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PHIL SIMON

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The Notification Struggle Is Real

You'd think that receiving relevant in-app alerts would be easy—and you'd be wrong.
Oct | 27 | 2023

Earlier this week, I wrote about my struggles to get Notion to stop sending me irrelevant notifications. As it turns out, my travails aren’t limited to my favorite low-code/no-code tool.

Todoist Travails

For nearly a decade, I’ve been using Todoist to track my productivity and for light project management. For the third time in the past five years, though, the desktop app has inexplicably stopped sending me desktop alerts when tasks are due. I opened yet another ticket a few days ago. As of this writing, crickets.

Not surprisingly, Todoist recently hopped on the über-popular AI train. Here’s a screenshot of its new AI Assistant:

If given the choice, I’ll opt for the Notion issue.

My Todoist issue is the opposite of my Notion one. The latter tells me that I have to complete things that I’ve already completed; the former fails to tell me that tasks are due. (To be fair, Todoist alerts still work as expected on its iPhone and Apple Watch apps.)

Simon Says

Software breaks. I get it. Regression testing isn’t perfect. If given the choice, I suspect that most users will gladly opt for the Notion issue, but why should they have to choose? Is it unreasonable to expect a product’s basic features to consistently work?

Evidently, the answer is yes. At least to me, fancy AI features can be beneficial, but they aren’t nearly as important as ensuring that a product’s basic building blocks don’t routinely crap out.

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