14 Tips To Get the Most From Mac Reminders

The Reminders app is a simple way to store to-do items, reminders and lists. You can get more out of it by knowing how to use some features like priorities, location alerts, sorting, and multiple windows. Check out these tips to become a pro at using Mac Reminders.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: 14 Tips To Get the Most From Mac Reminders.

You're probably already using Reminders for lots of things on your Mac. But here's some helpful tips to help you get more out of it. For instance, when you create a new reminder you don't have to set the time separately. For instance if I were to create one called Meeting I can click the i button here, click on a day, and then set a specific date and time. But I could also do this. I could hit the Plus button and then I could just simply type, with regular language, and give it a time. Like meeting tomorrow at 3 pm. Notice how it converts it to Meeting and the time is set. Tomorrow at 3:00 PM. I can look at information and see that is exactly what's set.

Now if you have scheduled things in several reminders' lists it may be useful to actually see all of them together. You can click the Scheduled item here on the left. It only appears if you have some scheduled events. You can see I've got three different things scheduled and they're obviously coming from different Reminder's lists so it's nice to be able to see them all together.

In addition you've got this handy calendar down here on the bottom left. You can turn that on or off with View, Show/Hide Calendar. You can jump to any date here to see just the items that are due that day. You can see these little dots underneath the calendar dates that have events and reminders scheduled for that day. So, for instance, for today I've got none so there's no dot there. But tomorrow there's two so there's a dot under it.

You can also set Priorities for Reminders. So going back into here you can click on i here and in addition to the On a day for setting a time we can also set a Priority. So you can do Low, Medium, High, or None. Once you've set a priority for something, so let's set that one to High, you'll see it's got a symbol next to it. In this case three exclamation points for the highest one. Then I can sort by those. So I can go to View, Sort By, andI can sort by Priority. So I can always put the higher priority one at the top.

I can go back to Manual sorting. Manual sorting actually allows me to drag and drop these items. It's best to grab just to the left of the circle. I can drag them to any order I want. I can sort by something like the Title and it will sort them. If I go and sort by Manual it remembers the order that I moved them to.

Now in addition to viewing scheduled items I can also view completed ones. It may not be obvious how to do this at first but if you are to drag down with two fingers on the trackpad, or one on a magic mouse, you can reveal an item above the top item here and it says, for instance, five are completed from this list. I can hit Show and it shows the completed items. The same thing for Scheduled. I can show all the completed scheduled items. This list may be very long if you've completed a lot of items.

There's more that you can do with a reminder than simply having a quick piece of text as the title. You can also add a note. So when I click i for information here you can see I have this note area. I can add a lot more text in here. You can see it actually appears there underneath. This is great for having a title for a reminder item and then having more information like people's names, phone numbers, and all that in a note rather than having a very long title.

You can also Share a reminder's list. So for instance Shopping list here you notice if I move my cursor over it there's this symbol that appears. If I click that symbol I can hit Share With and I can enter in the Apple ID for someone else. So I can share, say, the shopping list with my wife. We'll both see this Reminder's List on our Macs and our iPhones and we can add and remove items from it. It's very handy to do whether it's a work situation or something like this for personal or home use.

Now using this Plus button or simply clicking down below the last item and entering text isn't the only way to enter a new item. You can also ask Siri. So, the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to see what the default list is. I'll go to the Reminders Default List and I'll see it's set to To Do. So let's go to the list named Reminders which is this one. Now I can use the keys on my keyboard or the Siri button on my Mac to ask Siri to add a new item. Remind me to check my bank balance tomorrow at 10 am. Okay I'll remind you. You can see it added to that Reminders List. There it is with the time and everything.

You can also setup a location reminder instead of or in addition to a time reminder. So you can give it an address from your Contacts List. You can use things like home or work as well. This works with your iPhone to give you a notification when you're actually at that location.

Now there's things that you can do with the lists themselves. You just need to know that you Control click on them to do things. Control clicking will allow you to rename or delete a list. You can also complete all the reminders in the list at once. You can also open a list in a new window. So you can have multiple windows open. This window can be showing my shopping list and this window is my reminders list. I can bring up my To Do list as well. So you can have as many of these windows as you want. You can see them listed all here under Window at the bottom. You can always get to the main one by using the keyboard shortcut Command 0 to bring that up.

You can also drag and drop between lists in this mode. So I can drag the buy bread over to the shopping list pretty easily. But you can do it without any additional windows as well. Under the Reminders List I can drag buy bread over to Shopping just by dragging it over to the left.

Comments: 11 Responses to “14 Tips To Get the Most From Mac Reminders”

    1 year ago

    Useful tips. Thank you Gary

    12 months ago

    Are all these steps the same for the iPad and iPhone?

    Can you share a list with more than one person?


    12 months ago

    Karl: No, not quite. I was just focusing on the Mac app in this video. But feel free to explore each tip in the iOS app and see. As for sharing, yes, you can share with many.

    12 months ago

    Most useful in Reminders is the “Custom” repeat to use for things that occur on the same day ( e.g., fourth Tuesday) of each month.

    Roger Mann
    12 months ago

    This app has a major flaw. I want to see “Black Panther” Sunday at 6:15PM. I want to buy my tickets in advance on Friday at 11:00 AM. I set a reminder for Friday 11:00 AM to “Buy tickets for Black Panther Sunday 6:15PM”. This reminder is not set for Friday but is set for Sunday at 6:15, so I will forget to buy my tickets. I know there are complicated work arounds, but this is a stupid convention.

    12 months ago

    Roger: How would you suggest it work, though? In cases like this, it is probably best to simply ignore this shortcut and do it as you would if the shortcut didn’t exist.

    jOe JuliAno
    12 months ago

    Reminders on the iMac? I didn’t even know I had it. I don’t think it is any more useful than
    Calendar appointments. Seems a redundancy, but as always your explanations and demos are very interesting to watch, even if I don’t take advantage of all your expertise. Thank you.

    12 months ago

    How do you set the way you get the reminder. I set the reminders, but never hear them, so I use my calendar for everything.

    12 months ago

    jennifer: You get notifications. You control how you get those on your Mac in System Preferences, Notifications. Look for Reminders on the left sidebar. Then you can choose from many options.

    12 months ago

    Roger Mann
    Say “set a reminder for Friday at 11am to buy tickets for Black Panther SHOWING Sunday at 615pm.” I did this and it works fine, it sets it up for Friday at 11am and not Sunday at 615pm. Hope this helps.

    Anne Burke
    12 months ago

    Thank you once again Gary for this tutorial. I use reminders all the time on my iPhone etc & now I can really get fun use out of it on my Mac. Bless you.

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