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Reminders: How to quickly schedule tasks on your Mac

I've written about--and even made videos about--the Reminders app before. While the app, built-in to both iOS and Mountain Lion, isn't as feature-rich as many third-party to-do list apps, I appreciate its simple iCloud syncing, Siri integration, and cross-device ubiquity.

Right now, I want to show you a quick power-user tip for Reminders on the Mac.

Typically, when you schedule a reminder, and want it to sound at a specific date and time, you add it, and then click on the little i button (or double click the reminder itself), navigate into the scheduling doohickey, and pick the reminder time.

But that's not how I do it.

Like Calendar, Reminders is pretty good at parsing normal English text, and turning it into a reminder date-and-timestamp.

We'll start simple:

I type in Start cooking lunch at 11:45, and press Return.

Reminders automatically figures out that I meant 11:45 today, schedules the reminder, and removes the unnecessary time data from the reminder's text.

Let's get a little fancier:

Try something like Buy flowers tomorrow at 9am, or Take out the recycling next Wednesday at 7pm. And when you're looking further into the future, you can use an approach like this: Play a great prank on 4/1 at 11:02am.

That's it! If you rely on Apple's Reminders app to keep on top of all the sundry tasks you face each day, now you should be able to enter those tasks a bit more quickly on your Mac.


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