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How to Use the iPhone 4S Reminder App

10 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Communicating with Your iPhone

The Reminders app on the iOS 5 software on your iPhone 4S isn’t just any ordinary to-do list: Reminders on the iPhone can be tagged to your location, and it also works nicely with iCal, Outlook, and iCloud. iCloud can keep reminders in sync across all your iOS devices and computers.

Consider the power of tying a reminder to your location. You’ll be notified of the items you must pick up at the supermarket at the moment you drive into the grocery parking lot. Or perhaps a reminder to call your spouse will pop up before you open your front door following a business trip.

Reminders are organized by lists — at the start, Apple supplies a general Reminders list, and a list that reveals the items you’ve completed — talk about a sense of accomplishment!

You can create your own lists, of course, perhaps one for groceries, another for the tasks you must do for the PTA. Lists show the due date or the location or both. You can swipe to the left or right to quickly jump from one list to another.

The two main ways to display reminders are list view and date view.

To add a reminder in list view, as shown in the following figure, tap the + button at the upper right, and type the name of the reminder you have in mind. To add or edit a list itself, tap the icon with the three bars at the upper-left of the Reminders screen. From the screen that appears, you can also search through all reminders.

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In date view, shown in the following figure, you tap the calendar icon at the upper left. The screen displays a calendar that you can consult to see the reminders of a given day, as well as a search box that lets you find reminders without paying attention to a particular date.

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To add or edit reminder details, tap the reminder itself from either the list or the date view. From the next screens, you’ll be able to choose a date and time in which you want to be reminded, and choose a location. You can indicate that such location reminders appear When I Leave or When I Arrive at My Destination. With Location settings turned on, the iPhone can detect your current whereabouts. To specify the location to use for the reminder, tap Current Location, tap Choose Address, and select a name from the iPhone Contacts list that appears.

From Reminders, you can’t type an address manually; you must choose the current location or select an address from Contacts. So if you want to add addresses to Reminders — the address of your kid’s school, say, or the supermarket — you must first add them to your Contacts.

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