Idea: ubiquitous reminder/"snooze"/scheduling functions (in messaging apps, operating systems, etc, etc.)

The more I think about it, the more I believe that “reminders” and “snoozing” or “scheduling” should be totally ubiquitous, available in and for essentially all apps and services. Rather than - or at least in addition to - having a dedicated task manager/reminder tool, why not take all the apps, docs, etc. that you need for a particular task you have planned for later in the week, and set them up to automatically open on the day and time you intend to work on them? Think about the increasingly popular concept of “tag groups” as an example of this, or the Mac and Windows OS capability of reopening programs after OS restart, but instead of reopening after a simple restart, you can schedule apps, or “snooze” them.

Let’s say you’re working on a project and you know you won’t have time to finish it until tomorrow or a later day. Rather than A: close your app(s) and document(s) and reopen then manually later, or B: leaving them open so they’re ready to go when you do get back to the project (I tend to do the latter :grimacing:), you could just snooze them all and have them pop up right when you need them.

Of course features and tools like “workspace” or “desktop” managers can help with similar problems, but they generally don’t let you actually close the apps, releasing the resources they are taking up on your machine.

And extend it further, too. What about notifications on your phone? I get things like text messages popping up all the time that I can’t deal with at that moment, but do want to respond to. So what do I do? I leave the notification up! Thus cluttering my notifications area. I could instead set a reminder, but that seems like a pretty clunky, “heavy” action just to remind me to reply to someone’s message later. And I’m just unlikely to remember to do it on my own, especially if there are several people I want to respond to. Same goes for notifications from dating apps, and numerous other things.

Going further still, what about proactive management of your relationships/contacts, for example? Say you want to check-in more frequently with a friend who is having a hard time. Some people are good at remembering to do this, some aren’t! What if their contact or text message thread could just pop-up every few days or once a week and remind you?

Ultimately the point is to have the “reminder” not just be an otherwise useless pointer to something you want to do, but to actually be the thing itself. The thing that notifies you also allows you to take direction action on the task because it is the task (or the tool to accomplish the task, at the least). As someone who makes heavy use of task and project management software, I can definitely say that the closer I can get the task to the actual activity I need to do to accomplish the task, the better.

It doesn’t even have to be about something you want to do, either. Another simple example is waking up to music. I can currently do this in a limited way with my Google Home devices, but the control offered for picking and customizing what to play is very minimal and clunky. The same is true of playing music on Android, at least without using an additional 3rd party app. What if I could just schedule a playlist to play at 7AM every day right from my music app?

Various systems and tools already have different examples of these kinds of features, such as Gmail’s “snooze” feature, or Discourse’s own “keep topic unread”, among many others. But it is far from a ubiquitous feature and I think it should be.