Although not apparently obvious, Apple’s Reminders app on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and iCloud.com lets you share to-dos and checklists with friends and family.
Sharing a reminder list with, say, your girlfriend (or wife) is particularly convenient as you’ll both be able to add, delete and check off items as completed, and all changes will instantly appearing on everyone’s devices thanks to seamless iCloud syncing.
This isn’t just great for grocery lists, shared to-dos and interactive lists among family members, but for business, too. For example, you could share a to-do list with team members to keep everyone apprised of what needs to be done on any particular day.
In this post, we’re going to show how easy it is to create a list in Reminders and invite others to participate across iOS, OS X and the web.
How to create a reminder list
You first need to created a remider list before sharing. Fire up Apple’s Reminders app on your iOS device and pull down with your finger to reveal the search field at the top.
Now tap the plus sign and choose the List option in the pop-up menu to create a new reminder list. Name it, select the list color and tap Done when finished.
Things you can do with shared reminder lists
You can only share reminder lists with the people who are also iCloud users. iCloud works only with devices with iOS 5 or later.
The person who shares a list owns it, and can:
- View, edit and delete the list: mark items as complete, add and delete items
- See, add and delete list participants
- Stop sharing the list
- Delete the list
Participants in the shared reminder list can:
- View and edit the list: mark items as complete, add and delete items
- See who else is sharing the list
You can share any reminder list with others using the steps outlined further below.
How to share reminder lists on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Step 1: Launch Apple’s Reminders app on your iOS device.
Step 2: Tap the list you want to share with others, and then the Edit button in the top right corner.
Step 3: Now select the Sharing option.
Step 4: Tap Add Person and type an email address or contact name of the person you want to share this list with. I’m going to share this list with my Mom for the purposes of this tutorial.
Tip: You can share with multiple people: just tap the plus sign on this screen to add another person to the shared list.
Step 5: Tap Add to start sharing your list with the selected emails. You will return to the previous screen.
Step 6: Tap Done in the top right corner to finish.
How to share reminder lists on Mac
Step 1: Launch Reminders on your Mac from the Dock, or use Spotlight to find and open Apple’s stock Reminders app.
Step 2: Place the pointer over the name of a list you want to share, just below iCloud in the sidebar. If iCloud doesn’t appear in the sidebar, set up your Mac with iCloud in System Preferences → iCloud.
Step 3: Now click the Share List button. If the sidebar isn’t showing, choose View → Show Sidebar.
Step 4: Enter one or more email addresses, or contact names, then press Return.
Step 5: Click Done to finish.
How to share reminder lists on iCloud
Step 1: Log in to iCloud Reminders on your Mac or Windows PC.
Step 2: Click the broadcast icon next to the list you want to share.
Step 3: Type the email addresses or names of all the people you want to share with.
Step 4: Click Done to finish.
How to stop sharing reminder lists
To stop sharing a list, do the following:
- iOS: Open your shared list and tap Edit in the upper-right corner. Now tap Sharing and swipe to the left over any person you wish to remove. Tap Done when finished.
- OS X/iCloud: Click the Share List button next to the shared list in the sidebar and delete all participants by selecting their names and pressing Delete.
If you no longer need the shared list, you can safely delete it which effectively stops sharing it with all participants and removes the list from all devices and iCloud.
How to unsubscribe to shared reminder list
If you no longer want to participate in a shared reminder list, unsubscribe to it by deleting it: select the list you wish to remove and press the Delete or Backspace key (or click the Details button, then click Delete in the Details pop-up window) on OS X and iCloud, or tap Edit → Delete List on iOS.
All of the reminders in the list are also deleted.
How to accept shared reminder list invitations
All invitees will receive an email invitation and a notification that must be accepted before they can view and edit your shared list.
- Email: Simply click a Join Reminders List link within an automatically-generated email message.
- OS X: Launch Reminders, select the shared list in the sidebar and click Accept or Decline
- OS X/iCloud: Log in to iCloud Reminders or launch Reminders on your Mac, select the shared reminder list on the left, then click Join or Decline on the right.
