How to Use Reminders to Create a To-Do List with Indented Subtasks

The Reminders app, Apple's free to-do list app, allows users to stay organized by creating to-do list on the iPhone. Reminders can also be edited to include subtasks, nested tasks that will help you break down jobs into smaller components. Learn how to use Reminders on the iPhone to add subtasks to your to-do lists, three different ways. 

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Related: Top Tips from Professionals for Your Most Productive Year Ever

3 Ways to Make Reminders App Subtasks on Your iPhone & iPad

Combine Reminders to Create Subtasks

There are three ways to create a reminder with subtasks, or nested tasks. With the first method, you'll need to have a list of reminders at least two tasks so you can combine them to create subtasks. To do this: 

  1. Open the Reminders app.
  2. Tap and hold a reminder, then drag and drop it onto a related reminder.

    iphone remindersdrag and drop reminder
  3. You'll see the reminder you dragged underneath the one you dropped it onto, listed as a subtask you need to complete before the main task can be marked as done.

    make a reminder subtask


Swipe to Create A Nested Task

Another method for creating a subtask within your reminders uses the same starting point as the method above: you'll need a list of reminders. Next:

  1. Swipe right on the reminder you'd like to turn into a subtask.
  2. Tap Indent.

    swipe right on a reminderindent a reminder to create a subtask
  3. To reverse this, swipe right on the task you designated as a subtask, then tap Outdent. You can also use this method to un-nest tasks you designated as subtasks with other methods.

    outdent a reminder

Add A Reminder Subtask within Reminder Details 

The final method for adding a subtask takes the longest, but is the way to go about it if you haven't already entered the Subtask into a list. To do this:

  1. Tap a reminder, then tap the info icon that appears next to it.
  2. Tap Subtasks (near the bottom of the page).

    tap the info icontap add subtask
  3. Tap Add Reminder.
  4. Type your Subtask and tap the circle to the left of it; the circle will change to the color you designated for the list you're working within.

    tap add remindermake your subtask
  5. Tap Add Reminder again if you'd like to enter additional subtasks, or Details if you're finished.
  6. Once back to your list, you can tap the carrot to the right of the main task to reveal or conceal its subtasks.

    add another subtasktap the carrot to reveal subtasks

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.