Hey Siri, Remind Me To…

January 28, 2019

Siri’s been around since 2010, but despite my borderline obsession with Apple products and services, my use of Siri has been limited until fairly recently. I think my increased usage is likely due to several factors, including Siri’s recent improvements, a Series 4 Apple Watch that allows Siri to speak back to me, and voice assistant technology reaching a tipping point for widespread adoption, particularly with the Amazon Alexa and Google Home product ecosystems.

The most frequent way I use Siri is to create reminders to do particular tasks at a specific time or location. Here are some examples of ways I use Siri to create reminders:

Location-Based Reminders

This will use your phone’s location to remind you to do a particular task when you leave or arrive at a particular location. If you’d like reminders for home and work, make sure you have these addresses saved in your personal contact card in the Contacts app. If you use a location like a particular store, Siri may ask you to select which location you mean, which is a great way to make sure you remember to pick up a particular item when you are near a store.

Hey Siri, remind me to take out the trash when I get home.

Hey Siri, remind me to call mom when I leave work.

Hey Siri, remind me to get paper towels when I arrive at Costco.

Time-Based Reminders

You can set reminders for a particular time, or relative to the current time. This is a great way to remind yourself to follow up with someone.

Hey Siri, remind me to contact my financial advisor in two weeks.

Hey Siri, remind me on January 30 at 9:50 am to preorder Jimmy Eat World tickets.

App-Based Reminders

Many apps support creating a reminder about what you are viewing on your iPhone or iPad screen at that moment. The reminder you create will contain a link that will bring you right back to what you were viewing later. I use this most frequently with email, messages, and Safari when I see something that I want to address later – for example, a text message received when I’m in the middle of something, or a work email I want to address when I arrive at the office. I’d recommend trying it out with the apps that you use most frequently to see how it works best for you.

Hey Siri, remind me about this tonight at 7:30.

Hey Siri, remind me about this when I arrive at work.

While Siri and her cousins from Google and Amazon have come a long way in recent years, the technology still isn’t perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t hear you correctly or just plain misinterprets your command. In that case, try slightly changing the phrase. I’ve also experienced glitches that only seem to be corrected by rebooting the device, which isn’t a bad idea to do from time to time anyway.

I’m always looking for interesting ways to use technology – what’s your favorite way to use your preferred voice assistant?

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs. Matt is one of the founding members of the RKG Tech Law Group.