There are Bluetooth trackers and GPS chips to help us locate missing items. But Don’t Leave It!, a recent iOS-only app, takes a preventative approach. The free app reminds you not to forget something.
Let’s say you’re notorious for leaving home for the gym without your earbuds. While at home, choose the ‘earphones’ icon in the app. Choose the distance, from 30 to 240 feet, at which you want to be reminded. Anytime you move beyond that distance (with iPhone in tow, of course), the app will send you a reminder about your earphones.
Don’t Leave It! uses the iPhone’s GPS to know when you’ve moved away from a location. Cleverly, if the GPS signal is too weak, the app will instead gauge how far you’ve gone via the iPhone’s motion coprocessor data (which acts like a built-in Fitbit, in essence).
And that’s pretty much it. Don’t Leave It! is extremely focused in features and easy to use. And it sends reminders to your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Only one reminder at a time
But there are a few downsides.
For one thing, you can only be reminded about one object at a time. If you want to be reminded to take your wallet when you leave home, you’ll have to cancel that earbuds reminder. Given that Don’t Leave It! doesn’t talk to sensors on devices, how would it know what you’re leaving behind, exactly? It can’t. All it knows is that you’re moving beyond the “geofence” you set up, so you need a reminder.
What’s more, you’ll receive a reminder whenever you step out of your designated zone, even if you have the item you want to be told not to forget. Again, without sensor interactions, the app has no way of knowing if you’ve got the item or not.
Don’t forget about Apple’s Reminders app
And you don’t need Don’t Leave It! to create location-based reminders. Apple’s Reminders app can already do that for you. For example, you could create a reminder in Apple’s app, “Don’t forget earbuds”; select “Location”; choose home, current location, or someplace else; then choose to be pinged “When I Arrive” or “When I Leave.”
But Don’t Forget It! streamlines the process, especially with “Quick Alert.” This feature is useful for setting a reminder to, say, pick up your umbrella when you leave a restaurant. I also like the ability to fine tune the range at which you’ll receive a reminder, which Apple’s Reminders app doesn’t provide.
Though Don’t Forget It! is free, it contains ads—but you can remove them for a one-time, in-app purchase of $1.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.