How to Start Out With Reminders in the iOS 5

The iOS 5 brought most of the additional features to the fifth generation of the iPhone, and many of these were designed to change the basic way that you approach your device.  iCloud allows us to have a foreign storage space, iMessages allows an internet messaging service between iDevices, and Siri acts as a personal assistant that allows us to simply ask questions.  Reminders, as one of the iOS 5 features, is a little different than these and yet equally useful.  Reminders, just like it sounds, is a reminder system that allows you to set reminders for yourself separate from the Calendar.  It does this effectively by using many of the iPhone’s technological features to do this, such as its location services.  Here is a basic step by step guide on getting started with Reminders on your new iPhone or iOS 5 centered iDevice.

Unlike Siri and iCloud, you will not have to do anything with Reminders during the new device set up or after updating to the iOS 5.  Instead, it will simply be an app that is available on your desktop.  When you open it there will be a blank slate of reminders, and at the top you will be able to choose from either the List or Date view.  This really just designates how you want to see the set reminders, such as either in a long list of saved reminders or by individual days where you see what reminders are on that day.

In the upper right hand corner of the white space will be a “+” button, which is the universal Apple system for “add.”  When you select this you will then be given a prompt to begin typing in the text area, which is how you start adding a new reminder.  Go ahead and type one out and when you are finished you can hit the Done button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

The new reminder will now appear on the list, and there will be an empty check box to the left of it.  You will tap this when the item has been completed, indicating that it is finished.  If you want to add to that reminder you can hit the rightward leaning arrow on the same line and it will open up Details.  Here you can choose to add a day and a location for the reminder, which is really at the fundamental crux of why it is useful.  Here you can select a specific day and time for the reminder and/or you can set a location for that reminder to go off, and this could be set as your current location and you will be asked to specify.  You will then choose to have the reminder go off when you leave that location or when you arrive at that location, which is a very specific function.  Once you have finished adding these things, or altering the text of the reminder, you can hit the Done button in the upper right hand corner.

The way that this is used is going to be different than with a standard calendar date.  This is important if you want to have reminders for very specific things along the course of the day as you are doing things.  An example of this is to remember to call someone right when you leave work, and a reminder will then kick in when you leave a location at a specific time.  This should not then replace a standard calendar, which is better for scheduling an entire day.

Organizing your Reminders is going to be important and in the upper left hand corner there is a button to allow you to view different list types.  The default is going to be for reminders that have been completed or are still pending, but you can create new lists to then deal with in the Lists view.  This is really good if you want to create a sequence of reminders for making a phone call at the end of a work day, which is not the kind of thing that fits into a schedule for iCal.  Once you have a lot of Reminders here then you will be able to search in this special Lists menu.

You are going to need to make sure that Reminders is able to alert you, otherwise you may be without the primary function that the Reminders app is capable of.  To do this you need to go into the regular Settings app and then choose Notifications, which is under Wi-Fi and above Location Services.  Here you can choose through a series of apps to deal with their specific notification issues.  Go to Reminders and then make sure that Notification Center at the top is switched to the “On” position.  Below that will be an option to choose how many notifications to show from Reminders, and the default will be five items.  You will also be able to choose the visual theme you will use for these alerts and if you want to view the alerts when in the lock screen.  Once you have it set to On and the appropriate options, you will be able to use Reminders as a standard iPhone function.

About shaneburley