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Reminders app for iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide

Reminders App Hero
Reminders App Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

While Reminders will never replace a sophisticated "getting things done" app, it is a pretty great "getting started" app for those new to tasks or to-do lists.

In iOS 15, you can use Reminders to make shopping lists or packing lists or to keep work and home organized. You can set reminders for specific times or specific locations, so you can remember to take medication when you need to, and stop by the store when you leave the office. You can add tasks at any time with Siri — and "Hey Siri!", totally hands-free! — and even remind yourself about anything you're looking at on any Apple device just by saying "remember this." It's a great tool that your favorite iPhone and iPad have already installed, so why not learn how to use it!

How to set up task lists in Reminders

Dark Mode for Reminders app (Image credit: iMore)

The Reminders app for iPhone and iPad lets you create task lists, and even share them with a friend. Whether it's a grocery list for you and your family, a party-list for your friends, or a "getting things done" list for that big project at home or at work, reminder lists will keep you focused and organized!

How to create tasks in Reminders

Reminders App on iPhone

Reminders App on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

Sure, you can add a task to a list in the Reminders app but if you really want to get things done, you can add a due date to your reminder or even a due location. That way you can get alerts not only for specific times but when you leave or arrive at specific places as well. Never forget to take the pizza out of the oven, call home when you leave work, or pick up milk when you get to the store again — learn how to create tasks in Reminders!

How to mark tasks completed in Reminders

Marking Tasks Complete In Ios 15 On Iphone (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

There are two ways to remove a task from Reminders. The first is by tapping the completed button, which marks the task as done and hides it from the active list. The other way is to manually delete the task from the list, whether you've done it or not. Learning how to delete tasks in Reminders will not only make sure your tasks get done, but also give you that satisfying dopamine hit of crossing a task off your to-do list!

How to edit tasks in Reminders

Customized Reminders List Hero

Customized Reminders List Hero (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Just because you've set a to-do or task doesn't mean you're stuck with it. Reminders lets you add timers or location alerts, edit text and change priority, and even add notes if you need them. Editing your tasks in Reminders lets you stay on top of your tasks, and modify them when they no longer suit your needs.

How to share Reminders with Family Sharing

Reminders Notification Ios (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

If you're using Family Sharing, you can share Reminders with everyone in your group. From shopping list items to household chores, packing lists to game day tasks, shared reminders are a great way to keep the whole family organized and engaged. The best part is once you've enabled Family Sharing, you're good to go to start sharing tasks and task lists in Reminders!

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

Ios 14 Compact Ui Siri (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

Apple's virtual assistant was designed to help you get things done, and part of that job description is creating and updating your Reminders with Siri. 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.

There are some great third-party apps for task managing!

While Reminders is built into Apple's software, it isn't your only option. There are a ton of great to-do and task manager apps floating around on the App Store for you to explore. Some are full of customization options, some are elegant and simple, and others are very bright and colorful. So, if Reminders doesn't suit your needs, don't be afraid to step out of the box!

Updated May 2022: Updated for iOS 15 and iPad OS 15

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

13 Comments
  • Thanks for sharing Sent from the iMore App
  • I use it for shopping lists as most people do, but it has some irritating features and (typical of Apple products) zero customisation or settings. All it would take is a decent shopping list app to pop up on the App store and I'd drop Reminders in a heartbeat.
  • Wonderlist. Seriously. Sent from the iMore App
  • ShoppingList 3 by Pecora GmbH
    https://appsto.re/ca/7qZDJ.i Sent from the iMore App
  • Knowing the App Store there'll be plenty. Don't forget you can do checklists with the Notes app now too!
  • I think it is the worse app. It can't even play an alert to remind you of anything. It's awful!
  • @FranMiele
    ???????
    Select the reminder, tap on the i on the right and you can set date/time or location based alerts.
    Works perfectly
  • Does anyone know of an alternative that allow you to create folder so you can pour your lists inside? The only one I know is the upcoming goodtask 3 that is taking ages
  • One of my most used apps, coupled with Calendar. Used 6 different lists that are separated by colour. Love the sharing feature for my wife and I to keep track of the grocery list. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've used Alarmed by Yoctoville for years now, excellent app & support.
    Lots of options for reminders, including snooze, notes & notes as a checklist.
    Worth checking out. Sent from the iMore App
  • Can you still not set a location-based reminder by dropping a pin wherever you like?
  • How does this work? "and even remind yourself about anything you're looking at on any Apple device just by saying "remember this" Sent from the iMore App
  • Hi, is it possible to set a reminder based on location AND a specific time. Let's say that when I'm home (location) I want to set a daily alarm/reminder at 20:00 o'clock (time). But when I'm out I don't want to get the alarm/reminder.