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Reminders Needs Reminding to Sync

I've noticed a very annoying habit that Apple's Reminders app has developed on the iPad and iPhone. I use Fastmail to handle my calendar and reminder list needs, and no matter what settings I select for synching I have to open the app on either device and leave it open to get any update to take place. If I don't do that, I'm faced with reminders that I've already completed, often from several days ago.

I'm not sure if this is just Reminders not working as well on my now-elderly devices (iPhone SE, iPad Mini 4), or it not wanting to play nice with Fastmail. Whatever the cause, it's super annoying and is forcing me to reconsider how to manage reminders. I don't really want to sign up for Todoist again, or another GTD service, as they are overkill for my rather modest needs.

It has gotten to the point where I'm looking at using a paper planner for next year — that would have the advantage of being authoritative, albeit somewhat bulkier. But it also wouldn't be subject to the vagaries of devices and networks.

Is Apple telling me it's time to return to analogue task-management?

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