They’re super helpful if you manage them, not allowing them to mis-manage you.
I have two different reminder apps – one which is time-based (Due) for items that are urgent or need doing at a specific time, the other is a tickable list (ToDoIst). I actually have three reminders in Due to nudge me to check ToDoIst throughout the day, such is my memory!
The first reminder is a review of what’s on the list. When I’m setting myself up in the morning, the first priority is to look at what’s ahead and decide what’s appropriate to do today and what’s not. Before I introduced this review, I’d be looking to pick off things that were easiest, just to get the list down. I’d also overlook a number of items because I hadn’t taken a conscious decision to do them today – they were just on the list and would be tomorrow, too.
The review makes sure I remove or postpone items in line with today’s priorities and not those of when I put the item on the list. If something has cropped up that top trumps all the thing on the list, I get it on there too! If a list isn’t managed in this way, it becomes a distraction or a safe haven for easy activity that isn’t really taking you where want to go.