img_8172Last week I wrote about how I created a mental health toolbox within the iOS Reminders app. I jumped a little ahead of myself because I wanted to share that during mental health awareness month — but I want to backtrack and talk more about how you can maximize this app to your advantage.

Make multiple lists!

This was not originally a bullet point I was going to include because I assumed everyone knew this one until last night when I found out my husband only has one list. So. Make multiple lists! In the latest version of iOS Reminders, you’ll find a button in the bottom right to “Add List.” I, not surprisingly, have a bunch: Shopping, Treadmill To Watch, Garden, Recurring and Other, for starters. And then a bunch of lists I call “Timely” — today, this week, weekend, Sunday.

If you open a list and click the three dots in the top right, you’ll see an option to edit the name and appearance — you can color code and change the icon for each list. You’ll also see an option to add people, which will make your list sharable. This would be great for a shared shopping list, because either person can add or check off items.

Group your lists

Once you have a bunch of lists, you may want to group them AND YOU CAN. Just press and hold on a list and drag it on top of another, and you’ll be prompted to create a new list. For instance, I have all my “timely” lists in one group.

Related to this, I’d recommend having a miscellaneous list that you drag to the very top of your list of lists — that one will be the default for any reminders you dictate to Siri, and keep those from ending up in weird places. You can also change the default list under settings.

Add recurring items

You can make your reminders recurring — as frequently or infrequently as you want. I have tasks that repeat every week, like on my Sunday list where I’m reminded to review my schedule for the upcoming week and update my training log. I also have a list just called “Recurring” for random reminders that include: changing my razor blade, cleaning the bathrooms and changing the furnace filter.

Add extras

This is the tip that inspired me to write about utilizing this app. To your to-dos you can now add:

  • Notes
  • Clickable links
  • Photos

But here’s the real genius with that. From your iPhone (or any Mac OS device; I do this from my laptop too), you can SEND a page to your reminders. Want to remember to order those fun shorts next week? Click the share button in Safari (the box with the arrow), and in the second row of options with all the apps, you’ll find Reminders. (You may have to click “more.”) You can change the title, add notes, specify which list to add it to and add alerts directly from that screen. VIOLA!

Set reminders

It’s good to have reminders but you also need to be reminded that you have them … You can be notified at a specific time, but also a specific person or place. In the item details (click the info “i” on an individual reminder). You’ll see the time-focused options as well as “remind me at a location” — you can set up specific locations like home and work to use as Siri shortcuts. “Hey Siri, remind me when I get home to check the mail” or “Hey Siri, remind me when I get to work to bring in my lunch.” You could also use this to trigger a reminder when you arrived at a certain store.

There’s another option, “Remind me when messaging” that I’ve used a few times. When you text someone, it’ll trigger the reminder.

Other tips and tricks

  • You can add subtasks for any item if you want to do some nested to-dos. I’ve found this helpful for to-dos that have multiple steps. Add the subtasks from the parent to-do’s detail screen.
  • If you use a Mac or iPad, you can add/access/update from any device.
  • Use the “flag” feature as another way to prioritize tasks.

Anyone else as obsessed with the Reminders app? By that I mean are there any other Enneagram Type 1s here? (Or Type 3s, tbh.)