Padgadget’s iPad Tips: How To Make The Most out of the Native Reminders App

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People will often ask me what the best organizer app is. There are a lot of really good ones with amazing features. Some people need all of the bells and whistles and minute-by-minute meeting schedules with built-in conference call options (not that that really exists, although it would be cool). However, most people just need a basic list that they can check off with a few features like time reminders, priority listings, and multiple categories. For some, those fancy GTD (getting things done) apps are too complicated and end up frustrating the user.

Apple’s native Reminders app is actually a great program and easy to use. For most people, it is the best organizer you could have. We’re going to give you some tips on how to make the best use of Reminders. By the time you get through this article, you’ll know everything that you can do, and it maybe exactly what you need to keep your daily schedule organized.

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First of all, the easiest way to be sure that you are getting the most out of reminders is to sync it to all of your devices. If you have a Mac, you will definitely want to sync reminders to your desktop or laptop.

To sync Reminders using iCloud on your Mac, go to your Systems Preference section and select iCloud from the “Internet and Wireless” list. When iCloud opens, just check the Calendars & Reminders section and it will automatically sync with any device that is also synced in iCloud.

The first thing you will want to do is start some new lists. You can categorize things, like chores, projects, work, kids, etc.  Do this by tapping the “Create New List” tab on your iPad, or the (+) symbol at the bottom of the gray section of your Mac Reminders app. If you are doing this on your Mac, be sure to select “On iCloud” so that it will sync to all of your devices.

Now that you have your lists, you will want to start adding tasks, projects, events, meetings, and such. Under iCloud, just tap on the date, if it is for a specific day and time, and then tap on the list side to enter an item.

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Once you’ve added an item, you can then edit it. For example, if you added “Dr. Apt” to your calendar, you can add the time, place and priority by tapping the item (click on the “i” on the Mac). You can add a reminder, adjust the date and time, make it repeat, move it to another list, prioritize it, and add notes.

If you are big on having lists for projects, Reminders is not the best app for sub categorizing project details. However, you can create lists under the main subject in the notes section. For example, if you listed “Build a Cat Tree” in your projects category, within the notes section, you could then list off the things you will need to buy and the steps you will need to take.

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As you can see, Reminders is both simple to use, and feature rich. Because it syncs with all of your devices, including your Mac, it is very convenient for adding and editing everything you do every day.

If you have new events and items scheduled every day, add them to your “Calendar” category with specific dates and times and add reminders. If you are a list maker, but don’t necessarily need things done every day, start another list, one for “Things to do This Weekend,” and another for “Projects.” Each category can have any number of different designations so that you can keep them separate, or combine them into one.

Reminders on iOS may seem simple, but it is a great app to help you get things done when you don’t want to spend too much time figuring out how to organize your life.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik