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Mountain Lion 101: Reminders and Notes

Two more iOS apps that made their way to OS X Mountain Lion are Reminders and Notes. Let's take a quick look at how both of the new apps work on the Mac and how they integrate with their iOS counterparts.

Reminders

Reminders is one of the iOS apps that I was waiting for on OS X, and now that it's here I am dumping my many other to-do apps. Why? Well, it's not that I don't like buying a lot of apps, but if I can get something that is integrated into my operating systems and free, I'm going to go for it.

The OS X Reminders app looks a lot like the iPad version in landscape orientation, but there are some differences. The iOS version has a list of Completed reminders; that's not visible on the Mac version.

One of the big advantages about having Reminders on all of your Apple devices is that adding, editing, or removing a reminder on one device synchronizes the changes to all devices. The sync times vary depending on how busy things are, but I've usually seen updates on all devices within a few minutes.

Clicking on the info "i" for any reminder allows you to edit the details, including visual/alert reminders and geofencing. I love being able to look up an address for a place in Safari, then pasting that location into the "custom location" field so that I'm reminded of something on my iPhone when I arrive there.

Mountain Lion 101 Reminders and Notes

While many OS X users may bemoan the simplicity of Reminders, that's what I personally love about it. I plan on using this app with the iOS counterpart a lot.

Notes

Unfortunately, Apple decided to make the Notes app for Mountain Lion look a lot like the iOS version. It uses the same mock legal pad, the same default Noteworthy Light font, and is pretty minimalistic in nature. On the plus side, that makes the Notes app extremely easy to use. You'll get a "notebook" for every email account that you enable in the "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars" System Preference -- checking the "Notes" box adds that feature to a particular account.

Mountain Lion 101 Reminders and Notes

For simplicity, I chose to disable all except iCloud, so that's where all of my notes are. Or should I say, were. I had some notes that were associated with a specific Gmail account that I am no longer using. This morning, I saw them. Later, they were gone, because I had deleted that Gmail account. Having one account for notes makes life a lot easier.

As with Reminders, synchronization of Notes is crazy fast -- if you don't see an update immediately, close out of the app on another device and then re-open it, and it will reflect any changes you've made on the Mac.

I found a bit of a bug with Notes, however. As I was trying to write a long note on the Mac, Notes kept showing an "Updating" message in the title bar of the note, and it would lose my insertion point. Others were not seeing the issue, so perhaps it is a conflict with another app I have running.

Still, Notes for OS X is going to make it easy to use an iPhone or iPad equipped with Siri as a dictation device, and then transfer the text to a Mac automatically.

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