A Beginner’s Guide to Mac Reminders

The Reminders app is handy for keeping track of to-do lists, creating alerts, and building idea lists. As a cloud service it syncs with your iPhone and iPad. You can easily add items to Reminders by just typing, or you can use Siri to add items.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: A Beginner’s Guide to Mac Reminders.

The Reminders app is very handy. But if you're new to Mac you may not have started using it yet. So when you run Reminders you may get one of several different views here. You can create multiple lists inside of Reminders.

In this view here I can use the dots at the bottom to go between them. So I've got a list called Reminders. A shopping list, an ideas list, and one called gifts. I can more easily see what I've got if I go to View, Show Sidebar and then I can see them all listed here on the left side. I can jump to them. If I look at Scheduled I'm basically seeing what upcoming reminders I've got.

To add a reminder I can hit the plus button here. I can hit Command N or File New Reminder. The list that is selected is the one the reminder will go into. So I'll just the Reminders list called reminders. I'll add something here like get mild. But I can also add a time. So I can say Get Milk today at 5 pm. It actually translates the at 5 pm to today at 5:00 pm, an actual time. If I hit I there I will get information and it will say this reminder is set for On a Day and it has the specific time. I can change that by clicking on it, so I can change it to 4, change it to 6. I can change the date as you see there. So I can edit it very easily.

Now it's important to realize that there are accounts that have to go through Reminders because Reminders are something that work in the Cloud. So if I go to Reminders, Accounts, it will jump to System Preferences where it shows me I've got an iCloud account and in that iCloud account I can see I've got Reminders turned on.

It is possible to have more than one type of account that uses Reminders. So, for instance, having a gmail account with Reminders and also an iCloud account with Reminders. Notice on the left sidebar I see iCloud and I've got these four lists under iCloud.

So it's important to be aware of where the Reminders list is located. Hopefully it's simple like it is for me and everything is just under iCloud. Which means that these will sync to my iPhone and iPad just without any additional action from me. It just happens automatically. So I'll get the reminder on my iPhone when I'm out today at 6:00 pm to pick up milk.

You can click to select any item in here and hit the Delete key to delete it. You can check it off to show it's completed. When you have a Reminders list that is empty you'll get 6 completed. Show. You can show all the completed items.

There are a lot of other cool options in here for reminders. You don't have to use them for things that actually remind you of a specific time. For instance my Ideas list is where I like to put ideas for future episodes for MacMost. I can just list them here. There's no deadline for any of them. I can check them off when I do each episode. So it's great for keeping ideas. It's great for shopping lists. It's great for reminders where you won't get an alarm but you don't want to add an item to your calendar.

There's all sorts of functionality that you can do with Reminders and create new lists very easily. So create lists to categorize the items that you want to be either to do items or items for ideas and other things. Just play around with the Reminders app and see how you can use it for your tasks.

You can also use Siri with Reminders. So in Reminders you want to set a Default list and then you can use Siri to add items. Remind me to get milk. Okay I'll remind you. You can see it added it automatically. Or I can have Siri add it to a specific list. Add cookies to my Shopping List. I got it in. Now if I look at Shopping List there cookies has been added.

Comments: 9 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Mac Reminders”

    2 years ago

    I use reminders a lot, I’m getting old, LOL. One of my favorite ways to use reminders is to attach a location and distance to it. First you add the location to your address book (ie: Grocery Store) and then in Reminders and Grocery Store to the location field, click on it and set whether you want the reminder when you get close or when you leave and set the distance. You can also set a date but next time you get close to that location the Reminders app will alert you. Really cool!

    Roger Mann
    2 years ago

    If I schedule a reminder for 3:00PM today to “Get milk for Sunday’s brunch” it moves that reminder to Sunday, when I want to be reminded at 3:00PM today which is when I plan to be shopping. How can I prevent reminders from changing the day I have chosen to be reminded? Reminders makes these changes without my permission whenever I put a date in the reminder such as “Invite Jay and Martina to Saturday dinner.”

    2 years ago

    Roger: It is just a matter of either checking to make sure the time is what you want after you add the reminder.

    2 years ago

    On my Reminders, I don’t get the dots at the bottom of page, I tried different views, but none of them had the bottom of the page dots. I’m using MacOS 10.12.6 which I think is the current version.

    2 years ago

    Terry: Not sure what you mean by “bottom of the page dots.” Is there a time in the video above where you see those dots? Let me know where.

    2 years ago

    Set up a location reminder, when you arrive at a store it’ll remind you GRAB BAGS!!
    I always forget and remember once I’m in line at the store.

    John Stires
    2 years ago

    Re Dots: They’re the first thing you discuss. Each reminder page has a dot at the bottom of the displayed page.

    2 years ago

    Terry & John: Ah, those dots. Notice that they are there only when you have the sidebar list hidden. That makes sense, since you don’t need them if you have the sidebar.

    John Stires
    2 years ago

    I switched from Notes to Reminders (mostly for grocery lists) only to discover that Apple doesn’t provide a way to print Reminders. I realize this isn’t a complaint forum but it’s important to know up front that these can’t be printed without cutting & pasting into another app or by using and printing a screen shot. Notes are readily printed. I don’t need to print often but I hope Apple rethinks this. Thnx.

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