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Location Based Reminders

One thing I have always found strange about all the "To Do" type apps that I've tried is that they never seem to fully take advantage of, or properly implement location based alerts. 

For many of us creating task lists is the easy part. Remembering to do the things on those lists when we're going about our day is another story. I have been testing out this new app for a few hours and I can already tell that the location based reminders are severely lacking.

Here are what I consider to be the current issues with how it is implemented, and my ideas for improving on them.

1. Location Based Carrots

Problem:

It seems that the app does not allow you to tag the list, but only the items in the list. 


So, imagine creating a grocery list (one of the main things I think people use task list apps for). You add in all your items and head out the door. The problem is that the app seems to only allow you to set a location based reminder on the individual items, not the grocery list. 

This makes no sense in this use case. Why would I assign alerts to items that are part of a bigger task? The items (especially on a grocery list) are constantly changing, but the "get groceries" is always the same.

Solution:

Allow users to assign a location to the overall list and not just items. There are many use cases in which I can see this being useful. The main one is obviously shopping where you have multiple items to search for in one store. Another would be if your job requires you to go to different locations that have different tasks. 

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2. Area of Effect

Problem:

Imagine you are on your way to a friends house for a night of high fives and board games. You show up at the front door and your friend says, "Uhhh, where are the chips?"


You look at your Todo app and realize that because you didn't drive specifically to the store, the app didn't remind you. 

Solution:

The app should allow users to set "Areas" like I have seen in other apps where if you pass within a certain distance, the app will remind you. Other apps I've seen have allowed the user to adjust this distance as needed.


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3. Google Maps

Problem:

I have an iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Pro. If I add a task (pick up cat from vet), on the iPhone, I can use the fancy Google map interface to manually drop a pin, type in the address manually, or choose from contacts. Awesome!

However, if I am on the iPad, there is no such option...at all. So I can't choose from my contacts, or even manually add in an address. 

Heading over to the web, the only option I have is to manually type in an address. This requires me to open Google maps or my address book, find the address, then manually copy and paste it. I have no idea from that point if the software found the right address or not. 


Solution:

These apps need to be consistent and easy to use. When I am on any of my devices I should be able quickly add a location based alert without having to switch apps, or manually open other apps/programs first. 


Ideally, the "@Grocery Store" context feature would have a location attached to it since many times those have locations that stay consistent. If this isn't possible I should at least have the same functionality on all the devices as the iPhone version has.


Manually adding in addresses is not fun.


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4. Ding?!

Problem:

This isn't really a location based alert issue, but it is related. I have complained about this since I first tried this app over two years ago.


The problem is that when I used the app before, the default sounds for alerting me just aren't effective. I never heard them. So while it is awesome to have a location based alert, it doesn't help if I only notice the alert when I'm sitting at home in my bed instead of at the store.


Solution:

This app needs to add the ability to choose custom alerts from my phone. If for some reason this isn't possible, at least let me choose an MP3 file or something so I can create an MP3 version of an alert that works for me. 


Regardless, I think this needs a better solution. 


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So, those are my thoughts about the current state of location based reminders in this app. While it is awesome that they're even available, I think they need to be revisited. 


Task lists are awesome and this app is one of the best I've seen for creating them, but they're only good if you can remember to do them. Setting times and dates are great, but don't help when you need to be little more flexible.


I appreciate you taking the time to consider my suggestions.


Jeff


3 people like this idea

Also; when using dates/times with a task and a location the date is not currently bound to the location alert.


I would like to be able to receive a location alert but only if the date of the task is relevant

This would be an incredible implementation of location based task management. Very well thought out.
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