MacMost Now 633: Creating Notes and Lists With Siri

You can use Siri like a personal assistant by creating notes simply by speaking. You can create new notes, or even add to existing ones. Siri can also search your notes. In the Reminders app you can create different lists, and then use Siri to add items to that list.

Video Transcript
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at using Siri on the iPhone to create notes and to do lists.
Now, Siri is built as kind of a personal assistant. And one of the basic tasks we envision a computerized personal assistant to do for us is to be able to take notes. Just note when we want to remember something. Note when we want to add something to a list, and just record it for us. Well, you can do that with Siri, although it hasn't got much attention. You could add note, you can even add two notes and you can also add to an existing list in your reminders app.
So I'm going to start off with no notes and I'm going to use Siri to add one. Say I want to keep track of an expense. Note that I spent 30 dollars today on office supplies. (Noted). And you can see that it will add it and put a little note there. I can tap on it and it will take me to the Notes app and I can see that note. It's the only note I have right now.
Now you can also use this to record ideas and then search for them later. Like this. Note that I have this new idea for a poker game. (Here's your note).
Now normally I'd have something a little more detailed, but it's just an example so later on, say I want to search for that note. Show me that note about poker. (OK. I found this note). And the great thing is, if you have multiple notes about the same thing, it'll find them all for you, so you can say record ideas for books that you want to buy or other ideas and it will show you a whole list, or just for expenses and then ask it to show you notes about expenses.
Now you can create notes and then add to them, like this. Create a shopping list note. (Noted). So now I have this note that it's titled Shopping List and that's the first line. I can add to it. Add milk to my shopping list note. (OK. I made the change to your note). Add bread to my shopping list note. (I've updated your note). And whenever you just want to see your note, Show me all my notes. (Here are all your notes). And now I can tap on the one that I want to see.
Now in the reminder's app, each reminder is an item in the list. You can look at all of your lists in the reminder's app and create new ones. Once you've created them, you can use Siri to add things to it. So, let me create a new list in my iCloud account for ideas. It's going to be an Ideas list. Now I'll go to Siri and I'll add something to it. Add poker game to my ideas list. (OK. I can add this to your ideas list and reminders. Poker game. I've added it). Add Mahjong to my ideas list. (OK. I can add this to your ideas list and reminders. I've added it).
Now when I go to my reminder's, I can look at the lists, look at ideas, and see them there. So you can do anything. Shopping lists, reading lists, anything that you want to add items to very quickly using Siri you can do that way.
So to get the most use out of this, there's a little bit of set-up. You want to create a few lists of some things where you may want to record some items. And you also want to think about, when you create notes, whether you want to create a new note or create a note that you can add items to. And you want to also think about where you want those notes to be. Whether you want them to be just on your iPhone or as part of iCloud and then you want to make sure, of course, that you check those notes and that to do list later on, as well.

Comments: 11 Responses to “MacMost Now 633: Creating Notes and Lists With Siri”

    Akiva Gordon
    11/19/11 @ 5:40 pm

    How do you create a list of reminders only on the iPhone? In other words, I want a list on my iPhone that does not sync with iCloud and iCal, but I cannot figure out how to do it. At 2:45 of this video, it seems that you have that option.

      11/19/11 @ 6:19 pm

      In the Reminders App, go to your list of lists (press three lines button at upper left). Then Edit. Then Create New List under the “On My iPhone” section.

        Akiva Gordon
        11/19/11 @ 11:22 pm

        Right, I saw you do that in the video, but I don’t have those sections available. It is just a list of my lists, all of which are on my iCloud. I would like to add a local iPhone list, but I don’t seem to have that section under which to do it. Is there something I don’t have correct in the Settings?

          11/20/11 @ 7:41 am

          Perhaps it is because you don’t have a non-iCloud (local) calendar? Try creating a new calendar that is a local one (on my Mac/on my iPhone) instead of an iCloud calendar. You may need to do so on your Mac or PC and sync it to your iPhone, not sure off-hand.

    Shireen
    11/24/11 @ 9:01 am

    Thanks for doing this tutorial. I did use Siri last week to make a grocery list but took me a little while to figure out how. Your video really simplified things for me.
    I would love to see more videos on what Siri can do.

    Mike
    11/30/11 @ 9:27 am

    Tried the Siri shopping list. When I shop with a PostIt Note list, I can cross off the stuff I have bought as I walk through the store. I can’t get Siri to delete or strike-through an item. Any suggestions?

    eldridge
    12/24/11 @ 11:35 am

    How can you get the Iphone 4s to tell you the elevation(altitude) of a place that you are or an address you are going to? Thanks..

      john
      2/7/12 @ 12:15 pm

      for things like elevation, or even complicated math equations, you can use Siri’s integration with Wolfram Alpha.

      just say “Wolfram what is the elevation of Boulder, Colorado?” and itll give you the data. you can also say “wolfram elevation of my current location”

        Milton Pope
        2/8/12 @ 10:39 pm

        “Wolfram elevation of my current location” doesn’t work. But there’re plenty of elevation apps in the App Store.

    Michael McPherson
    11/14/12 @ 11:55 am

    For my personal budgeting I would like to be able to fill out a spreadsheet or some budget software using voice commands. For example ” add $43.50 to entertainment November 16. ” any ideas or suggestions?

      11/14/12 @ 12:03 pm

      I don’t know of anything that would do this. But an app developer could make an app that did it. It is technically possible. Whether there is a big enough market for it and a developer is willing to take it on is another matter.

Comments Closed.