Like an Elephant, Reminders Never Forgets

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode # 267

I remember my father saying, “the older you get, the more you forget,” when he forgot about something. He sometimes used a little calendar/notebook, but he often forgot to use it.

I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been doing what I do for the better part of three decades. I’m sad to say dad was probably right. As the years have passed, I’ve learned to use my Apple technology to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Why Reminders Rocks…

There are several reasons the Reminders app on macOS, iOS, and watchOS is the near-perfect assistant to my ever more forgetful wetware. The biggest one is that it’s completely pervasive. Whenever I need to remember something, Reminders is a click (or tap) away, on my Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, one of which is always close at hand (especially the watch).

And it’s not just that Reminders is available on multiple devices, it also synchronizes among those devices. So, no matter which device I pick up, it’s got all of my latest reminders, regardless of which device I used to create them.

But wait! There’s much more!

More Slick Reminders Tricks

In addition to being ubiquitous, the Reminders app has several additional slick tricks up its sleeve. For example, it offers options to:

  • Remind you on a specific day and time.
  • Repeat a reminder every day, week, month, or year.
  • Remind you when you arrive at (or are close by) any location such as your home or office (requires a device with Internet access).
  • Assign priorities (Low, Medium, High, or None) to reminders.
  • Attach notes of any length to reminders.

And Siri Makes Reminders Even Better

And, if that’s not enough, Reminders and Siri go together better than peanut butter and jelly. I rarely type a reminder. Instead, I just ask Siri.

Here are just a few of the things I say to add a reminder to my default list in Reminders:

  • Remind me to call Bryan when I get home.
  • Remind me to call my sister when I get home.
Siri confirms that I want to call my sister (mobile) when I get home.
Siri confirms that I want to call my sister (mobile) when I get home.
  • Remind me to see if the huge check from _redacted_ has cleared tomorrow morning at 9.
  • Remind me to pick up wood glue and 400 grit sandpaper at Home Depot.
  • Remind me to get milk and eggs at HEB.

The beautiful part is that I rarely have to type a word in order to remember something. If I can say it, Siri will add it to Reminders.

Now, here’s something really cool: I’ve been testing a new Series 3 Apple Watch, which has its own cellular radio, so it works beautifully with both Siri and Reminders, even if my iPhone is elsewhere! So, now I can leave my iPhone behind to walk the dog or go for a jog (ha!); I merely summon Siri on my Apple Watch to create (and sync) reminders, regardless of whether my iPhone is nearby.

That’s so cool!

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Now if we could convince Apple to give us a time interval choice for the “Remind Me Later” option on OS X I’d be a happy camper. (Forgive me if this is an option I’ve missed.) For instance, click to use the default reminder time but Option+Click to bring up a menu or dialog box to set a certain amount of minutes.

Old UNIX Guy

Well, at 12 noon today my reminder to do something at 6:20 PM tonight went off, so deleting and reinstalling the app didn’t help. I will try wiping and reinstalling my iPhone when I can. I do have an iPad, but don’t use it for reminders…

Old UNIX Guy

Old UNIX Guy

I’m giving deleting and reinstalling the app a try now – Thanks…

Old UNIX Guy

Old UNIX Guy

And I don’t know what it is about your website that periodically changes ordinary words like “video camera” into links like it just did with my previous post, but I sure hope you can track it down and fix it…

Old UNIX Guy

Old UNIX Guy

Hi Bob,

Once earlier this week I actually watched it happen. I guess I need to just set up a video camera so that I can prove it. It doesn’t happen 100% of the time … more like 33 – 50% I’d say.

And it’s pretty @#%^& annoying when the Reminder it decides to change the time of is for giving a loved one their medicine!

Old UNIX Guy

Old UNIX Guy

Sorry for the second post, but Reminders is not like an elephant, it’s like a 90 year old with Alzheimers…

Old UNIX Guy

Old UNIX Guy

Hi Bob, There are a couple of features that Reminders is lacking that makes it almost unusable for me: When I set a reminder for a specific time, Reminders should not arbitrarily change it to something else of its’ choosing! Reminders does this to me about half the time … I’ve learned to go back and check 5 minutes after setting a reminder to verify that this hasn’t happened. When I set a reminder for a specific time for one event, Reminders should not decide to swap that with the time of a entirely different event! This is on an… Read more »