How to set reminders and update task and to-do lists with Siri

Complete guide to Siri commands for Reminders, tasks, and to-do lists

Siri was designed to help you get things done, and part of that job description is creating and updating your to-dos and lists of to-dos in the Reminders app of your iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod touch 5, iPad 4, iPad 3, and iPad mini. If you need to be prodded to pick up milk on the way home, order that present in time for the big party, or set up that lunch meeting before the end of the day, Siri's there to help.

(Unfortunately, you can't delete tasks or mark items as completed using Siri (at least not yet), so you still have to launch the Reminders app for that.)

How to create a time-based reminder with Siri

One of the easiest things to do with Siri is have it set up a quick Reminder. Siri is so quick, in fact, it's almost always faster to use Siri than to tap your way through the Reminders app to set them up manually.

  1. Press and hold down the Home button to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri what you want to be reminded about, and when. For example: "Remind me to call Leanna at 9pm."
  3. Tap Confirm to set the reminder.

The Reminder will go into the default Reminders list. This is usually Reminders for iCloud users and Tasks for Exchange users, or whatever you set up as the default list in Settings.

If you made a mistake or simply want to revise something immediately, instead of confirming, you can also tell Siri to "change the time to", "change the title (of the appointment/event)", or simply "cancel" it entirely.

Tap the Reminders widget to quickly mark the Reminder as completed.

How to create a location-based reminder with Siri

Because your iOS device knows where you are, you can set up Reminders based on location as well. Again, it's much faster to do this with Siri than manually through the Reminders app.

  1. Hold down the Home button to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri what you want to be reminded about, and where. For example: "Remind me to pay my credit card bill when I get home" or "remind me to troll Rene when I get to work".
  3. Tap Confirm to set the Reminder.

Just like with standard Reminders, the location Reminder will go into the default Reminders list. This is usually Reminders for iCloud users and Tasks for Exchange users, or whatever you set up as the default list in Settings.

If you made a mistake or simply want to revise something immediately, instead of confirming, you can also tell Siri to "change the time to", "change the title (of the appointment/event)", or simply "cancel" it entirely.

If you tap the Reminders widget, you can mark the Reminder as completed.

How to create a Reminder in a specific List with Siri

If you have multiple lists in Reminders, like a packing list, a party list, etc. you can tell Siri to create a to-do item specifically for one of those lists.

  1. Press and hold down the Home button to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri what you want to be reminded about, and in which List you want it to go. For example: "Add sun tan lotion to my packing list."
  3. Tap Confirm to set the Reminder.

Now the Reminder will be placed in the List you specified.

If you forget to specify a list when you create your Reminder, you can still move it before you confirm the Reminder.

  1. Press and hold down the Home button to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri to create a reminder. (See above.)
  3. When Siri asks for confirmations, immediately tell Siri which list you'd like the Reminder to be placed in. For example: "Move it to my iMore list."
  4. Tap Confirm to set the Reminder.

The Reminder will then be placed in the List you specified.

How to maintain a shared shopping list with Siri and iCloud

Siri in conjunction with the default Reminders app is a great way to maintain shopping lists, and when combined with iCloud, shared shopping lists. You can have one general shopping list, or even specific shopping lists, like a grocery list.

Before you can use Siri to add items to a grocery or any other list, you first have to create them in the Reminders app, and set up the sharing in iCloud.

Once you have the list setup, just add items to it like you would any list.

  1. Hold down the Home button to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri what you want to add and to which shopping list. For example: "Add cake to my shopping list."
  3. Tap Confirm to set the Reminder.

Now anyone you share the list with can add items whenever you think of something, and all of you see them next time you're out shopping. When an item is taken care of and marked as done, everyone sees it marked as done as well.

How to get more help with Siri

If you still need help with setting up or using Siri with your iPhone Contacts, or any other Siri feature, head on over to our Siri Forum and ask away!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There is 1 comment. Add yours.

smlombardi says:

Note: I just discover that you can set a non-time-based reminder as well. Just say "remind me to buy milk" (or whatever) and then when Siri asks for a time say "no time."

If someone knows of a way to skip the second step, I'd love to know.