Setting Custom Repeat Intervals in the Reminders app
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’ve just upgraded to Mountain Lion, and discovered that the new Reminders app for the Mac is almost exactly the same as the one on my iPhone, with many of the same annoying limits. I’m glad I can create repeating tasks on my Mac finally, but it seems I can only choose from a very limited set of options like every day or every week. What do I do if I want to repeat a task at another interval, such as every three or four days? What about repeating after I complete the task, rather than from the original due date? Am I missing something here, or is this app really as stupid as it seems? I know there are other apps out there, but I do like the Reminders for the location features and that it works in the background without me needing to open it all the time to check for and sync my tasks.
A: Reminders is an odd sort of app on both the iOS and Mac side as it is capable of supporting more capability under the hood than Apple has actually provided in the limited user interface. In fact, if you’re using an iPhone 4S, you can create a Reminder via Siri that includes options such as custom repeat intervals that aren’t available from directly in the app. For example, telling Siri “Remind me to take the garbage out every three days” will create a Reminder with a “custom” repeat interval of three days.
By default, this Reminder will start the next day at 9:00 AM, but you can customize this further by expanding your command to Siri, such as “Reminder me to take the garbage out every three days starting Sunday at 9 AM.”
Siri also provides additional hidden functionality for the Reminders app, such as Setting Call Reminders.
Further, since both the Calendars and Reminders applications use the open CalDAV standard, you can actually create and manage items in your Calendars and Reminders lists (which are also just CalDAV calendars under the hood) from just about any CalDAV application.
For example, as you’ve observed, your choices in the app for repeat intervals are limited to Every Day, Ever Week, Every 2 Weeks, Every Month, and Every Year; however not only can you create a task with a different repeat interval using another CalDAV application, but Reminders will display this as a “Custom” repeat interval and honour the repeat interval appropriately.
BusyCal, for example, actually provides direct support for iCloud Calendars and Reminders, yet allows users to specify additional properties for Reminders that are not normally supported directly in the Reminders app. This includes both highly customizable repeat intervals and the ability to specify a due date instead of a reminder; the due date feature allows a task to appear in the Reminders app on a specific day without actually firing off a notification alarm.
Not only are these features handled by the Reminders app, but once you’ve created tasks with these settings, they’ll actually be displayed in the Reminders app accordingly, with a new “Due Date” field available for that particular task, and a “Custom” repeat interval that expands to show the specific repeat information.
Further, you can even use both BusyCal and the Mountain Lion Reminders app in parallel, since they both sync with the same iCloud data. Reminders can be useful for quick entry as well as providing a nice “today list” while BusyCal is great for more sophisticated management of both Reminders and Calendars. It’s unfortunate, however, that Apple requires users to purchase and use additional software to access functionality that is inherently built-in to the Reminders applications in the first place.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- China tightening restrictions on mobile games starting next month
- Supreme Court patent ruling bodes well for future Apple cases
- Apple to pay $400M to consumers over e-book price fixing case
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Spigen Rugged Armor, Style Armor + Wallet S for iPhone SE
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app