How to resend shared reminder list invitations
If one or more of your invitees have not received an email invitation or a notification to join a shared reminder list, do the following:
- OS X: Click the Share List button next to the shared list in the Reminders sidebar, then click the triangle next to a person’s name and choose Invite Again.
- iCloud: Log in to iCloud Reminders, click the broadcast icon next to the shared reminder list, then click the triangle next to a participant’s email address or name and choose Invite Again.
Only the list owner can resend invitations. You cannot resend invitations using Reminders for iOS.
How to add or remove participants
To add a participant to a shared list, or remove one, do the following:
- iOS: Tap on Edit in the upper-right corner of your shared list, then Sharing and choose Add Person to add a new participant, or swipe to the left over the person to remove them from the shared list.
- OS X/iCloud: Click the Share List button next to the shared list in the sidebar, enter the person’s email address and hit Return to add a participant, or select the person and press Delete to stop sharing with them.
System requirements for Reminders
You can create, edit, view and share reminder lists from any computer or device set up with iCloud, using:
- Reminders app on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
- Reminders app on Macs with OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 or later or iCal on Macs with OS X Lion 10.7.2 or later
- iCloud Reminders web app at iCloud.com, using a supported browser. When accessed on a Windows PC, iCloud Reminders might be labeled Tasks and appear within the Tasks section.
- Microsoft Outlook on Windows PCs running Apple’s free iCloud for Windows utility (Reminders might be labeled Tasks).
With iCloud set up on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac, edits and changes are pushed to the Reminders app on iOS, OS X and iCloud. On a Windows computer with iCloud for Windows installed, changes appear as tasks in Microsoft Outlook.
Reminders and Family Sharing
If you use the Family Sharing feature, all members of your family automatically share a reminder list called Family. You can add reminders to it and they will appear in the shared reminder list on everyone’s devices.
Before you can starting using the family’s shared reminder list, you must first join a family. All family members are automatically added to the Family reminder list and can’t be removed from it except by leaving or being removed from the family.
Limits for Reminders
To help iCloud do its work, keep your items within the following limits:
- Total number of calendars, events and reminders: 25,000
- Maximum combined number of calendars and reminder lists you can have: 100
- Maximum size of all calendar and reminder data (excluding attachments): 24 MB
- Maximum number of characters in a reminder title: 100
Up-to-date limits for Reminders, Calendars, Contacts and Bookmarks can be found in Apple’s support document.
Are reminder notifications shared, too?
No, reminder notifications aren’t shared with others and this is by design. When you set a reminder to go off at a time or place, it won’t ping anyone else on your shared list. To share an event with an alert that will ping everyone’s devices, create a shared calendar in the Calendar app and add an event with an alert to it.
Can I specify a default reminder list?
Yes, you can. To automatically put new reminders on your shared list, set your default reminder list to your shared list by selecting Reminders → Default List on OS X, or Settings → Reminders on iOS. Now choose a default list for new reminders.
Reminders not up to date on your other devices?
To keep reminders up to date on all devices, you must use iCloud:
- iOS: go to Settings → iCloud, then turn on Reminders.
- OS X: go to System Preferences → iCloud, then turn on Reminders.
Although some other types of accounts, such as Exchange, also support Reminders (you can go to Settings → Mail, Contacts, Calendars and turn on Reminders for the accounts you wish to use), you can only share reminders list with other iCloud users.
You might appreciate these tutorials and resources from our archives:
- How to create shopping lists, to-dos and other interactive checklists in Notes app
- How to save your iPhone voicemails as notes or voice memos, or share them with others
- How to use your iPhone EarPods like a pro
- How to quickly locate a specific setting on your Mac
- How to customize your view of System Preferences icons on your Mac
- How to manually remove System Preferences panes from your Mac
- How to send video wirelessly from your Mac to TV
- How to reopen windows and tabs from your last browsing session in Safari for Mac
- Mac tutorials
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