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Apple Reminders

Reminders is a simple and free planning app from Apple. It comes preinstalled on your device. Before looking for a planning app, why not try this one first.

 The homepage

Reminders has only one page that is your app’s working window as well as its homepage; a true definition of minimalism. 

Starting from the top left corner, you get to see the number of tasks you have to do:

  • today 
  • scheduled ones
  • All (regardless of their deadlines)
  • Flagged

Under all, you see all the tasks in the app, giving you a rough idea of how many items you need to do. Flagged tasks are those that require your immediate attention. They are the tasks you have flagged to stand out. 

Organisation

Under My Lists, you can organise your tasks as groups or lists. Groups are a collection of lists. You can have groups for work and personal life. A list is a group of tasks/reminders. They can either be in a group or exist independently. Tasks can have sub-tasks

  • Groups
    • Lists
      • Tasks
        • Sub-tasks

Creating lists

When creating a list, you can choose the icon you want from sixty options. The icons are not very intuitive. You will probably struggle to find icons you would instinctively prefer for daily use. For example, if you were to create a to-do list, you might think of using a checkbox icon. But it’s not present amongst the sixty available options. Hopefully, Apple can add more icons. 

You can also choose the colour you want for your list, name it and tap done to create the list. 

Setting reminders

In your list, the bottom left corner has a plus icon to add a New Reminder. Name it something you’ll remember, then tap on the information icon to add more details. You can add notes and a URL to your reminder. 

You can decide when you want to be reminded of this task. Reminders will notify you: 

  • on a specific date and time
  • at a location of your choice
  • when messaging someone 

Remind me on a day

Under Alarm, you can choose the date to be reminded of the task. You can pick a time for it under remind me at a time. You then set the time under Alarm

You can set a reminder to repeat; never, hourly, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, every 3 or 6 months and yearly. You can also set your own repeating schedule under custom. Finally, you can decide when the repeat should end (End Repeat). E.g, you can set a reminder to repeat every day for a year

You can use time phrases like tomorrow, next month, next week and the app will set a date for you. It is that special something added to your user experience in the app. Reminders also recognises phrases like every day, every week, every month. When the app doesn’t get it right, you’ll can make tiny adjustments. It’s better than creating everything from scratch. 

Remind me at a location

When you tap Location you can: 

  • Enter the address 
  • Pick an address if you have some saved on your iPhone, e.g, home, university, work, mom’s place

There’s also an option to get a reminder when you are getting in the car or getting out of the car

Remind me when messaging 

You can set reminders for when you are messaging someone. Choose Person from your contacts. It works with iMessage. 

What else can you add to your reminders?

You can flag your tasks if they are that important. The task gets added to your flagged tasks at the top of the left sidebar. You can set priorities for your tasks: none, low, medium and high. Exclamation marks at the beginning of the title indicate priority levels on your tasks. You can move the task to another List. 

You can create sub-tasks in reminders. Some reminders need breaking down into smaller chunks that you tackle and tick off. The app will show you the number of sub-tasks for each reminder. 

You can add images to your tasks by taking a photo, scanning documents or from your photo library.

Options for your list

The three dots at the top of the list have options to: 

  • Change Name & Appearance 
  • Add people to collaborate
  • Delete List 
  • Select Reminders (multiple) to move them to another list or delete them. 
  • Show completed 

Your completed tasks disappear from your list. It’s refreshing and ensures your reminders don’t get clustered. You can see the completed tasks if you want to though. 

It is easy to create reminders from other apps: Appstore, WhatsApp, iMessage. Reminders is a powerful planning app. It’s free, minimalist, very intuitive, and it syncs across your devices seamlessly if you’re in the Apple ecosystem. 

Updates

Changes in iPadOS14

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