If you a regular user of the Reminders app in iOS, it’s only natural that you would want to manage your tasks on either your Mac or PC. While the iPhone and iPad are terrific devices, often we find ourselves behind a desktop or laptop, making it a great place to keep productive. The options vary based on your operating system, but both make it incredibly easy to manage your reminders. I’ll cover how to use iCloud to sync reminders and how to use reminders on Mac and PC, along with the differences.

using Reminders on Mac

iCloud Sync Is The Best Option

Reminders on iOS will let you sync with Gmail, Yahoo and of course iCloud. For those who live and die by those services, syncing might be a requirement. For those looking for the best option, it’s iCloud, hands-down as you’ll see later when I review options for managing your tasks. Mac users can opt to add a reminders account for Exchange, Yahoo or CalDAV. You can also add a secondary iCloud account. To do this, navigate to Reminders > Add Account.

create account

How To Sync Reminders With iCloud

Using Reminders with iCloud is pretty seamless. Here’s how to setup syncing of your reminders to iCloud. This is important for a variety of reasons. For one, it allows you to access them across all of your iOS devices and your computer. Additionally, it means they are constantly backed up. If your iPhone is stolen or damaged, your data is protected.

    1. Navigate to Settings > iCloud
    2. Scroll down and make sure Reminders is toggled to the ‘On‘ position (green)

Reminders iCloud enabled

That’s it. Easy, right!

Using Reminders On Mac

There are advantages to using a computer made by the same manufacturer as your iPhone. Apple provides Mac users with native apps that sync with iCloud and work hand-in-hand with the iPhone version. This way, if you are managing your reminders from your iOS device, you can easily pickup where you left off on the Mac. Additionally, if you schedule a reminder, you’ll receive notifications on both your iPhone and Mac.

Reminders Mac

Sadly, the Mac OS X Mavericks version of Reminders looks and feels very dated. It will bring you back to the days of iOS 6. Apple’s recently redesign of Mac OS X Yosemite should bring unity between the interfaces. Design aside, the Reminders app is plenty functional and even has a few benefits not found on the mobile side.

Your lists are aligned in the left column. You can view ‘Completed’ tasks or view scheduled tasks in the ‘Today’ view. All of your reminders can be searched using the app or using Spotlight. Shared lists are denoted by the fan icon which looks like a slanted WiFi icon. When you click on a list, selecting the icon will bring up an option to share a list. You can type by name, provided the user is in your contacts, or by email address.

Reminders app options

At the bottom left, there are options to collapse the sidebar, view a calendar and the last option creates a new list. To delete a list, select it with your mouse and either control-click > delete or navigate to Edit > Delete from the above menus.

To add reminders, select the ‘+’ at the top right of the lined paper. Tick the box next to a reminder to mark it complete. At the top, you’ll see a counter with complete items, which lets you view that list.

The sort options is where Reminders on Mac differs from either the iOS or web version. If you navigate to View > Sort By, you have the following options:

  • Manual
  • Due Date
  • Priority
  • Creation Date
  • Title

Sort Reminders by Priority on Mac

Reminders on the web, a great option for PC users and more

Earlier I recommended iCloud as the best option. Not only do you benefit from seamless integration and syncing, you have the added benefit of accessing Reminders through iCloud. Mac users who despise the older interface or PC users who don’t have access to a native app can get a fast, web-based version that looks and works just like Reminders for iOS. The web based Reminders should be familiar. The iOS 7 aesthetics and same general functionality makes it easy to get down to business. It doesn’t have the advanced sorting options as the native Mac app. In act, the iOS version still trumps it when it comes to any sorting.

iCloud reminders

The best computer is the one in front of you. If your iPhone or iPad is in the kitchen and you’re in the office, there’s a huge benefit to having access to your reminders. Whether you have a Mac or PC, the native or web-based apps are a perfect companion to the iOS reminders app. Simple, yet effective.

If you have an iOS or Mac questions, be sure to post in our forums.