Quickcal and NotifyMe play nice... with some hacking!!

Recently, NotifyMe was made available freely for the iPad and half price for both Mac and iPhone. This spurred in me the interest to check it out and see how much better it fared in detriment to native iOS reminders app. Needless to say I found it far better than iOS Reminders.

(image: 01.png)

The Introduction.

Recently, NotifyMe was made available freely for the iPad and half price for both Mac and iPhone. This spurred in me the interest to check it out and see how much better it fared in detriment to native iOS reminders app. Needless to say I found it far better than iOS Reminders.

What made the sale, so to speak, was the fact that I had greater flexibility with regards to recurring tasks and persistent auto reminders (every so many minutes/hours). After having played with the iPad version for a while I quickly decided to the the plunge and purchased the Mac version.

The Motivation.

While NotifyMe Desktop boasts a Quick Entry panel, it leaves a lot to be desired. The natural language parser doesn’t work to well and it is a little buggy (surely something to be fixed down the line). Now in all honesty, I could just simply be spoiled by Quickcal! I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of Quickcal. The ease and speed with which I can quickly enter an event or reminder is key to my workflow. So I set about Fix the lack of integration between NotifyMe and Quickcal.

Now it is a bit of a hack but for the past couple of days has worked flawlessly and therefore I decided to share the love!

The Hack!

The hack is two part. Part is done on the Mac and part is done on the iPad.

The Mac Part In order to avoid being notified twice about a particular reminder, we need to instruct our Task Calendar to ignore alerts. To do so, we need to:

  1. Open iCal;
  2. Click on the Reminders header;
  3. Right click or ctrl + click on the desired Task Calendar and choose Get info;
  4. Tick the option to Ignore alerts
  5. Close iCal, we’re all done here!

What makes this hack possible, is the ability that NotifyMe Desktop has to sync with an iCal calendar.

  1. Open NotifyMe Desktop and go to preferences;
  2. On the Accounts tab, click on Settings for your NotifyMe Account;
  3. Choose the iCal tab, tick the option to sync with iCal and then choose the Tasks Calendar;
  4. Click Done and exit preferences, we’re all done here.

Last piece of the puzzle (sounds better than hack doesn’t it ;) ) is to tell Quickcal to use our Tasks Calendar as default for Reminders.

  1. Open Quickcal prefernces;
  2. On the Calendars / Lists tab, choose your Tasks Calendar as Default Reminder List;
  3. All done!

That’s it! We can now use Quickcal to quickly enter a reminder into NotifyMe. It will of course be available (repeated rather) in iCal but for me that’s a small price to pay. In fact I find it rather useful since it will also show up in Quickcal’s overview.

Now I did say that this was a 2 part hack. The second part of the hack simply entails disabling iCloud Reminders on the iPad (didn’t use them much either way).

The Limitations.

Now this is far from perfect, as any selfrespecting hack should be and therefore has some limitations. I feel that these limations are a small price to pay however and don’t really impact my workflow in any significant way.

  1. You can only sync NotifyMe with one calendar, unless you use multiple NotifyMe accounts (which you can easily do ;) )
  2. You will have duplicate reminders/tasks, one in iCal and another in NotifyMe, but since the iCal Reminder isn’t alerting me that also doesn’t bother me much;
  3. Others that I can’t quite think of now, but I’m sure brighter minds wil surely spot!

In Conclusion

This works for me, and as many great men say, if it works then it’s right! I’m sharing this in the hope that it will be right for others too.

So hit me back with comments, sugestions and any dificulties you might have, I’ll be glad to help.

The Update

Here’s a quick video showing just how well and fast this all works.