How to set up location based reminders

Apple’s Reminders app included in iOS 5 or greater is a wonderful, if at times simple list making application that is perfect for getting things done. Families, co-workers and friends can take advantage of sharing lists that update automatically through iCloud. One of the great features is to be reminded of a task or to-do when you reach a certain location. Read on for how to set up location based reminders in iOS 6 on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Whether you are using a shared reminders list or your own, this process remains the same. For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s setup a reminder list for groceries and we’ll include coffee on the list, not a stretch for this author. I want the Reminders app to let me know when I arrive at Target, as that’s where I usually pick up my coffee.

Open up Reminders. At the bottom, select ‘create a new list‘ and title it Groceries. Now, tap on the Groceries list. At the top right, you’ll want to tap on the ‘+’ sign to add an item to your list. I’ll add coffee. Instead of pressing the return key, tap on the arrow to the right of the reminder. Here you’ll see a few expanded options: Remind Me On a Day, Remind Me At a Location and Show More.

set up location based reminder

Tap on Remind Me At a Location. You’ll be asked if you would like to use your current location, which is required for this to work. Select OK and it will reveal a number of options. Reminders can be set to alert you either ‘When I Leave‘ or ‘When I Arrive‘. The ‘When I Leave‘ option is particularly helpful if you want to set a quick reminder when you leave your house. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Reminders will provide you with your current location, so if you were physically creating this list at Target, you’d just tap on the current location. We still have a number of options for setting up this reminder.

Reminder location

Tap on the current location and you’ll see an option ot Enter an Address. You can type in the address of your local Target. If you are like most folks, that’s not the sort of inforation you have handy. No worries. Tap the home button and select the Maps application and enter Target in the search window. Your iPhone will return the Target stores closest to your location. Find your favorite store and tap on the blue arrow. Here you can add it to your contacts, which is worthwhile if you plan on adding future location based reminders for this store. If this is a one time reminder, simply tap and hold on the address to reveal the copy button. Select copy. Double-click on the home button to reveal the multi-tasking tray and tap on the Reminders app.

  • Tap on location
  • Select Enter an Address
  • Press and hold until you see the Paste button
  • Paste the address
  • Press Done

Copy location from Maps

If you added Target as a Contact address, just replace the 3rd step with ‘Tap on the plus sign and locate your contact’.

To finish, press the ‘Details‘ button at the top left and then ‘Cancel‘. You should now be back in your completed Groceries list.

The Reminders application is a simple, yet extremely powerful app that offers iCloud based lists that can be shared across your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. By adding location based reminders, you can have your iOS device remind you when you arrive or leave home, a contact or a specified address. Location based reminders are easy to setup and are a great way to get things done while on the go.

Written By

Christopher Meinck is the Founder and Editorial Director at everythingiCafe. You can also find him co-hosting on everythingiCafe :the show. His smartphone obsession started with the Handspring Treo 180. While the phones have changed, the obsession continues. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Juergen Lorenz says

    Another excellent tip, Christopher. Unfortunately it does not work on my iPod 5Gen with iOS 6.1.2.
    I only get the “Remind me on a Day” choice, nothing about location. I made sure that I have Notification enabled, but to no avail. I guess it’s the lack of GPS, though myTracks works just with tower triangulation. Ah well. J

    • Mel says

      This is due to the lack if the GPS chip on an iPod Touch and iPad. Now if you have the wifi + cellular iPad I believe those come with a GPS chip.

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