MacMost Now 620: iCloud Reminders for Mac and iOS

Reminders are calendar events that can be used as to-do items or alerts. They sync between your Macs and iOS devices. They can also be set as location-based alerts on the iPhone. You can use Siri to create new reminders on the iPhone 4S.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 620: iCloud Reminders for Mac and iOS.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today's episode will look at reminders on both the Mac and iOS.
So with iCloud we now have the ability to set reminders on both your iOS devices and on the Mac and they sync between them. And reminders are kind of like alerts that you would put in your calendar. And they're actually part of calendars. But they're a little different. You can do some different things with them. Let's take a closer look.
So here we are in iCal on the Mac. This is the *line and in iCal you've got reminders here on the right. If you don't see it, you can go here to show or hide reminders in the view menu. Now to add a new one you can either double click in this area or you can go to "file," "new reminder" and it'll create one. Now notice this reminder is green here. The check box is green. If I click on reminders, there's a little button there, I can see my different calendars. I can choose which one I'm currently using when I create new reminders. Now I wanna make sure in this case that I'm using my iCloud calendar here, not one that's on my Mac or maybe an old MobileMe calendar or something else. Now if I double click on a reminder I get the information for it and I can change its name. I can change the priority, even what calendar it's part of. I can also set a due date for it and I can set an alert for it. Now I have all the standard things here that I can set for alerts. Let's just do a message with the sound. I can pick the sound and I can set a specific time for the alert to happen. So the reminders themselves have dates but the alerts attached to them actually have times. So now I can see that this reminder is actually due tomorrow or have a future date on there as well, um, and what the reminder is. And I can double click on it to get more information. And that's how you do it in iCal. Now if I'm using iCloud and I sync to my various iOS devices, this reminder will appear there as well.
So in the iPhone when you run the reminders app and in here you can flip between your list the personal, which is the name of the calendar, and completed. Items that are completed. You can also switch to a date view. You can still look at the completed ones, but you can go forward in time so you can set reminders for future days. Press the plus button to create a new reminder. And that's it. Now, ok. Select it and then set a reminder time and date or at a location and I can also have it repeat. I can go into "more" and give it priority and even give it some notes as well. Now notice if I create one in list view, uh, I don't have to assign it a date. You can see it's never set to remind me because I'm not in the date view so I can just create to do lists using this and check them off when they're done. Also I can click there and go between the different lists and I can edit and create a new list here, so. Create a new list just on the iPhone or I can create a new list here in iCloud as well. And if I go to date view I can also view the calendar. Quickly scroll through it so I can set a reminder for a, for a future date.
Now, on the iPhone you can also use Siri. If you have an iPhone 4S. Set reminders. So for instance, I can have it set a reminder for me to take out the trash tonight.
Gary: Remind me to take out the trash tonight at 8 PM.
Siri: Here's a reminder for today at 8 PM.
Gary: Ok, so I've got a reminder.
Siri: Should I create it?
Gary: Yes.
Siri: Ok, I'll remind you.
Great. The reminder is created here and it'll sync to all my devices over iCloud.
Now another cool thing you can do only on the iPhone with reminders is set a location rather than time for a reminder to give you an alert. So you can say at location when you're in the reminder interface and you can also use Siri to do this. You could tell it when you arrive at the location, when you leave, and give it an address or something that's in your new contacts, say, your home. Then it will show the reminder when it detects that you're near or when you've just left that location. Now this won't work on other devices like, for instance, it won't work on your iPad or a Mac. And I think the reason for this is because those devices aren't constantly checking their location like a phone would be. It would be easy to have a reminder like this set on an iPad for instance, even a 3G iPad, but simply never wake it up when you're at the location or passing by it, so it would never give you the reminder because it doesn't realize you were there. So that's probably why it only works on phones.
So there's a quick look at reminders. They're great to use as to do lists. They're great to use as quick little alarms and alerts. You can use them for alarms to wake you up the next morning, for instance, uh, instead of setting something on the clock. Um, and it's great because they sync between all your devices using iCloud. Hope you found this useful. 'Til the next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 14 Responses to “MacMost Now 620: iCloud Reminders for Mac and iOS”

    8 years ago

    I’m finding the location reminder feature very inconsistent. There have been many times where reminders have not come up even when entering the “geo-fence” area.

    8 years ago

    Hey Gary, how is going?
    I’ve never figured out when use this reminders (correct me if this sentence is grammatically wrong please)… Why not use the calendar on the date that you need to do some thing?
    Thanks Gary… and you are doing a great work with this tutorials.

      8 years ago

      Partially organizational. But Reminders don’t have to have a date. And they can be used more like to-do items where you check them off when you complete the item. You can’t do that with events.

    8 years ago

    HI Gary

    I have duplicate entry’s since going to IOS5 , can you please advise on how to delete

      8 years ago

      Duplicate entries of what? Contacts? Events? Chances are you don’t have duplicates at all, but you just have the contacts or calendars account twice in your settings (perhaps once for iCloud, and still the old MobileMe too — or maybe an iTunes sync with “on my Mac” data.)

    Ross Brunson
    7 years ago

    Gary, thanks VERY much for putting this up, I was missing the iCal piece and now I can add reminders from my desktop and just go somewhere with the phone and ipad and it’s all there.

    Great video!

    7 years ago

    How do I change the name of a reminder in the reminder list

      7 years ago

      Select the Reminder to edit it. Then click/tap in the name field and edit the name.

    7 years ago

    Hi Gary
    Thanks for that – very helpful.
    However, although I can add a reminder list on my mac, I cannot add actual reminders in there – I can add reminders to my iCloud list, but not my mac list; what am I missing?
    thanks – sfd

      7 years ago

      You would add reminders to your iCloud reminders list, that’s right. Not sure what you see as the difference between those lists — just add them to the one that supports reminders.

    7 years ago

    Gary, I love reminders and stopped using Think because of the integration with all my devices via iCloud etc. BUT I need just a tad bit more functionality for organizing Reminders on my desktop. The view via iCal is pretty limited. Can’t really sort, and you have to check and uncheck all you Reminder lists if you are just trying to look at one. Any app that adds a bit of functionality but still leaves you in Reminders?

      7 years ago

      How about a Reminders app? All you’ll need to do is wait for Mountain Lion to come out in a few months.

    7 years ago

    hey gary,

    ive followed this but where you say go to File > show/hide reminders in ical i cant see this setting so im stuck at the 1st hurdle :-( can you help me please

      7 years ago

      Which OS are you using? This is from Lion, but it all changed with Mountain Lion which has its own Reminders app.

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