Speaking To-Dos with Siri

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2017 01:40PM CEST

Learn how to enable Siri integration with Things and get some tips on how to use it.

Beginning with iOS 11, you can enter to-dos in Things without even typing. Just tell Siri what you need to remember.

Enable Siri

iPhone

On your iPhone, go to Settings > Siri & Search and ensure that Press Home for Siri is enabled.

Within Settings > Siri & Search, scroll down until you find Things. Make sure that Use with Siri is enabled.

iPad

On your iPad, go to Settings > Siri & Search and ensure that Press Home for Siri is enabled.

Within Settings > Siri & Search, scroll down until you find Things. Make sure that Use with Siri is enabled.

Watch

Siri on your Apple Watch is turned on when you've enabled it on your iPhone.

Mac

SiriKit isn't available on the Mac, but you can use Siri to create Reminders, and import them into Things.

How to Speak to Siri

Once you’ve got this feature enabled, you can try it out on your iPhone or iPad. In order to send to-dos to Things, you must use a specific sentence structure and phrases which are required by SiriKit. There are three key elements:

In Things | remind me | to buy milk.

  1. You need to tell Siri which app you are targeting. You need to mention Things specifically, otherwise Siri will save your task to Apple's Reminders app.
  2. You have to tell Siri to "remind" you, or to "create a task" in Things.
  3. You have to tell Siri what you want to be reminded about.

When you specify to which app Siri should add your task, the destination can be either at the beginning or at the end of your sentence. The following phrases work:

  • "In Things,..."
  • "Using Things,..."
  • "... in Things."
  • "... using Things."

To make sure that Siri understands you, here are some more tips:

  • Siri doesn't understand the difference between a project or area, they are all considered lists: "In Things, remind me to Buy milk in my Shopping list."
  • To see to-dos which share a specific tag, you have to ask for a list as well: "In Things, show my errands list."

Siri learns from you. The more you speak to it, the better it will get and will present you with more accurate results. It's possible that a command won't be understood when you try it at first; if you give it another go, it's likely that it will be recognized then.

Use Siri to Create a To-Do

Here are some examples of how to create new tasks in Things, target a specific list, and add a reminder:

  • "In Things, remind me to buy milk."
    The to-do is added to the Inbox.
  • "In Things, remind me to buy milk today."
    The to-do is added to the Today list.
  • "In Things, remind me to buy milk tomorrow."
    The to-do is added to the Upcoming list.
  • "In Things, remind me to buy milk tomorrow at 10am."
    The to-do is added to the Upcoming list and it has a Reminder which will notify you at 10am.
  • "In Things, remind me to buy milk tomorrow at 10am in my Shopping list."
    The to-do is added to your Shopping project and it also has a reminder which will notify you at 10am the next day.

Use Siri to Show Lists

Apart from adding new to-dos to Things, you can also ask Siri to show you your lists. Here's how:

  • "In Things, show my Inbox list."
  • "In Things, show my Today list."
  • "In Things, show my shopping list." (shopping = project.)
  • "In Things, show all my lists." (all your areas and active projects will be shown)

You can also have Siri filter Things for specific tags, or show you to-dos which you have scheduled for the future:

  • "In Things, show my errands list." (errands = tasks with errand)
  • "In Things, show my tasks for tomorrow." (tasks with a start date of tomorrow)
  • "In Things, show my tasks for next week."

Known Limitations

SiriKit has a few limitations and currently doesn't allow for the following:

  • You can't cancel or edit to-dos within the Siri screen.
  • While we show the checkbox for every to-do, it’s currently not possible to tap this checkbox to complete the to-do within the Siri screen.
  • You can't add to-dos to Things while driving (via CarPlay). You can speak to Reminders and import them, though.

These are not bugs. At this time, it's simply not possible for us to create these interactions within the SiriKit framework. Once this becomes possible, we'll certainly look into it.

Troubleshooting

Siri doesn't understand "Things" in my language

Unfortunately, we cannot teach Siri how our app name is pronounced. We hope that the more often "Things" is requested, the better it will become at learning it. Until then, you might have to experiment with different pronunciations. We found that in German and Swedish, "Tings" yields good results. In French, you might need to try "Sings".

Siri keeps adding to Reminders

If you find that, no matter what you do, Siri on your iPhone or iPad keeps adding your tasks to Reminders instead of Things, you can try these steps:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Siri & Search and scroll down until you see Things.
  2. Tap Things > Using Siri so it's no longer active.
  3. Reboot your device.
  4. Unlock your device.
  5. Invoke Siri by long-pressing the Home button.
  6. Say "Using Things, add a task."
  7. Siri will ask: "I’ll need to access your Things data to do that. Is that OK?" Confirm this with Yes.
  8. Then Siri should ask you "What should it say?" (the task you mentioned in step 6).
  9. Speak the title of your task, like "Buy groceries".


 

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