Directive review: Reminder app designed with home and auto needs in mind

Stay up to date on routine home and automobile maintenance to reduce the need for costly emergency repairs and provide peace of mind.

Credit: LittleFin

Although I love Fantastical, there are tasks on my to-do lists that would be better served by a different kind of app. Reminders for recurring household and automotive maintenance chores like changing furnace filters, having the septic tank pumped, or scheduling annual eye exams and dental cleanings are just a few of the important services that are easy to be overlooked when intermixed with unrelated one-time tasks.

These are exactly the type of reminders Directive was created for. Free to download and use for up to ten maintenance tasks on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, the app comes preconfigured with more than 30 of the most common, repetitive chores faced by those who own a home or automobile.

directive mac main view LittleFin

Directive makes it easy to keep track of recurring maintenance tasks that would otherwise clutter up your to-do list app. (Mac version shown here.)

Directive can’t perform the actual task for you, but it’s easy to add new tasks, customize the name, assign a category (home, office, et al), when the maintenance was last completed, and how frequently it should be performed in just a few clicks. You can even add details specific to each task—great for remembering which size furnace filter you need to buy, or what your car’s proper tire pressure should be.

directive iphone detail view LittleFin

Mark as complete, postpone to a later date, or use one-tap actions to reorder parts and schedule service when it comes due. (iPhone version shown here.)

Directive also allows assigning one-click actions to each task. These can be used to reorder parts on Amazon (or another online store), initiate a call to the doctor’s office or service center, and find the nearest location based on task name. While you can add custom categories and details, only nine actions are available in the current version.

Pro plan

Directive displays upcoming tasks as a list sorted by next due date. Overdue tasks appear in red under Due Soon, along with those that fall within the range set in preferences: Due in One Week, Two Weeks, 30 Days, or Today. There are optional alert reminders, and when a task comes due, you can either mark as complete or postpone to a later date (one week or one month).

For those who need to keep tabs on more than ten maintenance tasks, developer LittleFin offers an optional recurring Pro subscription for just $3 per year. This allows users to add an unlimited number of tasks, as well as cloud sync to keep all your devices on the same page.

Directive Pro also enables setting custom repeat intervals for when the eight default monthly and annual options aren’t enough. Unfortunately, there’s no way to create non-repeating tasks, so any one-time maintenance reminders will have to stay on your regular to-do list for now.

directive ipad create new LittleFin

Creating new “directives” (i.e., maintenance tasks) is easy with the preconfigured home and auto options available. (iPad version shown here.)

Bottom line

Directive is a handy, inexpensive way to keep recurring maintenance tasks off your normal to-do list.

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J.R. Bookwalter
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