How to Add a New To-Do List to Apple Reminders

How to Add a New To-Do List to Apple Reminders

Looking to share tasks or keep the housework separate from the shopping? Want to start with a fresh list for a work project or an excursion into nature? Find out here how to add a new to-do list to Apple Reminders on Mac, iPad and iPhone (and how to organize lists with groups to boot).

First, It’s a Kind of Peeler

How would you peel a potato?

Would you hold firm to the peeler, then twist and drag across its top in contortions the potato to rid it off, perchance, a few snippets of peel?

With that in mind, how do you think I would zest with a microplane? Yes… but not any more! One of the best things I’ve learned watching chefs is using a zester like a peeler.

Now, want to cut up your tasks in both logical and efficient a manner into manageable lists to put more, well, zest into your life? Here’s a kind of peeler:

How to Add a New To-Do List to Apple Reminders

Time needed: 2 minutes

To add a new (simple) custom list of to-do items to Apple Reminders on a Mac or iPhone and iPad:

  1. Click or tap Add List under the current lists’ overview.

    macOS keyboard shortcut: On a Mac, you can also press Command Shift N to create a new list.
    macOs menu: macOS also lets you create lists using File | New List from the menu.

  2. Go to New List.

    Templates: Using to-do list templates in Apple Reminders and the Templates tab, you can also start with a list already pre-populated with reminders.

  3. Give the list a name under Name:.

    Example: You can make a temporary list, say for a trip (e.g., “Viatge provençau” for your trip to Provence) or organize your to-dos by category (e.g., “Clean Comforts” for a housekeeping list).
    The looks: Optionally but not trivially, choose a color and icon that will help you spot the list; you can pick either an icon, which affords for a consistent look in Reminders, or an emoji character for more diverse expressions.

  4. Select Standard for the List Type:.

    Shopping: For a shopping list, you can choose Groceries and have items categorized automatically.
    Smarts: To set up a list that collects items using flexible criteria in Apple Reminders, choose Smart List as the type.

  5. Click OK (Mac) or tap Done (iPhone and iPad).

    Share: You can now also share the list and its to-do items with other participants.
    Adding a new to-do list in the Apple Reminders app on a Mac

Organize Lists in Groups with Apple Reminders

On a Mac

To set up folders and group lists in them using Apple Reminders on a Mac:

  1. Select one list you want to see in the new group.
  2. Now choose File | New Group from the menu.
  3. Type the name you want to use for the folder over New Group.
  4. Press Enter.

You can now add other lists to the group using dragging and dropping.

On iPhone and iPad

To add a group to organize lists in Apple Reminders on iOS and iPadOS:

  1. Go to the list overview in Apple Reminders.
  2. Open the three dots menu.
  3. Select Edit Lists.
  4. Tap Add Group.
  5. Type the name you want to use for the folder over Untitled.
  6. Tap Include.
  7. Choose the lists you want to add to the group.
  8. Go back to new Group.
  9. Tap Create.
  10. Now tap Done.

How to Add a New To-Do List to Apple Reminders: FAQ

Can I choose a custom color for a list?


Apple Reminders lets you only choose from the colors provided for custom lists.

Can I put groups within groups for a hierarchy of to-do lists?


Apple Reminders supports one level of nesting only. You can collect lists in groups.

(How to add a new to-do list to Apple Reminders tested with macOS Sonoma 14.3 and iOS 17; first published April 2024)

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