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Kanban in Apple’s Reminders

Apple has added a view to Reminders which shows you tasks in the Kanban column style. Here’s how to use it on the Mac, and also the iPad, plus why not to bother on the iPhone.

Kanban – a popular scheduling system for lean manufacturing – has come to Reminders in macOS Sonoma, iPadOS 17, and iOS 17. It may not be immediately obvious how to use it but it is a feature worth checking out . If you use things like Trello or Asana, you may recognise it when you see it in Reminders.

Instead of a straight list of tasks, a Kanban layout shows each To Do as its own separate column. It’s very simple layout but a powerful one. You can click and grab on each card and drag the task around. So pretty much invariably, a Kanban task list will have columns for tasks that are just started, in progress, or completed.

You can tick any task as done, just like with any other task in Reminders. But you can instead drag them from column to column so that you have a visual sense of everything that’s going on.

How to setup a Kanban list in Reminders on macOS Sonoma

  1. Open Reminders and click Add List at the bottom left
  2. Give the list a name and optionally set the icon and a color
  3. Leave the List Type set to Standard and click OK
  4. Right click in the empty list and choose New Section
  5. Give that a name, and add more New Sections as you want
  6. Choose the View menu and select as Columns

You don’t have to right click to add a New Section. You can alternatively choose the New Section from the File menu, or press Option-Command-N.

Each column in a Reminders Kanban list has a blank To Do already present. You can’t tick it as done, even though it has the Done circle icon, but you can click in it to write a new task. You can also paste tasks in that you’ve copied from other lists.

When you drag a task from one Kanban column to another, it can be a little fiddly. You tend to have to drag it to just above another task, or just above the top blank one, before you can let go.

As for sections, you can choose File, Edit Sections and get a dialog listing each of them that you’ve created. Next to every section listed, there’s an edit icon and that lets you rename the sections.