The Reminders app on Mac is an ultimate task-management companion, designed to keep you organized and on top of your to-do list. From setting priorities to utilizing natural language input, this app is a complete productivity powerhouse. Whether you’re new to the macOS ecosystem or you’ve been using it for years, this comprehensive guide will help you become a Reminders pro.
Creating a New Reminder
Open Reminders app and click the “Add Reminder” located in upper-right corner (it looks like a plus sign). Alternatively, go to “File” menu and select “New Reminder” option. Type title and description for your reminder and press enter.
Now, that you have added a first reminder, let’s assign due dates and times to make it more effective. Click on the created reminder to reveal additional options and click on “Add Date” button.
This will show a date picker and select your due date for the reminder. Similarly, click on the “Add time” button and set a due time.
Now, you will see the item shows the due date and time. Your Mac will trigger a notification on the set date/time to alert you that a task is due for finishing.
You can anytime change the due date/time by clicking on the corresponding buttons or remove them by clicking on the little cross icon showing right of the buttons.
Setting Priority Levels and Frequency
When you have multiple reminders, it is important to prioritize them so that you can finish the important tasks first. For that, click the ‘i’ icon showing at the right end of your reminder item. As you can see, system sets the priority as “None” by default.
Click on the “None” option and select the priority as Low, Medium, or High level. This will set exclamation marks in front of the reminders item depicting the priority level (one, two and three exclamations indicate low, medium and high levels respectively).
If the task is recurring or repeating in nature, you can easily set the frequency instead of creating multiple reminders for the same task. Click the “i” icon to view the item’s detail and you can see the app by default sets the “repeat” option as “None”. Click on that dropdown and select the frequency to repeat on a daily, weekly, monthly, or custom schedule, depending on your preference.
The Reminders app also allows you to set reminders based on your location. Click on the “i” icon to enter the details pane. Enable “At a Location” for “Remind me” option and choose a location.
Additionally, you can also select whether you want to be reminded at “Arriving” the location or “Leaving the location”.
Creating Lists in Reminders
It does not make sense to create hundreds of tasks without grouping them under related categories. The category in Reminders app is called List. Whenever you create a new reminder, the app will automatically create a new list called “Reminders” and add your task in that list. You can also organize your reminders by first creating lists and then adding tasks under corresponding lists.
- Click “Add List” option showing at the bottom of left sidebar.
- Name your list and press “OK” button. If you have multiple lists, it is a good idea to add colors and icons to differentiate them visually in the sidebar.
- This will create a distinct Reminder list where you can include tasks that are related.
You can move a task between lists, pin a list, rename it and share with others.
Using Smart List with Tags in Reminders App
You will see few default buttons like Today, Scheduled, Flagged, Assigned, Completed and All on top right left of the Reminders app. These default groups are called Smart Lists which helps to automatically categorize your reminders. If you are not seeing those button, go to “View > Show Smart List” menu and enable them.
- To create a custom smart list, check the “Make into Smart List” checkbox when creating a new list. If you are using macOS Sonoma or later, you can select “Smart List” option from the “List Type” dropdown.
- This will give you multiple options to filter out the reminders like – Tags, Date / Times, Priority, Flag, Location and Lists.
- Select your filter and press “OK” to create your smart list. For example: we have created a smart list that matches all the reminders having tags as work.
- So now any reminder that we create with the tag “work” is going to be added to this “Smart List” in the sidebar automatically. You can also filter the tasks by selecting the tags showing in the sidebar.
Though custom smart lists are shown in the sidebar like any other list items, they only hold collection of items from other lists based on your filter. This means deleting a smart list will not delete the reminders inside the list. In contrary, deleting a standard list will also remove all the reminders inside the list. You can convert any standard list into a smart list from “File > Convert to Smart List” menu. In this case, a tag with the list’s name will be added to all reminder items inside the selected list.
Creating Grocery List
Other than creating lists and smart lists, Reminders app also allows you to create a grocery list. You can select “Groceries” option from the “List Type” dropdown when creating a new list.
You can manage items inside the list using sections to keep them organized. You do not need to create new sections manually (from right-click menu), the app will automatically suggest “Move to …. Section” when you enter a grocery item in the list. Simply click on the suggested link to create sections as shown below.
Though creating a grocery list may not make sense in Mac, imagine one of the family members in your house create a grocery list in Mac and share with you so that you can access in your iPhone (refer “Collaborating with Others” section explained below). Also, all reminders will be automatically synced across all your devices which help you to access the lists from any of your device.
Grouping Multiple Lists
When you want to group multiple lists, go to “File > New Group” and create a group. Simply drag and drop lists / custom smart lists to arrange them inside your groups. Below is how Groups will look like in Reminders app.
Using Natural Language Input
Reminders app on Mac also understands natural language, making it easy to create reminder items in everyday language. For instance, when you type, “Remind me at tomorrow 6”, the app will automatically show the suggestion and set the due date/time as tomorrow at 6.
Similarly, you can use “Buy groceries every Friday at 5 PM” to create a repeating task that occurs every Friday at 5:00 pm. In this way, Reminders app intelligently interprets your input and schedule tasks accordingly. It’s a time-saving feature that keeps you on track effortlessly.
Using Siri to Create Reminders
You can also create reminders hands-free using Siri, using the following steps.
- Click the Siri icon in top menu (or use the keyboard shortcut, if enabled).
- Say something like “Create a reminder to submit the report by Friday.”
- Siri will create the reminder for you, saving you the trouble of typing.
- Open Reminders app and verify the task is added by Siri.
Customizing and Personalizing Reminders
You can assign color and icon for each list or smart list items when creating them. If you did not do so, simply right-click on a list in the sidebar and choose “Show List Info” option.
Now, change the list’s color and icon from here and click “OK” button.
You can also change the default sorting order of a reminder list from the right-click context menu.
Collaborating with Others
To share your lists with others, select a list you want to share from the sidebar and click the share icon at the top right corner.
Select the sharing medium (email in our case) and enter the email addresses or phone numbers of the people you want to collaborate with.
Click the “Send” button to send invitations to all the recipients. After sharing a list with someone, you will notice a new profile icon positioned at the top right, adjacent to the share button. Click that icon and select “Manage Shared List” option to gain access to tools for managing your shared list and collaborators.
Using Templates in Reminders App
Templates are a handy feature in the Reminders app that can save you time and effort when dealing with recurring tasks or checklists.
- In the Reminders app, create a new list or select an existing one. Add tasks you want in your template.
- Now click on “File” menu bar and select “Save as Template…” from the drop-down.
- A window will pop up, allowing you to give your template a name. Choose a name that reflects the purpose of your template and click “Create” button.
Now that you’ve created your template, here’s how you can use it to quickly create a new reminder list:
- In the Reminders app, click on the “Add List” button present in the bottom left corner to create a new list.
- Go to “Templates” tab where you will see a list of your saved templates.
- Choose the template you want to use and click “Create List” button.
- A new list will be created based on your selected template. You can then rename it to suit your specific task or project.
You can arrange your to-do items and tasks in Reminders app on Mac with “Groups > Lists > Reminder Items” the structure and effectively manage them. Simply clicking the radio button on any item will mark that item as completed. You can hide completed items to only keep the open items in prioritized order and flag them for better follow up. Custom smart lists help you to assign tags and filter all relevant items easily. Similarly, you can make use of grocery list and templates in suitable situations. Now, we hope you can start using Reminders app on Mac to boost your productivity and stay on top of your tasks like a pro.