Apple Watch: Reminders & Alarms

Goal: Create repeating weekly/daily alarms with a display of the upcoming alarm (and its info text) on the watch face.

I work as a freelancer from home mornings/afternoons and without prompting, tend to get fully absorbed in things to the point that errands, lunch, etc. can be completely forgotten. Most importantly, given that my out-of-house schedule is the same each week in the afternoons/evenings, I have relied on various daily iPhone alarms to remind me of when to leave to make sure I catch the train I need.

However, this system was always a bit annoying because there was no quick-glance option. If I wanted to double check which time I should depart on a Tuesday, I had to open the alarm app, find the repeating Tuesday alarm, and read in the text of the alarm what time the train departs (I name each one with the associated info, so it pops up, upon alerting me).

iOS 10 helped this issue to a degree, with the “Up next” widget in the notification center. But then I got an Apple Watch and there was seemly no way to view alarm text quickly for this.

Now to Apple’s default Reminders app…

I’ve used this app for passive lists (shared grocery list with my husband, etc) for years, but had never bothered with it for real reminders. It took some playing around to lay things out as I wanted (dates must be input like a calendar entry, extra notes can also be added within each entry), but the more I customized it, the better it became. Among the most enjoyable realizations was that this setup, unlike the alarms app, this one would sync with my iCloud account and upon getting a new phone, I wouldn’t have to redo them all.

Notes for setup:

Location of alerts – If you want notifications only on your watch, leave as is. I wanted them on my phone (louder) and just to be able to see them coming (text on watch face) on my wrist. To achieve this, notifications must be disabled for the watch (in the Apple Watch app, under Notices). I then also played around with the Reminders alert tone to find one that was an adequate length and volume for what I wanted, as the default Reminders alert tone is a bit quiet for my needs.

See the upcoming items in your watch face – Pick a face that has the option, and add the Reminders complication!