I just found out that Siri can do complex calendar schedules, such as scheduling something for every three days. The calendar app has a very limited interface for complex scheduling, so I'm wondering what other calendar scheduling I can do with Siri that I can't do with the regular calendar interface?

One thing I'm curious about is whether it can schedule monthly "first ... of" repeating events. For instance, I have a meeting I attend on the second Tuesday of each month. Can I schedule that using Siri, and what is the best phrasing to use?

  • updated answer to reflect the change in your question.
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 30, 2012 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


While I am sure its not a complete list (the only people who would have that would be Apple), here is a list I found on many of the phrases Siri understands:

Adding Events

  • Set up a meeting at 9
  • Set up a meeting with Michael at 9
  • Meet with Lisa at noon
  • Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am
  • New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3
  • Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom

Changing events

  • Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30
  • Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am
  • Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason
  • Cancel the budget review meeting

Asking about events

  • What does the rest of my day look like?
  • What's on my calendar for Friday?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When am I meeting with Michael?
  • Where is my next meeting?

More available at http://www.iphonehacks.com/2011/10/iphone-4s-features-exhaustive-list-of-phrases-siri-can-understand.html

I personally have found that many of these features are available through the UI, but so complex or have a confusing workflow that most people wouldn't deal with it (for example, think of how many taps it would take to set a meeting at a time somewhere and invite someone?). For example, in the linked question about every three days, I wonder if it set a repeat that way (which is not available in the UI), or created new independent events.

After seeing your updated question, related directly to recurring monthly events on a certain day-of-week, I could not reliably get this to work. Using a phrase like 'schedule _ for the first Thursday of every month' did prompt for a time, but then tried to create the even for every day. This may work on a month to month basis, as in 'schedule __ for the second Tuesday of April'. I did another test just now, and it actually created a repeating event, but nothing more than a repeating one on the 30th of every month (it said it was creating a new event starting today). This was using the same phrase, and gave obviously different results.

I am not sure if this was due to a limit of Siri, or the fact that the recurrence options of Calendar on iOS is limited. This feature is easy to do on iCloud.com or in iCal itself.

  • I can test a few more phrases, but honestly that seems the most direct to me, without oddly hacking around. Ill update with whatever other ideas come up.
    – jmlumpkin
    Mar 30, 2012 at 19:16

I believe it is only limited by the recurrence rules based on the iCalendar standard. Thus repeating events or reminders like 'the first Tuesday of every month' should be possible but 'the first Tuesday and last Thursday of every month' is theoretically not with just one event because iCalendar doesn't support that recurrence. The trick is figuring out which keywords trigger Siri to setup the schedule.


I have been having issues lately with SIRI giving errors of "Sorry Tim, I Can't schedule appointments in the past. For example if you ask it to remind you of something the third week of every month, or I even asked it to schedule something for a specific date later this month and it gave the same error. I was pretty sure SIRI could handle something like that, but since it's happening on all my IOS devices, it is not currently capable of that type of request. I have also learned that no matter what, it is definitely not perfect, and many time I just need to do it manually anyway. Hopefully this will improve and one new one I like the looks of very much for more complex questions is called "Hound", it's by the folks who make soundhound

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