Keeping a task list is the basic need for most working professionals. It is also one of the most essential stuffs for bloggers and others chosen for self-employment or work from home option. Mac offers a default Reminders app to keep track of all your tasks. However, there are also other apps that offers better syncing and interface features. In this article, we will explain how to manage reminders and to-do lists in Mac using the default Reminders app and Microsoft To Do app.
Reminder and To-Do Apps in Mac
The basic function of these apps is to manage a list of tasks and remind you when the date is due. You can view all the pending tasks and get notifications for the due tasks to follow with your schedule.
Using Reminders App in Mac
This is a default app that comes as part of macOS. It offers all basic features for creating a task list and manage them in single place.
- Add multiple lists and create tasks under each list.
- Setup due date and reminder so that you will not miss any important tasks.
- Filter today, schedule or all tasks to clearly check the items.
To create a list in Reminders app, simply click on “Add List” option showing on bottom left corner. Enter the name for your list and assign a visual color code if required. click “OK” button and you are ready with the list to go.
When the list is ready, select it and click on the + icon showing on top right corner of the app. Alternatively, you can click on the empty right pane to create your tasks. Enter the name for your task and click on the small information icon showing against the task. You can set the date/time reminder, location, schedule for repeating the task and the priority.
You can create as many as lists and tasks in Reminders app and track them all. When the task is due, you will get a notification as shown below.
If you did not finish the task within the due date, it will show the due date in red for easy visualization. You can also click on the “Scheduled” option from left pane to view all pending and scheduled tasks.
iCloud Features for Reminders App
Unfortunately, most of the useful features of Reminders app are available only if you enable iCloud synchronization. You will not see tags, flags and share list options if you do not enable iCloud sync.
- Click on Apple menu and select “System Preferences…”.
- Click on Apple ID icon and then select “iCloud” from the sidebar.
- Enable “Reminders” checkbox to merge your lists with iCloud data.
- You will see a confirmation prompt and click on “Merge” button to start sharing your lists across devices using iCloud account.
Now when you create a new reminder, there will be additional options shown for creating tags and flagging.
It is also possible to assign URL, image and convert a list to smart list after enabling iCloud. When you create a new list, now you will see lot of additional options and check the box that says, “Make into Smart List”. This will allow you to create smart list based on previously created tags, date/time, priority, flagged and location. You can use this feature to find group of reminder tasks scattered across different lists.
To assign a reminder to others, first click on the share icon showing in the list label. Share the iCloud link through Messages or Mail app to make the list as “Shared List”. Now you can see the “Assign Reminder” icon for each task and click on it to assign the task to someone.
Note: You can link with your internet email accounts and Reminders app under “Apple Menu > System Preferences… > Internet Accounts” section. This works only if the email service provider supports Reminders app. Otherwise, you will not see the option to enable.
Managing To-Do Lists in Mac with Microsoft To-Do
Though Reminders app is simple, it is definitely not useful without iCloud sync. We do not know why iCloud should be enabled to use basic features of the app. In addition, if you are primarily using Microsoft services like Outlook, then you can go for Microsoft To Do app. This is a complete free app which you can install from Mac App Store.
- Click on “New List” option showing on bottom left corner and start adding tasks to your list.
- The app provides neat interface to view “My Day” tasks which you can use to find and follow the current day tasks.
- You can set reminder date, assign file attachment and create repeated tasks.
- Easily share and assign tasks.
- Sort tasks based on importance, due date and alphabetical order.
- Filter tasks easily planned for today, tomorrow, this week, etc.
With Microsoft 365 subscription, you can sync all the tasks between To Do and Planner/Outlook apps. This is super useful to manage your tasks across devices.
Reminders app is useful if you want to manage to-do lists in Mac and sync across your Apple devices using iCloud account. However, most of the features will work only if you are enabling iCloud for Reminders app. If you want to sync to do list in Mac with Outlook tasks, then the best option is to go for Microsoft To Do app. It offers user-friendly interface to manage all your lists/tasks across devices.