-do lists outside of your class notes you’ve kept on your phone. This also allows for notes and notebooks to be shared, although the free version of Evernote has limitations built around this. Thankfully, reminders inside Evernote don’t seem to be limited at all, outside of limitations on device support without a Pro account. Evernote isn’t really built for reminders; it’s built for notekeeping and organization, though its reminder system is a solid offering from the productivity giant. Like Google Keep, you can write, record, draw, and more inside of Evernote, easily attaching a reminder or notification to the tab in order to keep track of your to-do lists. Overall, however, we wouldn’t recommend using Evernote for your reminders unless you’re already a die-hard user of the app. The interface can be difficult to learn and adjust to, and despite the app’s overall power, it’s certainly not built for everyone. If you’re looking for a reminder app first and foremost, there are plenty of better options than Evernote that offer a wide variety of features, including device sync, without requiring a paid account.

While we’ve already named Google Keep one of the best reminder apps on Android, not everyone is always on the lookout for dedicated apps for setting their reminders. If you’re looking for something simple, easy to use, and already built into your phone, Google and Google Assistant are all you’ll need to set your reminders. Google’s application is included on nearly every Android phone out there, minus some devices from specific Chinese manufacturers. To set a reminder using Google’s search function, head into your search app (or use the Google search widget on your homescreen) and type “Remind me to,” followed by your reminder. This will create a prompt for your reminders, allowing you to input the reminder right into the app. You can set a specific time and date, and confirm the reminder once you’ve finished typing. This is also possible by using Google’s voice search on your phone, and on phones running Android 7.0 Nougat or above, by pressing and holding the home button to activate Google Assistant. Simply ask your Assistant to create a reminder, and Google will walk you through the rest. The advantage of using Google for your reminders is simple: it syncs over your entire account, including Google Inbox and Google Calendar, making your reminder experience complete throughout your device. Plus, you don’t need to install a new application to use the feature. If you’re looking for a simplistic reminders app, this is the one for you.

Terrible icon aside, Life Reminders is a pretty solid app for keeping track of your reminders. The app divides your reminders into three categories: Active, General, and History. Any archived or completed reminders will be sorted into the history tab, allowing you to keep your active tab clean focused. Unfortunately, the field for entering your own reminders is a bit of a mess, with text entry fields scatter along the display in a confusing and messy layout. It doesn’t help that the app has a permanent banner app at the bottom of the display, taking up screen real estate and making it difficult to read the prompts. You can set reminders to notify you via SMS, email, a basic notification, or even a phone call, making the reminder options far more detailed than what we’ve seen previously.

Once you add a reminder, a couple things happen. It’ll be added to your main list inside the app, sorted by Today, Tomorrow, This Week, and Later. Each reminder will have a countdown in days, hours, and minutes for when the reminder is due, and you’ll be able to snooze and finish reminders from right within the application. These reminders are backed up to your account, allowing you to reload your reminders whenever you need to, though it doesn’t seem that the app features account sync between multiple devices. The app has a Donate button, and presumably donating some cash would remove the banner ads from the bottom of the app, though it’s unclear from the prompt. Overall, the app is a solid offering, but with a lacking visual design and some questionable feature decisions, it’s difficult to recommend over similar apps like Google Keep. Old school Android fans might find a lot to like here, but modern users will want something with a bit more nuance and design.

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