Lots of reminders from recurring events

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Lots of reminders from recurring events

Postby chrisleonard » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:00 pm

I am continuing my evaluation, and have come across another question I'm hoping you can give me some guidance on. I have attached a couple ICS calendars to VueMinder (thanks for your help debugging that) and everything looks groovy. However, the following statements are true:

  • the ICS events showed up with no reminders (even though I think that I had reminder defaults set for that calendar ... though I'm not sure)
  • I added reminders for all future events
  • some of those future events were recurring events that began a long time ago in a calendar far, far away

VueMinder's behavior when I set a reminder for a recurring event that started in the past seems to be that it will allow me to set the reminder for all events or for individual events. Setting the reminder for individual events won't meet my needs, but setting the reminder for all events resulted in a spectacular display of VueMinder's ability to create email, desktop alert, pop-up, and SMS notifications. I am having to snooze my whole life history one week at a time, and I'm glad I've got a healthy SMS allowance, but I do have to admit that hitting the little "x" on all those desktop alerts was kind of fun - sort of like Whack-A-Mole(tm).

Still, it would be nice to be able to attach a calendar, and tell it to set events for future occurrences only. This is especially true since I plan to use VueMinder on 3 different computers, and I'm having to do the Snoozetime Dance on all of them.

In fact, in my dream world, I would like to be able to tell VueMinder to set reminders based on the calendar's defaults for future events only, and have it do that for me.

Is there some way to import / subscribe to a calendar, and set reminders for future events only? I'm not done attaching calendars on all those computers yet, so if this is possible it will save me a bit of inconvenience.

Thanks for any reply,
Chris
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Re: Lots of reminders from recurring events

Postby VueSoft » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:33 pm

Hi Chris. I've taken another look at the ICS feed, and it doesn't contain any "VALARM" fields, which are what VueMinder uses when importing events that have associated reminders. I think that would explain why the events didn't have reminders after importing.

VueMinder does provide the capability to set reminder defaults for a calendar, and have those defaults applied to imported events. However, to avoid the situation you describe, where a massive number of reminders are displayed, the default reminder setting is only used for non-recurring events. To use this capability, go to the Calendar Properties for a calendar that you'd like to import into. On the Event Defaults tab, select the reminder settings you'd like to use as the defaults for all non-recurring imported events. Next, import the ICS file into the calendar (or subscribe to your calendar feed). There is a setting in the import window and subscription settings window to exclude events that are older than a certain number of days. I'd recommend enabling this, so you aren't playing Wack-A-Mole with reminders for many non-recurring events that occur in the past.

For the recurring events, you'd need to manually assign reminders. But again, there is a workaround to avoid the situation you described. Open the recurring event series, and adjust the recurrence range starting date on the Recurrence tab, so the start date is something closer to the current date. Next, assign the reminder settings you'd like for the recurring series. If you don't adjust the starting date, you'll get many reminders for previous occurrences, as I believe you found.

Also, in case you're interested, VueMinder will only process reminders for events that occur within the last 6 months. This is currently hard-coded as a constant, but could easily be made a user preference. I will add an option to allow this setting to be adjusted.

I hope the workarounds described above help you as you import your remaining events. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you find it's not working as I've described. Thanks!
Dan Chartrand, Founder
VueSoft LLC | St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Re: Lots of reminders from recurring events

Postby chrisleonard » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:41 am

Dan, thanks for the guidance. It is helpful, as I had not noticed all of the options you mentioned. I continue to be impressed with the level of support you provide. Do you ever sleep? :)
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