Apple Reminders

Apple Reminders for the iPad


  • Free
  • Minimalist
  • Hourly reminders
  • Collaborate on lists
  • Detailed subtasks


  • Can’t attach files
  • No recycle bin
  • One URL per task


Rating: 8 out of 10.

Reminders is a free, simple, to-do, Get Things Done app from Apple. It comes preinstalled on your device. Before looking for a planning app, why not try this one first.

Creating A New Reminder

At the bottom left corner (of the bigger column) the app has a plus icon for adding a New Reminder. You can then name it and the top of your keyboard has icons to:

  • Pick a date, time and repeating schedule.
  • Add a location
  • Flag it
  • Add a photo from your camera, Photo Library or Scan Document.

The information icon, which Apple calls the inspector icon, shows more details to add to your Reminder. You can add notes and a URL to your reminder. Reminders will send you notifications:

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

Date-Based Reminders

You can set a date and time for your task. Your reminder can be set to repeat:

  • Never
  • Hourly
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Fortnightly
  • Monthly
  • Every 3 months
  • Every 6 months
  • Yearly
  • Custom
    • Frequency:
      • Hourly
      • Daily
      • Weekly on specific days
      • Monthly on a specific date or day (first Sunday/ third Wednesday)
      • Yearly on specific months and days of the month.
    • Every sets the number of days/weeks, etc between your repeats. So it could be every 2 weeks, every 5 months.

Finally, you then decide when the repeat should end under End Repeat:

  • Repeat Forever
  • End Repeat Date. It would help to have the option to end the repeat after a certain number of cycles when you’re not too sure of your dates.

Natural Language Support

You can use time phrases like tomorrow, next month, next week and the app will set the dates for you. That is our natural language and it’s great the app recognises that. Reminders also recognises phrases like every day, every week and every month and when it doesn’t, you can make tiny adjustments. It’s better than creating everything from scratch. 

Location-Based Reminders

When you tap Location, you can enter an address or pick a saved one from your iPhone, e.g, home, university, work and mom’s place. You can then decide whether you receive a notification on Arriving or when Leaving that address. There’s also an option to get a reminder when you are Getting in Car or Getting out of Car

Messaging-Based Reminders

You can set reminders for when you are messaging someone in Messages. Choose Person from your Contacts

What Else Can You Add To Your Reminders?

You can flag important tasks that require your immediate attention. Apple Reminders adds it to your Flagged smart list at the top of the left sidebar. You can set priorities for your tasks: None, Low, Medium and High. Exclamation marks on the title indicate the priority levels on your tasks.

You can create sub-tasks in reminders. Some projects need breaking down into smaller chunks. The app will show you the number of sub-tasks for each reminder. You can add details to your subtasks now, all the details you have in your main task. Therefore, your subtasks can be as detailed as your main task

You can add images to your tasks by taking a photo, scanning documents or from your photo library. We managed to add 13 photos before we got tired. What are the chances you will need more than 13 photos for your reminder.

You can create reminders from other apps: App Store, WhatsApp, Messages, Apple Notes, etc.

Creating Lists

You can Add List on the bottom right corner of the sidebar and name it. The app then gives you options to choose the colour and icon you want from sixty options. If the available icons don’t work for you, you can use an emoji instead. You can even use the emojis for your list names. Tap Done to create the list when you’re happy with your options.  

Three-Dots Icon

The three-dots icon on the top right corner of the list has options to: 

  • Change Name & Appearance 
  • Share List to collaborate or Manage Shared List if you’re already collaborating. Managing a list basically means you can add more people to the collaboration.
  • Select Reminders (multiple) to:
    • Reschedule or add a date
    • Move them to a different list
    • Delete them
    • Three-dots icon to Mark as Completed or Flag them.
  • Show completed
  • Delete List  

As you complete your tasks, they disappear from your list. It’s refreshing because your reminders don’t get cluttered. You can choose to see the completed tasks if you want. 


Smart Lists

Apple Reminders, like most planning apps, has only one screen that doubles as your workspace and homepage; a true definition of minimalism. Starting from the top left corner, you have your Smart Lists showing the number of tasks you have to do:

  • Today 
  • Scheduled
  • All (regardless of their deadlines)
  • Flagged
  • Assigned

All shows all the tasks in the app, which gives you a rough idea of how many items you need to do. Flagged are those to-do tasks that require your immediate attention. Scheduled shows all the reminders on your app that have a date, no matter when it is. Your Today shows the reminders scheduled for today.

You can Edit to decide what smart lists show on your sidebar. Tick the lists you want on your sidebar and untick the ones you don’t want. This also allows you to rearrange your lists.

My Lists

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

  • Groups
    • Lists
      • Tasks
        • Sub-tasks

Apple Reminders is a powerful Get Things Done app that syncs across your devices if you like the Apple ecosystem. 

Any thoughts? Do tell, do tell!