Set up regular reminders to do things on Ubuntu, or set up an alarm for later today. Whether you want to remember to let your cat out of the swimming pool today around 3 or pick up the dog from his job every weekday at 6, the oddly-spelled Indicator Remindor (yep, with an “o”) can help you out by playing a sound, displaying a notification or even running any command.
Sure, you could use a calendar for reminders, but for many people that’s overkill – they only need occasional reminders about certain things. And besides, Remindor can do things most calendars cannot, including launch any command you want at any time. This indicator applet is extremely easy to use and works as advertised.
Setting Up Reminders
Getting started couldn’t be easier – just open the program and it will appear in the indicator area as a clock. Click it and you’ll see your options.
To add a reminder click the appropriately-named “add” button. Now you’re where the action is:
You can set an alarm for later today, which is simple – just enter a time. You can set an alarm for a future day by filling in the “Date” field: type something like “tomorrow“, “next Tuesday” or “August 27“; the software will figure out what it means (and if it can’t you’ll see a red circle with an “X” in the field).
You can even use this to set recurring reminders, eg. “every Tuesday”, “every 21” or “every 30 days beginning today“. Click the “Help” button if you get confused – it outlines numerous examples.
If you’re a fan of Ubuntu’s default notification system (and you should be), you’ll be happy to know it’s supported. Turn the notifications on and you’ll see something like this:
Turn the “Notifications” switch on for this to work. Of course, that might not be enough for you, so be sure to set up a sound as well. There are no included sounds, but you can pick any file on your computer.
You can leave notes, but that’s hardly the most exciting feature here. The most exciting feature is probably…
Remindor becomes powerful once you realize it can launch commands. If you’re a command-savvy Linux user you know exactly what this means, but if not, just know that you can use this to launch any program at a set time. To do this you’ll need to know the program’s commands. Here is a quick rundown of the commands for apps you’ll probably recognize:
Even better, you can launch any program within certain parameters. For example: you could tell VLC to open a certain file at a certain time, just by using the command “vlc /path/to/your/freaking/file.mp3“.
An idea I had was to force yourself to stop browsing the web with the command “killall google-chrome“. The “killall” command closes whatever program comes after it – in this case, Chrome.
The only limits to what you can do with this is your imagination, but I cannot outline everything you need to know about Linux commands in this short article. I suggest you read this and play around with the command line. While you’re at it, type the commands for your favorite programs followed by a space and “–help“. You’ll probably learn something.
Install Indicator Remindor
Congratulations, you’ve managed to read past my mostly-unrelated rant about Linux commands. Now instructions on how to install Remindor in Ubuntu using…commands!
Open the terminal and run these three:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bhdouglass/indicator-remindor sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install indicator-remindor
The first adds the “indicator-remindor” PPA; the second updates your package list; the third installs the program. Alternatively you could use the (GUI) Y PPA, an easy-to-use PPA manager for Ubuntu.
Are you not an Ubuntu user? find the source code here and see what you can do on any other Linux distro. Be sure to fill us in in the comments below!
I’m enjoying this program so far, but I can’t wait to hear what uses you all think of. Please share them in the comments below so everyone can learn from your wisdom, which is presumably immense (but not so much so that you’re invulnerable to flattery). I look forward to a great conversation.