How to use the overhauled Reminders app on iOS

Reminders iOS 13 iPhone

With so many cool updates to apps like Safari, Photos, and Files with iOS 13, Apple gave the Reminders app a nice facelift as well. Along with an improved look is enhanced functionality that is long overdue.

So, what’s new in Reminders? Let’s explore the new features and how to use this overhauled Reminders app on iOS.

New features in the Reminders app

Smart lists

One of the first things you’ll notice with the new and improved Reminders app are the smart lists. These display as boxes at the top of your Reminders screen and include Today, Scheduled, Flagged, and All.

Reminders Smart Lists


Reminders assembles these smart lists to give you a quicker and easier way to navigate to those important tasks.

Quick toolbar

Using the most common things you’d need for a reminder; the quick toolbar puts four handy buttons right above your keyboard. Add any one of them with a tap.

  • Date: Choose from easy options like today, tomorrow, or next weekend, or create a custom date and time.
  • Location: Easily set location-based reminders for when arriving home, getting in the car, or custom locations.
  • Flag: Make a reminder or list item stand out by adding a flag.
  • Photo: Snap a photo, attach one from your photo library, or scan a document.
Reminders Quick Toolbar

Add subtasks

If you use to-do lists for work, then you already know how important subtasks can be. The Reminders app now lets you add subtasks. And you have two convenient ways to create a subtask in Reminders.

First, you can create a subtask just like any other reminder within the list you want. To make it a subtask, just tap and drag it below another task or reminder.

The second option is simple too.

1) Select the task you want a subtask for and tap the Information (small letter “i”) button next to the reminder.

2) Scroll down to and pick Subtasks (this area also shows the total number of subtasks for that reminder).

3) Tap Add Reminder and fill in the details for the subtask.

4) Tap Details to go back and then Done when you finish.

Reminders Subtasks

Group lists

You can use a group to keep multiple lists together. For example, you can create a group for Home and put your Shopping and Grocery lists within it. To create a group, do the following.

1) Tap Edit on the top and then Add Group on the bottom.

2) Give your group a name.

3) If you want to include existing lists to your new group, tap Include.

4) Tap the plus sign for each list you want to add to the group.

5) Tap the New Group arrow at the top to go back and then tap Create.

You’ll see your new group with a folder icon and the lists within it on your main Reminders screen. Note: You can collapse the group for a more condensed view and then expand it when needed.

Reminders Create Group

Customize the appearance for lists

If you’re someone who likes to fancy things up a bit or use specific icons and color-coding for better organization, then you’re in luck. You can customize the appearance of your lists with plenty of options.

1) Tap to select a list and then tap the More (three-dot icon) button on the top.

2) Choose Name & Appearance.

3) At the top of the next screen, you can change the list name if you like.

4) Below the name, you can pick a color and icon for your list.

5) Tap Done when you finish.

Reminders Name and Appearance

Integration with Messages

One of the standout features in this version of Reminders is the integration with the Messages app. This lets you tag a person for a specific reminder and then see a Reminders notification when you’re texting with them.

1) Select the reminder and tap the Information button next to it.

2) Turn on the toggle for Remind me when messaging.

3) Tap Choose Person and select a contact.

4) Tap Done.

Now you’ll see your contact’s name attached to that reminder. Then, when you communicate with Messages, you’ll get a notification from Reminders.

Reminders in Messages

More attachments

As we mentioned above, you can quickly capture a photo, grab one from your library, or scan a document to include with a reminder using the quick toolbar. But you can also add a web link or attach an image from within the reminder.

1) Select the reminder and tap the Information button next to it.

2) At the top, you’ll see a field for URL where you can enter a web link.

3) At the bottom, you’ll see an option for Add Image. If you tap it, you can take a photo, scan a document, or upload one from your photo library just like with the quick toolbar.

You can add more than one image and reorder them with drag-and-drop.

4) Tap Done when you finish.

Reminders Add Image

Wrapping it up

This may be a lot to take in, but these new features make the Reminders app a much more useful tool than before. Will it replace a third-party app you’ve been using for reminders and tasks? Or if it’s your go-to tool already, which new feature are you most excited to see?

Let us know your thoughts on the revamped Reminders app below!