How to set location-based reminders on your cell phone

15 July 2014

Your cell phone does a pretty good job of organizing your life - so much so, it's hard to remember how we ever managed without them. And if you're someone who finds other things hard to reminder, you've probably already become acquainted with your device's ability to remind you of tasks you might otherwise forget.

But as well as asking your phone to send you a reminder at a certain time or date, you can also set reminders based on your geographic location. This is an awesome way to remember to pick up that dry cleaning or pay a bill when you don't know the exact time you'll be in the area.

It's also a great way of making sure you don't leave something important behind when you leave home or work, as you can also program reminders to pop up as you're exiting a location.

Turning on Location Services

Before you do anything, you’ll need to make sure that the required apps can access your location information. For iPhones, you can do this through the Settings app; tap Privacy, then go to Location Services. Scroll down to Reminders and toggle the switch to On.

For Android devices, you’ll also need to open Settings, and then scroll down to the Location Access option and tap. Make sure Access my location is toggled On. Depending on your device and version of Android, you may also need to switch on options such as Location reporting, as well as making sure that location access is toggled on for GPS satellites, Wifi, and cellular networks.

If you’re using Windows Phone, select Start, go left to the App list, then select Settings. You’ll then need to tap Location, and make sure that Location Services are switched on.

To switch on Location Services for a Blackberry phone, swipe down on the home screen to access the Settings icon. Tap and go to Location Services, and tap the Location Services switch on.

Setting reminders


  • Open the Reminders app on your phone’s home screen.
  • Tap New List and enter a title (for example, Groceries, Christmas Shopping, etc), then select Done. Or, if you wish to add a reminder to an existing list, just tap the list’s name.
  • Type in your reminder and then select the ‘i’ icon to add more details.
  • Toggle the Remind me at a location switch to on, then tap Location.
  • You can search for a new location, select Current Location or tap on a saved address from the list on screen.
  • Once you’ve selected your location, you can then drag the black dot on the location map to set how far from the location you’d like to be reminded. You can also choose whether to receive your reminder when you arrive at the location or leave.
  • When you’re done, tap Details to go back, and then select Done to save your reminder.
  • You can also use Siri to set reminders based on location. Hold your Home button to activate Siri, then give it your instructions. Once Siri has it correct, tap Confirm to set your reminder.


  • Android owners can use Google Now to set reminders based on location. Launch Google Now by tapping the Google search bar, swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or holding your phone’s Home button – this will depend on which device you’re using.
  • Touch the Microphone icon and tell Google Now what you’d like to be reminded and where. Save it by selecting Set Reminder.
  • Or, you can select the Reminders icon on the Google Now screen and got to the Add + icon. Type in your reminder, and then choose Where to enter the location details or select from a saved location. Tap Remind me at this place when you’re finished.

Windows Phone

  • You can switch on reminders using the Cortana personal assistant and the Cortana Notebook feature. To set a reminder by voice, hold the Search button to open Cortana.
  • Say ‘Remind me…’ and tell Cortana what you’d like it to do and the location info. Cortana will ask you any details it needs to clarify your request.
  • Review the info on screen and make sure it’s correct – you can tap it if there’s anything you’d like to change. Then select Remind, or tap the microphone icon and say ‘Yes’.
  • To add a reminder in Cortana’s Notebook, select the Search button and tap Notebook, then go to Remind Me.
  • Tap Add + and follow the instructions to set a new reminder.
  • You can also edit or delete existing reminders by going to Notebook and selecting from the list of saved reminders. Tap and hold, and you can either edit, delete or complete a reminder.


Finally, if you use a Blackberry phone, the Remember app will let you set reminders by date but not by location. To receive reminders based on where you are, you’ll need to download an app such as WhenImClose.

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