This article is an op-ed (not a how-to guide).
Every so often (more often than I care for), I get a question about Reminders/Notifications. "Is there a reminder for __________? How do I set up automatic reminders for ___________?" and so on. Well, here is my humble opinion: use the Dashboard!
Take upcoming Renewals for example. There is an option to send emails out to the insured, but the agent/CSR should look at the dashboard widget for (upcoming) Renewals in order to keep track of them. This is your Renewals "gauge". View it often!
We can easily set up pop-up notifications, emails, and/or reminders for any event, but if we did that for ALL such events, then users would get buried in reminders. This would lead to users becoming desensitized to the deluge of "reminders/notifications," meaning that reminders will become less and less effective and even meaningless. This is why we have a Dashboard.
Your Dashboard is very similar to your vehicle's dashboard. It is not beeping at you every time you accelerate/decelerate 5 miles/hour, or your engine/transmission temperature increases/decreases by 10 degrees, or your RPM increases/decreases by X amount, or burn 10% more/less fuel, etc. Can you imagine how annoying that would be? The whole point of the dashboard is to make sure that the "operator" is informed. The same applies with our dashboard. The information is there. Users just need to remember to look at it.
If a user needs a reminder, then they can set up a single daily reminder, like this: "Look at my Dashboard, look at Renewals, look at Pending Cancels, check my Activity Reminders, look at my Tasks, look at new Carrier Downloads, see if there are any new Quote Requests, check my email, look at my calendar, ... :-)". All items are easily accessible from the Dashboard.
It may just be my personal preference, but these days, with us plugged into several devices and running multiple applications on each device, reminders/notifications can get really out of hand and ruin my "the zone" workflow. :-)
As I said at the beginning, this is just my opinion. It is not science, nor fact.
Have a great day!