All about Reminders

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☑ Using reminders

Reminders works very much like a pen-and-paper list, but it’s smarter. When you’ve completed a task, just click the checkbox next to it to mark the reminder as complete. If it’s a reminder that doesn’t repeat, it will disappear from the list and be added to that list’s Completed items. (As well as the overall Completed list that appears at the top of Reminders’ lists.)

If, however, it’s a repeating reminder, that instance of the reminder will be replaced with the next one. For example, if you’ve checked off your fortnightly Suck Up To The Boss item, that item will remain, but it will display the next iteration of the reminder, two weeks hence.

Reminder items need not stay in the list in which they were created. You can easily move them to another list by selecting and dragging them to a list of your choice. Optionally, you can Control-click (right-click) a reminder and choose Move to List from the resulting menu.

If you’d like to remove a list, just select it and choose Edit > Delete or Control-click (right-click) it and choose Delete.

☑ Sharing reminders

Reminders provides a number of ways to share your to-do items. You can select an item and choose File > Export. Or you can select a reminder and drag it to the desktop, where it turns into a .ics file that you can send to others. Importing these files can be done through File > Import, or by dragging the file on top of the Reminders icon in the Dock. When you do this, you’ll be asked which list you’d like to add the reminder to. (I’ve had to quit and restart Reminders for these imported items to appear.)

This is one way to share your reminders, but you may have to use Reminders to remind you to do it. A more efficient method is to share a list. And it’s easily done if the person you want to share with also has an iCloud account and is using Mountain Lion 10.8.2 or later.

Just hover your cursor over a list you’ve created and you’ll see a broadcast icon appear to the right of the list’s name. Click that icon and a small window appears. Into this window add the iCloud email addresses of those you wish to share the list with. (If the person you want to share with is in the Contacts application and that contact has an associated email address, just type their name.)

Share a reminder list.

When you click Done, the person you want to share with will be sent a couple of invitations. One will appear in their iCloud email. When they click Join Reminders in that message, they’ll be taken to the iCloud site where they must sign into their account. The other invitation appears in their copy of the Reminders application. The shared list will appear in the list column. To join the list the participant simply selects that list and clicks the Accept button that appears in the Reminders area. Those sharing your list will be able to add, update, and delete reminders in this list.

And that’s Reminders, an easy-to-use and lightweight to-do application.

Next week: Introduction to Messages

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