How To: Use the Reminders app in OS X

OS X Reminders

Amongst the many native apps installed with OS X is one that will help you remember events, finally realize what you were planning for Saturday afternoon and more. The Reminders app is a basic note-taking utility that syncs everything across OS X and iOS so devices with the same iCloud account can get the same reminders instantly. Though not as advanced as similar utilities, the deep integration into Apple’s ecosystem means you can start using it right away, anywhere you want.

Syncing settings

While you are free to use the Reminders apps offline and with no syncing features, having both an iPhone and a Mac means you can instantly share lists between the two devices without any extra work on your part other than enabling a couple of settings. On OS X, open the iCloud System Preferences and tick the “Reminders” box. On iOS, go to Settings > iCloud and turn on the toggle for Reminders.

Reminders on your Mac

The app is already installed in your computer so just launch it with Spotlight and check it out. You can create lists that will appear in the left column and any items you add in those lists will appear on the right side. To add a new list, click on the respective button at the bottom left corner. To add items to that list, click on a new line on the right side panel or click on the plus (+) button instead.

OS X Reminders

For more advanced settings and options, move your mouse over a Reminder and click on the information (i) icon. Here you can set reminder alerts at specific times and specific locations, add descriptive notes and set priority levels. The options are fairly basic but the location-activated reminders are an admittedly cool feature though it may not be that useful in the long run.

Finally, if you want to share a list, scroll over it with your mouse and click on the sharing icon that appears on its right side. Add people to the list and click on ‘Done’ to share it. Note that right-clicking on a list will allow you to rename it so you do not have to delete it if you messed something up.

Reminders on iPhone

iOS Reminders

The app works much in the same way in iOS though it has some quite distinct differences in the visual department. The only additional feature is the ability to change the color of your lists so you can distinguish them instantly but, other than that, the app is nearly identical to the OS X version, unless you also count the fact that Siri can help you with the reminders too. If for some reason you cannot see your lists, make sure you have actually opened them as they usually stack at the bottom of the page in individual cards.