Clever Laziness

Location-Based Things Reminders

Juan Villela

Things v3.17 was released and brought a much-needed overhauled Shortcuts integration. The possibilities of what you can do now are too much to cover here. I’d suggest you read MacStories’ great article on this update. What I want to focus on is how you can create your location-based reminders with the enhanced Shortcuts support.

This is something most reminder apps have been able to do for a while now. Why Cultured Code has neglected this feature for so long is beyond me. But this is sorta the whole purpose of Shortcuts; it allows you to fill in the functional gaps.

The setup is quite simple. First, we’ll need a couple of tags that’ll allow Shortcuts to filter Things reminders by “location”. This can be something as simple as Out and Home to demarcate items that should take place at a set location or when we leave.

Shopping list reminder with a list of items on the Things app.

With that we can use the Find Items action to retrieve any reminders that are:

  • Due today
  • Open
  • Marked as Out/Home

This will return a list of items if anything is found. We can then loop over them and update the reminder via the Edit Items action to a Reminder Time soon after we leave/enter the location. I like to set mine to 30 minutes after. It gives me enough time to get out or in and go about my business. This is done with the help of the Adjust Date action.

Two screenshots side-by-side of Siri Shortcuts, showing how to filter reminders and loop over the results.

Once we have the Shortcut built, all that’s left is to run it as a Personal Automation that’ll trigger when you Leave/Arrive at a certain location. This automation allows for fine-grained control over the location radius and block of times you wish for it to trigger. From there, we’ll need to use the Run Shortcut action to run our newly created Shortcuts.

Three screenshots side-by-side of Siri Shortcuts, showing how to add location-based triggers on Personal Automations.

While you could create all these steps within the automation, I prefer to keep mine as standalone Shortcuts that can be utilized elsewhere.

And that’s all there is to it. I’ve used it a few times since the update came out and it’s been a huge improvement over my previous solution which was to hope that I wouldn’t forget to do something when I left the house.

Hope this helps!