If you really want to make the most of Reminders—the basic task manager Apple introduced with iOS 5—you need to tap into the app’s location-based features. Like the rest of the built-in app, location-based reminders are fairly straightforward, but you must master a few techniques before using them. This primer can help you with the basics.
Edit Your To-Do Details
Whether you want to add a specific time when Reminders should nudge you to perform a task, or you want the app to remind you about a to-do item at a specific location, just tap on a Reminders entry. From the Details screen that appears, you can tap Remind Me to schedule a time-or location-based reminder.
Use the Location Slider
Below the space for setting time-based reminders, you’ll find a slider that lets you tie to-dos to a location. Slide the At A Location slider to On, and you can schedule your alert to sound when you arrive at or leave a specified spot. By default, Reminders assumes you want your reminder to relate to your current location. If you want it to remind you when you arrive at or leave somewhere else, tap Current Location; on the subsequent screen, tap Choose Address.
Set a Location
Here’s where things can get a little tricky. Reminders limits location-based reminders to addresses that are listed in your contacts. Thus, you may end up adding some extra contacts, like work or school or your corner grocery—complete with their addresses, of course—so that you can more easily get Reminders to alert you to pick up certain items when you’re near those establishments.
To do that, you’re going to want to duck out of Reminders and launch Contacts. Tap the plus-sign button (+) at the upper right. You can put the name of the school, workplace, store, or any frequently visited site in the Company field, add a phone number (or skip it), and then scroll down to the field marked Add New Address. Tap that, and then type the address of your frequently visited place. From now on, you’ll be able to use your just-added business as a location for such a reminder. If you don’t mind a slightly cluttered address book, such reminders are a great way to remember to buy lightbulbs when you’re near Home Depot.
iPhone 4S owners can turn to their voice-activated assistant to set location-based reminders. Just say Remind me to take out the garbage when I get home, and Siri creates a reminder tied your arrival. Note that you still need to provide an address book location in order for Siri to issue location-based reminders.