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5 top tips to become a Reminders app power user

Apple’s built-in to-do application is actually more powerful than you think. In fact, there are plenty of useful features you may not be using.

Apple’s Reminders application comes as standard with iOS, and though many people use the app, it’s easy to overlook some of the application’s better, more useful features beyond simple reminders. In this article, we’re going to show you how to use the app to its full potential, turning you from a novice into a Reminders app power user.

1. Using lists in Reminders

One of the Reminders app’s best features is support for lists. These allow iPhone owners to set groups of to-do items for all areas of their lives, from the personal to the professional. To reach lists in the application, touch on the stack at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll see a bunch of default lists, including “Scheduled” and “Reminders.”

You can pull down on the app's UI to reveal a useful search bar, as well as the option of adding in new lists.

You can pull down on the app’s UI to also reveal a useful search bar, as well as the option of adding in new lists

Here, you can switch between lists, or you can add new ones. To do this, drag your lists down and hit the “+” icon, which will appear in the top-right corner of the screen. You can choose a name as well as a color for your list, before hitting “Done” to add it to the application. The “Scheduled” list pools all of your due reminders into one single interface, and as such it’s particularly useful.

2. Sharing to-do lists with friends and family

Reminders also allows iPhone owners to work collaboratively on projects managed inside the application, and as such you can share lists in a couple of different ways.

First, you can opt to share a list inside the list UI itself, through tapping the “Edit” icon which appears at the top of the screen. Next, tap “Sharing” and then add a person from your contacts to share the list with. Because this feature uses Apple’s iCloud service, the person you choose will need to have iCloud up and running in order to receive a shared list.

You can easily share to-do lists with particular individuals using this nice feature.

You can easily share to-do lists with particular individuals using this nice feature

However, if you have iCloud Family Sharing enabled, it’s also possible to share reminders lists with your family this way. Upon enabling iCloud Family Sharing, you’ll notice that a “Family” list appears inside the Reminders application: this list will be shared between all members of your family, allowing iPhone owners to add a bunch of shared reminders into the application.

3. Location-based to-dos

The Reminders app can hook into your iPhone’s GPS to send alerts when you reach home, the grocery store, or work. When configuring reminders, choose to enable “Remind me at a location” before selecting a place from the list provided. Then, once you reach that place, your iPhone should notify you of the reminder, making it easier than ever to never, ever forget to pick up the milk again.

4. Checking on completed items in Reminders

After completing individual to-do items, they’re not gone forever. Because when looking at an individual list, a “Show Completed” button at the bottom of the screen allows users to see the items they’ve checked off, and the date (and time) at which the reminders appeared.

5. Using Siri to set to-do items for Web pages and more

It’s always been possible to fire-off quick Reminders commands using the “Hey Siri, remind me about …” formula, but it’s also possible to append times and locations onto these commands, in order to have the Reminders app alert you at home or at a certain hour. However, users can also have Siri set to-do items that are linked to actual apps.

It's as simple as saying, "Hey Siri."

It’s as simple as saying, “Hey Siri”

When inside an iOS application that features information you’d like to be reminded about, simply use the command, “Hey Siri, remind me about this,” and the Reminders application will do just that. This is perhaps best suited to Web pages viewed inside Safari, but the feature will work with other apps, too, resulting in a huge productivity boost for iPhone owners.

So there you have it. Use these tips and become a Reminders app power user who never forgets anything.