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I use recurring Google Calendar reminders to remind me of things I need to do each month, like replace my contact lenses with a fresh pair. I like that once marked done they stay in my calendar so I can look back in time and see when I actually did something. The problem is that I sometimes forget to mark a reminder as done on the day I complete the task so they get shown as done in the calendar some days after I actually did them. For example I put in fresh contact lenses last Thursday but only remembered to mark the reminder done today so it shows as done today.

Is there any way to set the reminder as done on a prior date? Done reminders are seemingly not editable and can't be dragged to a different day on the calendar. I tried a workaround but you can't create a reminder on a prior date, then mark it done; the new reminder just get's added to today.

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Create Tasks instead of Reminders because Tasks CAN be backdated

Note to potential users: (As the OP found out and mentions in his comment).
"I started using Tasks on the desktop web app and thought it was pretty cool. Was subsequently disappointed to find that it isn't integrated into the Calendar app on Android. A separate app to manage Tasks is fine but not having tasks visible in my calendar is a pain."

Create a "Fresh Contact Lenses" task and -when choosing the date- "backdate" it.

tasks create

Note: We can NOT make it repeatable. If we do so, it will default the starting date to today's date and we will loose the backdate. We can only make future tasks repeatable.

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Tip: COPY Reminders to tasks so you have everything in one place.

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Bonus: Tasks -compared to reminders- can cary longer descriptions as well as subtasks.

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  • I usually hate it when"How to do x with y?" is answered with "Use z instead of y"; but in this case it is good advice. With both Reminders and Tasks available I decided to choose and use one exclusively. Seems like I should have chosen Tasks, not Reminders. But other apps, like Keep, work with reminders. I wonder if Google will ever consolidate to just one and stop confusing customers. – Steve Crane Oct 4 at 8:30
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    I started using Tasks on the desktop web app and thought it was pretty cool. Was subsequently disappointed to find that it isn't integrated into the Calendar app on Android. A separate app to manage Tasks is fine but not having tasks visible in my calendar is a pain. – Steve Crane Oct 10 at 9:04
  • It was probably the better calendar integration that made me choose Reminders over Tasks when it came out. Think I might switch back. The reason for this question is less annoying than the lack of full calendar integration. – Steve Crane Oct 10 at 9:14
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    I'll leave this as the accepted answer; it is a workaround but comes with its own set of problems. – Steve Crane Oct 10 at 9:16
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    @SteveCrane Never used it on my mobile. Thank you for mentioning it. I have added your comment to the answer. – marikamitsos Oct 10 at 9:51

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