Get Organised: Unleashing the Power of Smart Folders in Apple Reminders

In a follow-up to my previous post on utilising Apple Reminders for household chores, I delve into the pitfalls of the reminder lists. While the app is adept at managing tasks, the clutter of overdue chores on personal to-do lists poses a significant challenge.

Addressing Issues with Shared Reminder Lists

In my previous blog post, I discussed utilising Apple Reminders for tracking household chores, highlighting its practicality for managing daily tasks. However, upon reflection, I realised there were notable shortcomings, particularly in the realm of shared reminder lists.

How to use Apple Reminders to track your house chores
The Apple Reminders app is a great tool for managing household chores. It’s easy to use and allows for sharing with others.

The significant issue is when overdue tasks from the shared list start to clutter up your personal daily todo list. Sometimes things come up and you are unable to finish the household chores on the day they are assigned, but you don’t want to see them carrying over into your day to day personal view, such as in the image below.

Apple reminders today view

Moreover, my previous post failed to adequately address strategies for overcoming these challenges. Below is how I have used the smart lists feature to overcome this issue.

Smart Lists

Smart lists represent a powerful organisational feature within Apple Reminders, offering users a streamlined way to manage tasks and stay on top of their to-do lists. Unlike traditional lists, which require manual sorting and categorisation, smart lists dynamically group tasks based on predefined criteria, automating the process.

Create a smart list

How to use them to improve the chores blog post

Unpin Old Today List

To start we will unpin the today view as we are going to replace it with 2 new smart lists. To do this you either on:

  • Mac: right click on the list.
  • iPhone: long press on the list.

and unpin the list.

New Today List

The next step is to create the new today smart list. This list will contain all the tasks which are not from a list you have shared with other members of your household. The first filter ensures you only see tasks which are due today, or overdue, while the second filter excludes the shared lists tasks. The colour and icon are personal preference, however, I tried to align them as closely to the original as possible.

Create the new today view

Once you have the new list created, you can pin it to your favourites like below.

Adding the new today view to favourites

Household List

The process for creating the household list is essentially the same as above, however, in this case the filter should included the shared list/s

Create new household view

As before, you can pin the new smart list to your favourites.

Add new household view to favourites


Finally if you have been using widgets to keep up to date with your daily reminders you are able to swap them to the new smart lists you have created. All you need to do is long press on them and change the list.

Updating the widgets

Final Thoughts

Smart lists were introduced into apple reminders in iOS 15 and up until recently I had not found a use for them. Situations where you need to pull together reminders from multiple lists proves to be the best use case I have found for them so far.