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Using location reminders in iOS

Most task management apps, such as the stellar Things 3 that I rely on, allow you to set reminders based on a time deadline.

But the iOS Reminders app offers something different—reminders based on location, not time.

You can set reminders based on:

  • Current location
  • Home (I presume “Work” is also an option, but I don’t have one set)
  • Getting in your vehicle
  • Getting out of your vehicle
  • Any custom location you set

This offers a completely different way of thinking about reminders. Instead of setting a time in which you need to be reminded, you instead set a location.

So instead of guessing exactly when I’ll arrive at my dad’s assisted living facility, at which point I’ll need to be reminded to bring in the items I brought for him from the trunk (something I routinely forget until I’ve signed in and made my way to his room), I now set a reminder for when I get out of the car.

Or perhaps I need to inquire with a caregiver about some issue, I can set a reminder to ping me when I arrive at his facility.

I’ve found this especially useful when I was recently traveling on a freewheeling road trip, where I planned my route and itinerary as I went.

For instance, I knew that I’d need to make a video call when I was in good cell coverage, so I set a location reminder for when I passed through the next substantially-sized town.

There were also a few ancillary stops I might make if I wasn’t too behind on time and had the energy, but I wouldn’t need to decide until I got to a certain highway junction. So I set a reminder for that spot, alerting me that I’d need to make a decision.

And I needed to make sure to send an email before bed, but I wasn’t sure what time I’d arrive. So I set a reminder to pop up when I got to my hotel for the night.

I also set a reminder for the next morning when I started the car that I should fill up my cooler with (free) hotel ice before departing.

You could even use location reminders to store places—maybe that famous restaurant in Miami, or that quirky bookstore in Berkeley—that you want to visit while traveling (though I prefer to keep separate Adventure Maps and Adventure Files for that).

For most of my tasks, Things works great. But there are definitely some occasions when a location reminder works much better. If you have an iPhone, give it a shot!

2 thoughts on “Using location reminders in iOS”

  1. Rumor has it that Things 4 will have location-based reminders too. I’ll pay an upgrade price for that. And, yes, you can set a work location.


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