How to Use iCloud to Share Your Reminders on iOS 5

By , Oct 18, 2011

Reminders in iOS 5 is Apple’s kick in the teeth for all those To-Do apps that litter the App Store right now. A walk through the App Store will reveal more To-Do apps than you can shake a stick at, but Apple’s own Reminders app does pretty much everything you could ever need in iOS 5.

There’s one Reminders feature that Apple hasn’t made a very good job of promoting. You can use iCloud to share and sync your reminders and tasks with other people…

Using Reminders and iCloud, anyone can share their list of tasks with someone else. But that’s not the best part — the link works both ways, which means both parties can add, and check off tasks.

To get this up and running, one of the two parties (me, for this example) shares their Reminders list from inside the Calendar web-app on iCloud.com. You need the recipient’s email address, and it doesn’t even have to be their iTunes or Apple ID, either.

Party number two (Alex, for our oh-so-excellent example) then received an email and a link. Clicking, or indeed tapping if using an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, takes him to an authentication screen where he then enters his real Apple ID. That’s it. Done.

Fire up Reminders on a device running iOS 5 and wait for the syncing magic to happen. Soon enough, the shared list appears as if it was a local one. Adding new items to it, and indeed checking them off, is then synced both ways via iCloud. It’s awesome, and it’s basically undocumented.

This would have been awesome when my wife and I were planning our wedding. It can be useful for the everyday things, like grocery lists, too.

[Justin French]

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  • Bow

    Wow. Nice article. Great info.

  • Gus

    Wow. First tip I send in, and it gets used, another reason I frequent this site often. Nice work Oliver!

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      And thank you for sending this tip in. Keep them coming!

  • Pete

    One thing I don’t like is that you have to have a contact stored on your phone to use this. you can’t point to a location using google maps etc

  • http://justinfrench.com Justin French

    Rather than a “hat tip” buried at the bottom of the post near an ad, how about real credit?

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

      Satisfied?

      • http://justinfrench.com Justin French

        Hah, you’ve made it worse, but whatever. Everything is a remix.

  • http://scafe@me.com Scafe

    How exactly do you set this up on iCloud calendar ? I can’t for the life of me figure it out

    • Gus

      How far have you gotten?

  • Hot pants

    No seriously how do you set this up?

  • cgordonn

    This also works for iCloud calendar as well. You need to sign into iCloud on your PC or Mac (this won’t work on iPhone or iPad). Click on the calendar or reminder (list on the left side of calendar) you want to share with another iCloud user. Click the little share symbol in the top right corner of the selected calendar or reminder and enter the email address of the iCloud user you want to share with. Select their level of access and then click share…that’s it. When the share recipient gets the share request, ey need to sign in with their iCloud ID, this they can do from either iPhone or iPad.

  • Jamey

    One bad thing about iCloud reminders – when you add the task through the iCloud web interface you cannot set a time to be reminded. The alert option only has date of event and a couple of “x hours before” settings but since it only asks you for the date (and not the exact time) then they’ll all be working around midnight of that day… Also you can’t set location reminders in iCloud. I’d like to be able to choose a point on Google Maps and set reminders within a certain radius. In fact I’d like that on the iPhone too instead of being forced to use addresses saved in my contacts.

  • Jamey

    One bad thing about iCloud reminders – when you add the task through the iCloud web interface you cannot set a time to be reminded. The alert option only has date of event and a couple of “x hours before” settings but since it only asks you for the date (and not the exact time) then they’ll all be working around midnight of that day… Also you can’t set location reminders in iCloud. I’d like to be able to choose a point on Google Maps and set reminders within a certain radius.

  • Frank

    This is a great start. I agree you need to be able to set times, location would be nice. What really galls me though is that you can’t turn on/off sharing lists or calendars right from your iDevice, you must be on a mac or pc.

  • Nick

    yes agree need to have a time for reminders, I was hoping to find a solution on the net, which lead me to here..at least I’m not the only one that would like this option.

    Also would prefer a swipe to delete on the front page as well.

  • Rob

    Is there a way to share reminders with friends when you do not have the cloud available? I am in the Navy, stationed on a submarine, and we do not have internet connectivity while at sea. I would like to share reminders with my boss when no cloud is available.

  • Don

    Can this still be done in iOS6?

  • YankeeEsq

    Thanks. This still works in IOS6. I did it online and there is not much direction (one could imagine and prefer that is has the link arrow). When signed in to icloud on a pc in the left hand column there is an icon like a satellite dish for sharing and you click that to then share.

  • http://twitter.com/SuperMichelleYo Michelle Yo

    how can you set a reminder to this list using siri?

    • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

      instead of saying ‘remind me to…..” (which defaults to the default reminders list, you say “add ______ to Oli’s reminders” or in my case, “add cheese to grocery list” (I have a list called Groceries).

  • dalex7777

    Thanks for posting this, this was very useful!