Using Reminders On Your iPhone More Efficiently [iOS Tips]



Reminders is a pretty powerful task list app. While it’s not a full project management suite, it does the ToDo job nicely with an easy to use user interface, location-based notification triggers, and iCloud syncing. In today’s tip, we’ll walk you through the basics of using Reminders app in a more efficient manner than just tapping away and hoping it all works out.

First, we need to create a new reminder. Launch Reminders from your iPhone. Tap the plus button in the upper right corner of the white area. The app will drop to the bottom of your current list and bring up the iOS keyboard. Type in your reminder. You can also just tap into the blank line below the last entry in your list.

When it’s typed in, tap on the Reminder you just created, and the keyboard will slide away. The Details screen will also pop up, where you can set a Reminder date or location trigger by tapping on the Remind Me field. Unfortunately, iPad does not have location-based Reminders. You can also set a Priority and add notes to your reminder here as well. Once finished, tap Done.

Of course, a good task management system should have a way to categorize things. Reminders has Lists, which are groups of reminders put together into categories you define. For example, to create a list of reminders for work, tap the button with the three horizontal lines on it, and then tap the Edit button in the top right corner. Tap on Create New List and type in “Work.” You’ve now created your own list. Tap Done to go back to the main Reminders screen.

Notice the top of the Reminders screen? You can change the view by tapping on the List button to see all of your reminders sorted by list, or you can tap on Date to sort your reminders by date. To switch lists, simply swipe right or left in List view.

When in Date view, a swipe left or right will move one day in the calendar, while a tap and drag along the dates on the bottom will take you to the specific date you stop on. Just like in iCal, you can tap the Today button to take you back to the Reminders for the current date. A Tap on the calendar icon (it replaces the three lines List button in the upper left corner in Date view) will take you to an actual calendar, which can be swiped through as well, though up and down is the way it works in this view.

That should have you up to speed with manually creating Reminders on your iPhone. If you have an iPhone 4S, of course, you can just tell Siri to remind you of what, where, and when you need to do something. The rest of the tip still applies, though, for editing and scheduling of that Reminder.

Got an iOS tip of your own? Need help troubleshooting your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? Drop me a line or leave a comment below.

  • Bobby Autrey

    I don’t get when people make the comment that Siri is a novelty and not very useful. I think it’s one of the best features of the 4S and it’s probably one of my top five most used apps. 

  • JohnMichl

    I agree with Bobby. Siri isn’t perfect but still quite useful. During my morning commute, I frequently send reminders to the Reminder app via Siri while I’m listening to podcasts. When I arrive at my destination, I open OmniFocus and those Reminder app reminders are sucked into OF.  I don’t use Reminders much for task management since I have OF but I do use it for list management so I frequently tell Siri to “Add xxx to my hardware list” or “Add yyy to my apps list” or “Add zzz to my Movies list”. This is extremely helpful for me.

  • ApplePr0n

    Same here. I used to bash Siri but now, I use it daily. Same for the reminders app. I felt i could just ignore it, but now that i’ve tried it, it has become my new calender

  • Kaushalam

    Good Tips. Truly a difficult to develop such apps for iPhone. We would like to build something like this. Can anyone give us an idea?