Apple’s Reminders app is a popular and versatile tool for managing tasks and to-do lists. While many people are familiar with the basics of creating and organizing reminders, the app actually includes several advanced settings that can enhance productivity and streamline workflow.
Here are five that you should know about.
1. Adding Multiple Accounts
By default, Reminders is connected to your iCloud account. However, you also have the option of adding additional accounts to sync and track reminders across all your devices.
For instance, if you use Apple devices at home but live in a Microsoft environment at work, you can add an Outlook account in the iOS Settings app to sync your Outlook tasks to the Reminders app.
Add additional accounts at Settings > Reminders > Accounts.
2. Set Your Default List
Default lists are useful for when you add a task with Siri and don’t specify a list that you want the reminder added to. For instance, if you said, “Hey Siri, remind me to check my tire pressures,” this would be added to your default list.
Tasks will also appear on your default list if you add a reminder directly to a Smart List. Because a Smart List is more of a filter than a list, the task needs to be stored somewhere else. So, it goes on your default list.
You can choose any of your existing lists as your default list. Mine is called Inbox. I use my Inbox list to capture tasks on the go, and I move these reminders to other lists when I have more time.
Set your default list at Settings > Reminders > Default List.
3. All-Day Reminder Settings
If you set a reminder for a specific day, but don’t include a time, this setting lets you select when you want to be reminded about that task.
The default setting is 9am. However, you can change this to whatever time works best for you. A notification will appear on your device at this time.
Set your preferences at Settings > Reminders > All-Day Reminders.
4. Notification Settings for Reminders
There are several notification options in the Settings app that you might want to know about for Reminders. The standard alerts mirror the same preferences that are available at Settings > Notifications.
However, it’s worth knowing about things like lock screen previews or the ability to read notifications aloud while using CarPlay or AirPods. You can turn this on or off as required, and choose if you want all notifications read aloud or just time-sensitive notifications.
See these options at Settings > Reminders > Notifications.
Another useful option is the badge count. This one divides productivity enthusiasts, but ultimately comes down to personal preferences. You can decide to have the red notification badge show for overdue tasks, or for overdue tasks and tasks that are due today. I prefer the former.
Make your choice at Settings > Reminders > Badge Count.
Lastly, I don’t know many people who assign tasks to others, but it exists as a feature within the Reminders app. If my wife used Reminders, I am sure she would assign me tasks all the time, but she uses Google Keep, so I am safe…for now.
That said, if she did start assigning me tasks, I might take advantage of the option to mute notifications just for assigned tasks. You know, just so I don’t get too overwhelmed. Ahem.
You can mute notifications for assigned reminders by going to Settings > Reminders > Assigned Reminders.
5. Siri and Search
Apple is not known for excelling with search or voice assistants, but options to control both of these do exist for Reminders.
The Siri options are mostly for on-device intelligence, as opposed to how you want to use Siri with Reminders. They are all on by default, but if you would like to stop Siri from learning your habits when you use the Reminders app, you can turn that off.
You can also choose to hide the Reminders app, and content from the app, when you make a search for something on your iPhone or iPad.
These preferences are found at Settings > Reminders > Siri & Search.