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The Reminders app built into Mac and iOS is a simple to use yet often underutilized app for many of us. I have been a long-time user of the calendar app and notes for my reminders and to do lists, frankly, out of habit. I’ve been trying to use reminders more and wanted to share a bit about how to get the most out of this app.

Setting up multiple lists can be a huge time-saver in the end. I’m often splitting my time between my house and a summer camp, so I am forever needing to make a reminder about what to bring either home or to camp next. Separating lists makes it much easier to keep track of what you needed when and why. When in Reminders you simply need to hit the add list or + button located to the left either at the top if it’s iOS or bottom if it’s a Mac.

Use Siri to add to a list rather than typing in what you wanted to add. If you have a list called groceries and need to add milk to it, you can simply say “add milk to grocery list” and Siri will add the information for you. My favorite feature is to tell Siri to remind me about something when I reach a destination. If you’re worried you are going forget to call your mom when you get home you can ask Siri to remind you when you reach home. You will need to make sure that location services are enabled and that the address for the location is entered in your address book.

Sync your reminder lists. Your reminder lists are stored in iCloud, so they are automatically shared among all your devices as long as each device is signed in to iCloud and has Reminders syncing turned on. On the Mac, look in System Preferences > iCloud, and in iOS, navigate to Settings > iCloud. The syncing feature can be an invaluable feature and saves you tons of time if you’re someone who jumps from device to device.

Share a reminder list. If you need to share a list with your spouse or colleagues and they to are on iCloud you can quickly share your reminder. To do this on the Mac, hover over the list name in the sidebar to click the Sharing button and then enter one or more iCloud-connected email addresses. In iOS, go into the reminder list you want to share,** tap Edit > Sharing > Add Person** and then either enter email addresses or tap the + button to select someone from your contacts.

One downside of Reminders is that you cannot view them within the calendar program on your Mac. Apple made Reminders its own app, even your timed reminders won’t show up in Calendar, forcing you to check both Calendar and Reminders as you plan your day. For me this is one draw back as I have my calendar program open all day long on my computer. However, there are some solutions. If you want reminders intermixed with your calendar events, check out BusyCal, from BusyMac. I have used Busy Cal for many years and have always been pleased with it.

I still find myself putting reminders in my calendar app or still using my notes, so I’m not yet fully integrated into Reminders. But, the more I use it, the more I like it.

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