Events and tasks can be set up to display a
desktop alert reminder type. Desktop alerts will display in a small window in the lower right
corner of the screen, similar to the alert that some email
programs show when a new email arrives. An example desktop
alert is shown below.
To enable a desktop alert reminder, check the "Show a
box in the list of available actions on the
Event Editor or
Task Editor window. This will allow the desktop alert options to be viewed or
modified as described below. There are two tabs for configuring
the desktop alert settings. The "When" tab allows scheduling of
when the desktop alert should appear. The "Content" tab allows
selection of what the desktop alert should contain.
Desktop Alert Settings - When
Before Event Start / Before Task Due
- You can specify the amount of time before the event or
the desktop alert should be first displayed.
- The time can be between 0 minutes and 6 months before
the event starting time or task due date.
- The value can be typed in or selected from a drop-down
list. When typing in a value, the number must come
first, followed by a space and then the unit of time (minutes,
hours, days, weeks, or months). Example: "1.5
- Enter a negative value to make the reminder appear
after the event or task start. For example "-1 hour"
will make the reminder appear at 1 hour after the start
At Specified Date/Time
If you prefer to specify an exact date and time for the
reminder to appear, you can use these fields. Any changes
made here will automatically adjust the "Before event start"
value, and vice versa. The values can be selected using the
drop-down button or typed in with the keyboard.
Before Event End / Before Task Due
A secondary reminder can be displayed based on when the
event ends or the task is due. For example, if you have an
appointment to have your dog groomed, the first reminder
would be for dropping your dog off at the groomer and the
second reminder would be for picking up your dog later in
the day. Rather than defining two events to get two
reminders, a single event with starting and ending times
could be used.
- Desktop alerts can be automatically snoozed. This
feature could be used if you're away from your computer but
within hearing distance, since desktop alerts can also play
- When automatic snoozing is selected, the desktop alert
will be displayed for the amount of time specified. It
will then be snoozed and will reappear and replay its sound after the specified
snooze time has been reached.
- In the example image above, the desktop alert will
be displayed for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, it will
automatically snooze for 5 minutes.
- You can select a time from the drop-down list, or type
in your own value.
Reminder sharing options will be displayed if the reminder is
associated with an event
belonging to a calendar that is shared or published. These options allow you to choose whom should see
the reminder. You can also choose to not have the reminder shown
- Use the "Show reminder to event creator" checkbox to
control whether you want to see a reminder for this event.
For example, if the event is being delegated, you might not want to see a reminder for it.
- Use the "Share reminder"'
checkbox to allow other people to see the reminder.
When checked, two additional options will be displayed for
tailoring how the reminder will be shared.
- To show the reminder to everyone that is sharing the
same calendar, select
the "Show reminder to everyone" option.
- To show the reminder to certain people based on
their Windows user login name, select the "Show reminder to
user names" option. A text box will be displayed where the
user names can be entered. Separate the user names with
spaces or commas.
Desktop Alert Settings - Content
Play a Sound
- You can play a system sound or a specific sound
(wav) file when the desktop
alert is displayed.
- This sound will play each time the alert is displayed,
including after it has been automatically snoozed.
- To choose a system sound, select the "Play system sound"
option, and then select a system sound from the drop-down
- To choose a wav file, select the "Play sound file (wav)"
option. A path to a sound file can either be typed in,
or you can select the "..." button to browse for a sound
file. You can also click the drop-down arrow to access
a list of recently used sound files. The "Loop" box can be
checked to make the wav file continuously repeat until the
desktop alert is snoozed or dismissed.
Play Voice Reminder
When the "Play voice reminder" option is used, a text-to-speech
voice will recite the associated reminder text, and repeat
the specified number of times or until the reminder is
snoozed/dismissed. This can be useful if you're often away
from your desk, but within hearing distance. When the
reminder appears, the computer will recite the reminder, so
you won't need to look at your monitor to find out what the
reminder is about. By default, the voice reminder will state
the name of the event/task and when it is scheduled to
begin. A voice template can be used to customize the recited
text. A number of dynamic tags are also provided. For
example, when the template includes a tag of [Description],
any text entered on the Description tab will be recited. The
default template can be specified in the Event Defaults tab
of the Calendar
Display a Picture Thumbnail
- Desktop alerts can include a thumbnail image. You
can select any image, it will automatically be scaled to fit
in the small desktop alert window. For best results,
use images that have the same width and height.
- The path to the picture can either be typed in, or you
can select the "..." button to browse for a picture.
- You can click the drop-down arrow to access a list of
recently used pictures.
- You can preview what the
desktop alert will look like by clicking the Preview button.
- An example preview is shown below. The desktop
alert's menu, pin, and snooze options are not available in