The App That Makes My Life Infinitely Easier

I am so excited to share this tip with you today! Earlier this year I let two of my friends in on my secret for never having to write a grocery list again. After hearing their positive feedback, I knew I needed to share it here with all of you. It is a tool that has simplified my life and made running errands and keeping track of my to-do lists so much easier. I no longer need to write a list every time I run to the store or attempt to rely purely on memory. Now, I only have to create a list once and a simple tap of my finger adds the items I need to check off on my to-do list. Best of all it is organized in a way that makes sense to me.

Do you use the Reminders App on your iPhone?

I use the Reminders app to create, organize and share my lists of life’s to-dos on a daily basis. The Reminders app had a reputation for being one of the least used apps on the iPhone, iPad and apple watch when I discovered it a number of years ago. I soon realized that it was a great resource for keeping my to-do lists on hand at all times.

How many times have you written out a list only to find that you have left it behind once you reach the store?

I am rarely without iPhone and it is great to know that I have a complete list of what I need at a number of places if I decide to make an impromptu stop. Thanks to a 2019 update the new features have made it even more invaluable.

My MOST Used Lists

Apple Reminder app, to-do list, family organization, grocery shopping, meal planning

Daily To-Do: A lot of my to-dos repeat themselves. For example: laundry, going to the car wash and returning books to the library are all things I find myself doing on a regular basis. These items stay on my daily to-do list and I uncheck them when they need to be done.

Meals This Week: Every time come across a recipe that sounds appetizing I add it to this list. Recipes that are a hit with my family stay on the list and everything else gets deleted. When I am meal planning at the beginning of each new week I refer to this list of over 100 dinner ideas to determine what we haven’t had recently and what sounds most appealing. Sometimes I will ask my husband and kids to each pick a couple favorites from the list as well. On Sunday evening 5-7 meals will get unchecked for the week and the ingredients we are missing also get unchecked on my grocery list. As I make each meal, it gets checked off once again.

Stores: I include a list for each of the stores I regularly run errands. This includes Trader Joe’s, Costco and Target.

Books: I keep a list of books that I would like to read in case I find myself at the bookstore or a library. Whenever I read a great review or receive a recommendation from a friend I add the book to this list.

Family Bucket List: My family will often create a bucket list at the beginning of the summer or holiday season to remind us of activities we would like to do as a family when we have free time. I the past, I would hear about a great activity to do as a family, but forget all about it by the time a free afternoon rolled around. This list ensures that we don’t forget. Some of our bucket list items this year have included berry picking, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge and having dinner at the Tonga Room.

Mall: My mall list allows me to add items when I think of them and be assured on my next mall visit that I won’t forget to make a return, pick up a gift for an upcoming birthday or find the exact shade of lipstick that needs to be replaced. There is nothing worse than returning home from mall only to realize you forgot one of the main reasons that sent you to the mall in the first place. I list the stores I need to visit and use subcategories under each store name to list the items I need at that particular store.

Organizing & Editing My Lists

I find that I buy the same things over and over again at many of the stores I visit. Each list I created orders the items by how I typically navigate that particular store. I am a creature of habit and tend to follow the same route through Trader Joe’s, Costco, Target, etc… every time I shop. You could also list items alphabetically or however makes the most sense to you. When we are running low on a grocery staple or as I’m meal planning for the week I tap on the red button next to the item I need. The red button immediately changes to a gray circle and those items automatically move to the top of the list. I tap the gray circle once I have added the item to my cart and it returns to its prior spot on the list.

With Reminders it is easy to add or delete a seasonal item or rarely used ingredient to a specific spot on the list.

Example: In the fall pumpkin bagels to the bakery section of my list. Once pumpkin bagels have disappeared again, I will remove them from my list to make it more manageable.

Sharing & Collaborating Lists

My favorite updated feature of the Reminder app is that it allows me to share my lists using email, text, Group Me, etc… with anyone. Once the person/people I have shared my list with accepts my invitation, they are able to edit the list and check off items they complete.

Example: When my son notices that he is running low on pencil lead during 5th period he can immediately add it to the Target list.

Example: When we go to Trader Joe’s as a family we can save time and each head to a separate area of the store to find and mark off the items on our list using our personal devices.

Example: When my husband stops at Costco on his way home from work to pick up a prescription he can check the list to see if we need anything else from Costco while he is there and save me a trip later in the week.

Adding Additional Information to Your List

The information for each item on the list can be edited to include a note, link and photo of the product. I sometimes include the price I have previously paid for an item in the notes. If I am shopping and the price is drastically higher or lower than the price I have listed, it helps me to decide to either pick the product up now or wait until a later date.

Have you ever asked someone to pick something up at the store for you and they either have to call you from the store to clarify which size, brand or flavor they should get or they bring something home that you didn’t have in mind?

The Reminders app allows you to add a photo to the item on your list to eliminate confusion.

I would love to hear your comments regarding this post. Do you already use the Reminders app? Did this post inspire you to explore the Reminder app? What list would you find to be most helpful in your day to day life? Is there anything that I can clarify?

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Have a happy Presidents’ Day Weekend 🇺🇸


  1. Erica Jones Starkey

    May 26, 2021 at 6:30 am

    Just downloaded. Let’s see how we do!

  2. alicia baccei

    February 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

    This is awesome.. I will have to get this app. We run into this problem at home where the girls will finish something and not let me know it is gone. I am costantly saying make a list and now this will allow them to add it.

    1. Parker

      February 13, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      I’m so glad you like my tip! If you have an iPhone, the app should already be on your device. If not, I have added a link in the post to take you directly to the Reminders app in the App Store. Simply click anywhere you see the word Reminders in pink bold letters. Let me know in a couple weeks how it is working out for your family.

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