Yet Another Way to Push Information to My Phone -- iOS Notes!

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posted July 23, 2015

For a while I was using a web app I wrote using the Pushbullet API to send a reminder to Fantastical on my iPhone from my desktop office computer. This worked well -- I could just type something like Verizon $100 8/1 /bills and hit Send, and after I swiped on a push notification on my phone, "Verizon $100" would be added as a reminder in Fantastical, with an August 1 due date and added to my Bills iOS Reminders list.

However, a couple things happened. First, Pushbullet pushed out many updates, and now the iOS app (at least on my iPhone 4s using iOS 7.x) is virtually unusable. After swiping on a notification, I would not automatically see my latest push and would have to swipe down until I got to it. Horrible user experience.

@kishner Hm, should do this automatically. Sounds like a bug we should look into.

— Pushbullet (@pushbullet) July 6, 2015

Shortly thereafter, Fastmail released a beta of IMAP Notes that syncs with iOS Notes. I am a regular Fastmail user for email, so I decided I'd just send reminders to my phone via Notes.

It goes like this:

  1. Write a note in Fastmail, like todo Verizon $100 8/1 /bills.
  2. Tap on the note in iOS Notes after it has synced with Fastmail.
  3. Go to the share sheet and hit Copy. Delete note.
  4. Open Fantastical. If it detects the clipboard, allow it to use that; otherwise, hit the + to create a new reminder and paste the clipboard contents.
  5. After the reminder has parsed, save it.

I so wish there were a more convenient way to do this. When I'm at my work computer, the only desktop access to my Reminders is via iCloud.com, and frankly having to manually choose a list and use the date picker and all that is more of a hassle than the above steps.