I needed to do a fresh install of iOS 15 in order to do a bit of testing and thought I’d try out some of the built in productivity apps. This got me thinking about the fact the majority of users will just use whatever comes with their phone for notes, calendar and reminders.
In my opinion the Notes and Calendar apps get the job done fine, they do for me most of the time. They aren’t as polished as some third party apps but get the basics right. I use Notes every day, even though it does have it’s issues when you push it (like no way to delete created tags) but I feel it’s the best of the Apple apps.
Calendar is just ok, I use Fantastical so that I have a nicer selection of widgets. I’ve paid once and not on their subscription plan. I wouldn’t pay for it monthly personally and I’d suggest if you can’t use it stick with the slightly sub par Calendar app.
When it comes to Reminders, whilst it’s had some love in the last few years there’s still too many steps to creating a simple repeating reminder. I prefer to use Todoist for this at the moment although I’m currently reviewing my use of it. I don’t like the way it handles overdue tasks right now.
I’d say for 80% of iOS users the built in apps are fine. If you find you have issues then seek out an alternative but it takes edge cases to do this.