Apple Reminders for the iPad (2023 review)

PROS

  • Free
  • Message-based reminders
  • Hourly repeats
  • Smart list

CONS

  • Restricted to the Apple ecosystem
  • Only attaches images

Rating: 8/10

Pricing & supported OS

Apple Reminders is a free to-do app by Apple that comes preinstalled on your device. It’s available on iOS/iPadOS, and macOS. Its web app is the worst we’ve seen so far. This review focuses on the iPad version of Apple Reminders.

Creating to-dos

Apple Reminders is a minimalist and intuitive app, so it’s easy to create new tasks and add notes to them. You can format your notes to make them bold, italic, and underline. You can even add different kinds of lists and URLs. Sadly, Apple Reminders doesn’t display all your notes if they are too long. Perhaps they should consider adding a word count limit or a scrolling bar so we can read our notes from the list.

The new customisable toolbar in iPadOS 16 lets you add as many images and scans as you like. What are the chances you’ll need to attach more than 10 photos to one task? You can flag your task and add a due date to it. Even better, you can use natural phrases like tomorrow, next month, or next week to quickly set dates for your tasks. It’s fast and convenient, especially when coupled with the iPad’s predictive feature. The accuracy of natural language in Apple Reminders is impressive.

With a bit more time on your hands, you can add more details to your tasks, which includes:

  • URL: Apple Reminders has a dedicated slot for URLs, which only houses one URL. It feels a bit redundant, now that we can add a lot more links to our notes. If you like beautiful thumbnails, and you don’t use a lot of them, maybe it makes sense to use the URL slot. Which one do you prefer?
  • Due date and time: with repeating options that can be as frequent as hourly repeats. Apple Reminders is the only to-do app we know so far, that offers hourly repeats. However, it doesn’t support repeating your tasks, a certain number of days after you’ve completed it. Lastly, you can determine when your repeats end.
  • Tags, flags, and priorities: help you organise your tasks in the app. Priorities in Apple Reminders are easy to understand.
  • List: for your task if it’s in the wrong list. You can quickly move it to the right one.

Location-based reminders

You can set location-based reminders to get notified when:

  • arriving or leaving at specified places
  • getting in or out of the car.

This can be more useful, than date-based reminders, and we love it. If you use it often, you add it to the toolbar for easier access

Message-based reminders

Message-based reminders notify you when messaging someone in Messages. Do you keep forgetting to talk to someone about something important? Quickly set a reminder for it, and be reminded next time you text them. We hope this feature spreads to other messaging apps like WhatsApp, and Telegram (for example).

Subtasks

When a task is complicated, you can create subtasks for it. In Apple Reminders, subtasks can be as detailed as your main task with their own due dates and they can also be location or message based. It is also very easy to convert subtasks into main tasks, and vice versa.

Creating lists

For bigger projects where subtasks won’t cut it, you can create a list. You can then choose a colour and icon for it, to give it character. You can even use emojis if you don’t like the icons. Lists are easy to create and use.

Smart lists

To automate your workflow or organise your tasks better, you can turn a list into a smart one. Smart lists use a lot of filters to group all the tasks in your app. It can help you focus on specific to-dos, without wasting time looking for them. For instance, you can choose to focus on only your flagged tasks that are of high priority. Smart lists have become truly smart, in iPadOS 16, than they were when Apple first introduced them. We are loving them.

Templates

Template lists save time when you have lists you use often. They are easy to create from existing lists and smart lists. Apple Reminders can even copy the completed tasks of the list you are saving as a template. You can quickly access your templates from the top toolbar to create new lists with just a few taps.

Completed tasks

Your to-dos disappear from the list as you complete them, which we prefer. There’s just something satisfying about watching your to-do list shrink with every task you tick off. You can choose to see the completed tasks if you want. Apple Reminders dims them, fills the ‘checkbox’, and moves them to the bottom of the list. We’re still waiting for the app to start striking through completed tasks. It’s the most logical thing for a to-do app.

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