Mac Context-Based Siri Reminders

With Sierra you can easily ask Siri to set reminders. If you want Siri to remind you of an email, event, contact, message or webpage, you can use the word 'this' to have Siri create a reminder with a link to that content. This can be very useful to remind yourself to get back to something later in the day.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Mac Context-Based Siri Reminders.

In Sierra it's pretty easy to use Siri to remind you of something. You could say Siri remind me to take my pills tonight at 9:00. But did you know you can do it in a context sensitive way.

What I mean by that, is say you are using Safari, and here I am with Safari and I've got a webpage up here and I want to look at this webpage but not until later today. Maybe three in the afternoon. I can ask Siri to remind me of it and I don't have to mention what this is. I can just use the word THIS. So I'm going to hit the Siri button and I'm going to ask Siri to remind me. Siri remind me of this today at 3 pm. OK, I'll remind you. Now look here at the reminder. You can see it says the name of the page and has 3 pm as a reminder. If I look in the Reminders app I can see it has added that to the schedule. You can see it has put a little Safari icon next to it.

So I can actually click on that reminder and it opens up that page. So at 3 pm now I'll get a reminder to check out this page. I click on it and it'll take me to the webpage. Now this could be very useful with email. So, for instance, you get an email message like this that asks me to do something later and it has some information you need there, in this case call somebody at a time. You can with this as the selected message here at the front you can refer to it as THIS and ask Siri to remind you. Remind me about this at 4 pm. OK, I'll remind you. You can see it's got the subject of the email, it's got a little email icon, and if I look under my scheduled things you can see I've got this call me which is the subject of the email and if I were to click on it, it actually would take me to this message. So when I get that reminder later in the day I'll just click on it and it will bring up that message in Mail with the phone number right there and I'm ready to go.

You can use this in a variety of Apple apps. For instance, I've found that it works with Messages to remind of the current conversation. I works with Calendar events. It works with Reminders. It works with Maps. It even works with Notes and also Contacts.

So for instance I can bring up Contacts here, have a contact here at the front, and I can use Siri to remind me, Remind me of this in one hour. OK, I'll remind you. You can see it's a contact it's going to remind me of. So I get that alert in one hour and when I double click on it, when it comes up as a notification, it will bring up that contact and I can remember, yeah I was going to call this person or email them at that time.

I think the key here is to keep it simple. Just use the word THIS. Say remind me of this at a certain time or in an hour or something like that. When you try to get more complex like say remind me of this email, or remind me of this note, or remind me to call this, then you just get a normal reminder. It doesn't link to this email or map or message or anything like that. Just keep it simple.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Mac Context-Based Siri Reminders”

    2 years ago

    This is awesome; thank you for sharing this!!

    Ron Londner
    2 years ago

    Great post as always. Will this work only in a Mac computer or can I use it in an iPad/iPhone device?

    Jim Bakker
    2 years ago

    When I ask Siri to remind me about an email, she doesn’t recognize the word “this”. She asks me to tell her what I want to be reminded about.

    2 years ago

    Ron: Try it. I just did. Seemed to work for email, but not webpages.

    2 years ago

    Jim: Make sure your Mac Mail is the active app and the message is the active window. Even then, I do find it sometimes seems to fail to recognize that it is the email I am referring to, especially after switching users or launching and quitting a lot of apps. Hopefully Apple will continue to improve this.

    Tom Gonser
    2 years ago

    Great idea, but seems spotty. For me it worked with a web page, but when trying it with an open/active email, Siri responds “sorry I can’t remind you about the app” Maybe this is still a work in progress…?

    Trina Stroope
    2 years ago

    This is a great thing – however, I find that it does not always work well – hope they fix this because I LOVE this, but never works consistently. Sometimes it picks up the calendar event that is opened, or the contact that is opened and other times it does not.

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