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Don’t Forget to Use the New Reminders App: Tips for Making It Work for You

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The new Reminders app comes pre-installed on all iPhones and iPads running iOS 5. On the surface, it’s a basic to-do list manager. However, as you begin using this app, you’ll quickly discover it offers a robust collection of features that can help to keep you well organized. In this article, iPhone/iPad user Jason R. Rich introduces you to the Reminders app and offers tips for using it efficiently.

Many iPhone and iPad users have become accustomed to using the Calendar app not just to manage their schedule, but to manage their daily to-do lists as well. While this is certainly a viable option, the new Reminders app is specifically designed to help you manage multiple to-do lists simultaneously.

One thing that sets Reminders apart from other to-do list management apps, however, is that for each item on each list, you can associate a time/date based alarm, and well as a priority. On an iPhone, you can also utilize location-based alarms (which take advantage of your device's GPS capabilities).

And, like many other apps, Reminders works seamlessly with Notification Center and iCloud. Thus, you can access and update your to-do lists from your iPhone and iPad (when either device is connected to the web), and always be looking at the latest version of each list.

Get Started Using Reminders

When you begin using the Reminders app, it has two pre-created lists which are empty. They're labeled Reminders and Completed.

You can begin building a to-do list using the default Reminders list, or create a new list (with a unique name) from scratch. To do this on the iPhone, tap on the Edit icon that's displayed in the upper-right corner of the screen, and then tap on the Create New List option. When the virtual keyboard appears, enter the name for your new to-do list.

On the iPad, the Create New List option is displayed along the left-side of the screen, below the Completed and Reminders list headings.

While you can easily maintain one master to-do list that contains individual items for everything you want or need to accomplish, you'll probably find it easier to create separate lists for specific projects or tasks.

For example, you can create a grocery shopping list, a packing list for your next trip, a list of tasks you need to accomplish for a specific work-related project, or a list of errands you need to run. You can also use Reminders to compile a list of calls you need to make or return, or use it to keep track of an agenda for an upcoming meeting.

Every to-do list you create within Reminders can contain its own items or entries. Each item, in turn, can have a separate deadline and alarm associated with it, as well as its own priority, and it can have text-based notes associated with it. Plus, on the iPhone, you can associate a location-based alert with each item on a list.

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