As easy to use as a Mac seems to be, it’s important to remember just how complicated it really is. And it’s not just under-the-hood complicated. Our basic OS X applications and utilities can be complicated. How about reminders? Some of us use Stickies. Others use TextEdit documents. Many Mac users dip into iCal for the To Do list and alerts. But what if you just want a simple reminder? Should you be required to fire up iCal or whatever else you’re using? Shouldn’t simple things be built in?
Small is Beautiful
I came across an elegant little utility that seems to adhere to the small is beautiful crowd. MenuMinder is a simple Mac Menu Bar utility which really should be built in to Mac OS X.
In one click you can create a new reminder with an alert. The setup is simple. MenuMinder resides in your Mac’s Menu Bar. Selecting a Reminder or Quick Reminder gets you a pop up dialog box.
Enter the text of the reminder, set the date using a calendar and the clock, click Save. It’s that easy. You’ll get the reminder at the proper time on your Mac.
Wait. There’s More
We live in a more complicated, interconnected, cross ventilation world. If you put a reminder on your Mac does it show up on your cell phone when you’re away from your Mac?
Good question. iCal reminders will sync to your iPhone when you sync, but that doesn’t happen multiple times during the day. MobileMe makes syncing easy, but that’s $100 a year.
MenuMinder has a couple of additional built in features that are a click away. Send your reminder via SMS text messaging, or send it via Email, or both. That’s a reminder with legs.
As simple alarms go, this one is pretty good, and the mobile features are handy, too, especially so if you’re not an iPhone user.
Wait. It Needs More
All this elegant, simplicity, and utilitarian expertise comes with a price tag. Considering the usefulness, it’s nominal. But any price tag requires one more feature set that’s not here.
Why? iCal works well for many Mac users, though it isn’t as elegant and doesn’t have the extra features as in MenuMinder. Still, iCal does more, isn’t difficult to learn, and more Mac users use it than any other similar utility.
Why not have iCal synchronization built in to MenuMinder to ensure that what goes in one comes out on the other? It’s the 21st century already. Apple has moved the cellphone market forward in a big way. Synchronization between products and applications is important.