You might think of reminders as time-based alerts that help you to remember a particular task or errand.
For the longest time, I know I did. But when it comes to iOS, alerts in the Reminders app can be both time- or location-based.
You may have already known this, in theory. But it seems like far too few iOS users take advantage of location-based reminders.
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They can be incredibly handy in organizing our days and to-do lists. As you probably know, not everything in our day-to-day lives has a set timeframe attached to it.
If you already use location-based reminders, great. Otherwise, read on to see how these can boost your productivity and daily routines.
How to Use Location-Based Reminders
First off, make sure that Location Services is enabled for the Reminders app. You won’t be able to use location-based reminders otherwise.
Once they are, just do the following steps.
- Open Reminders and tap the create new reminder plus sign.
- Tap the circular i icon to the right of the title.
- Toggle Remind me at a location.
- Tap Location.
- Search for a location, or enter the address of a location. Alternatively, you can use your Current Location.
- Once you’ve selected a location, you can choose whether to be reminded when you arrive at that location, or when you leave that location.
- When you’re done, tap Details in the upper-left. Then tap Done.
Use Siri to Set up Location Based Reminders
Alternatively, you can always ask Siri to create a location-based reminder for you.
Just say something along the lines of “Hey Siri, remind me to feed the cat when I get home” or “Hey Siri, remind to buy eggs when I leave this location.”
All in all, location-based reminders are pretty easy to use and incorporate into your daily routine.
But there are actually a couple more things you can do to increase the usefulness and content of location reminders.
Fine-tune the Perimeter
During the above process, you might have noticed a circle with a black dot around your chosen location. This represents the location’s perimeter or radius.
The circle represents the arrive you need to enter or leave for the location reminder to be triggered.
As you might imagine, this is incredibly handy if you live, work or attend the gym in a particularly dense area. Similarly, you can set the radius to trigger a location alarm when you leave a certain area — like your city.
To change the perimeter, just tap and drag the black dot. Drag it until the radius around the location is set to your needs.
Create ‘Contact’ Cards
Location-based reminders are already useful. But you can make it much easier for the feature to know when you’re leaving important or frequent locations.
Basically, you’ll create contact cards for significant locations and people in your life.
That way, you can easily use these locations in Reminders without needing to search or type in the exact address every time.
- Open Contacts.
- Tap the + icon in the upper-right corner of the display.
- If it’s an individual’s home, enter their name. In the Company field, you can enter the name of a business or other non-individual location.
- Scroll down and enter the address for the location. Double-check it for accuracy.
You can also scroll down to the Add Field option at the bottom. Tap on it and you’ll be offered a new Nickname field, among other options. It’s handy to add something general into this field (work, gym, doctor’s office, etc.).
Also consider adding accurate address details to other contacts you already have — like family, friends, coworkers, or other people you interact with often.
If most of your contacts have addresses attached to them, you can create a reminder to alert you when you, say, leave Jim’s or Stacy’s house.
Once you set up contacts with addresses, you can simply search for their name or nickname under the Location field when creating a new reminder.
Note: Don’t forget to go to your own contact card in Contacts and add your home and work address — otherwise, you won’t be able to ask Siri to remind you to do something when you get home or leave work.
Use the New iOS 12 Location based Do Not Disturb Settings
Starting with iOS 12, the Do Not Disturb features on your iPhone now sport the ability to enable DND for a specific location. Long press on the do not disturb icon in the control center and set it to “until I leave this location”. The Do Not Disturb features in iOS 12 have some other interesting functionalities as well. Feel free to explore them:
Use Car-Based Reminders
If your vehicle has Bluetooth connection or CarPlay, you can also set a reminder to ping you when you get out or into your car.
Just go to create a reminder and you should see Getting in the car and Getting out of the car options.
Choose one of the options and the reminder will trigger when your disconnect or connect to Bluetooth or CarPlay.
Did you know that you can also share things to reminders. You can share a weblink to it and it becomes a clickable link. Same with maps.Planning a trip somewhere? You can set a apple maps location as a reminder for “when I get in the car” and when you get in your car, it automatically pops up. It’s really handy. Same for shopping lists in notes. Share it and set it for “when I get to Target” or another location and it pops up when you get there and you have your shopping list handy.
We hope that you found these tips helpful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have a tip to share that has worked for you for all these years of using the iPhone.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.