Apple Reminders Tips

Apple Reminders is a bit buggy. If you have a ton of reminders like I do, it can start exhibiting some strange behavior.

If you see a reminder that’s missing a description, BE CAREFUL. There’s a possibility that what you’re seeing is not what’s truly there – and in that case, any recent modifications you made to tasks (edits/deletions/marked completions) might have modified the wrong tasks. If you just deleted any tasks, you should hit the undo button to un-delete any tasks that you just deleted. After undoing any deletions, quit Reminders, and reopen it. Hopefully, at that point, things will be correct and you’ll be able to proceed as normal. (If you quit reminders after deleting tasks, there’s no way to get the tasks back unless you have a Time Machine backup, and even then I’m not sure how to get those reminders back. It would be a big hassle).

I have at least 60 repeating reminders each day, and if I don’t delete them, I could end up with over a thousand completed reminders within a few weeks. Because of that, I delete them. But when you delete reminders in bulk, the UI doesn’t update properly. For example, if you delete reminders in bulk and then try to add/edit/delete something else, you might be editing or deleting a reminder that’s different from the one you’re seeing – the display got jumbled up compared to what’s really there. After bulk-deleting completed reminders, always quit Apple Reminders and then re-open it.

Repeating reminders skip missed occurrences. If you made a reminder that repeats every Saturday, and then on the Sunday following the next Saturday you mark the reminder as complete, the reminder will jump to the next Saturday from the current day, not to the Saturday that just passed. Here’s an illustration:

Saturday: Original due date

Saturday
Sunday: Today you mark it as complete
Monday

Saturday: New due date

Be careful before and after changing 1+ reminders’ due date when dragging them to the calendar on the bottom left of the reminders window. It’s best to restart reminders right before and after performing that action, because otherwise, reminders could end up in an inconsistent state (like described above with reminders missing descriptions, and the reminders displaying a different reminder than the one that’s actually there).

Reminders can’t handle the “file:///” URI. If you try to link to a file using the file:/// uri, Finder will probably crash instantly.

Maybe more tips to come…

3 comments on “Apple Reminders Tips

  1. Interesting article Mica! Maybe they didn’t account for edge case that someone will have 60 repeating reminders.

    • It’s probably true that they didn’t expect anyone to make so many reminders! but it’s so convenient to use apple reminders because of siri! most of my attempted todo systems have failed in one way or another. my todo system of apple reminders + mini pocket schedule book ( AT-A-GLANCE Monthly Planner, January 2018 – December 2019, 3-1/2 inch x 6-1/8 inch, Two-Year, Black (7002405) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071CQ8PJ5) (along with some good habits) is the longest-succeeding todo system I have ever followed. all other systems have eventually fallen out of use or failed me in one way or another, or were just too complex.

    • I’ve thought about it and realized that part of the reason I have so many apple reminders is because I treat it like a daily checklist. many of the reminders only take ~30 seconds, some only a matter of seconds. for example, I wouldn’t even remember to turn the ringer on my phone on in the morning if I didn’t have a reminder for it! a lot of my ´ú┐reminders become automatic habits that I don’t have to think about, but for some reason, turning my ringer on in the morning just doesn’t stick as a habit. I really need that reminder, otherwise people could only reach my voicemail box..

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