July 31st, 2010

Automatic Calendar and Task Reminders: When, How, and as Often as you want!

LuxSci has completely overhauled the automated reminders available with its Calendars and Tasks WebAides.

Previously, you could receive an emailed reminder when a task or event was near; now, LuxSci also supports visual/pop-up reminders and SMS/text message reminders, as well as multiple reminders and recurring reminders.

Read on to discover all of the possibilities available with LuxSci’s new Calendar and Task reminder system!

Three Kinds of Reminders

You can now create reminders that:

  • Email: Send an emailed reminder notice to any email address or list of email addresses.
  • Text/SMS: Send a text message reminder to a any cellular device supporting text messages (i.e. your cell phone)
  • Visual/Pop-up: Receive a reminder in a pop-up dialog box (and/or in a reminder Widget) when you are logged into the LuxSci web interface.

Each calendar event and task item can have any number of reminders.  I.e. have Joe sent a text message at 10am, Mary and John can get an email at 10:15am, and everyone attending the event can get a pop-up reminder at 10:30am.

Manage the Reminder Recipients

When creating a reminder, it is easy to specify who will receive each reminder:

  • Email Address List:
    • When creating an emailed reminder, you can specify a comma-delimited list of arbitrary email addresses
    • When creating a visual reminder, you can specify a comma-delimited list of usernames of people in your account
  • Cellular Address:
    • If you know the Cellular carrier (i.e. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Vodafone, etc.) and the phone number of the recipient, you can select and enter these for sending a text message to that recipient.
    • Alternately, if you know the email address for sending text messages to the recipient, that can be entered explicitly.
  • All WebAide Subscribers:  This option will remind everyone who is subscribed to your Calendar or Task WebAide, even as this list changes over time.
  • All Assignees: If you are using the Assignment feature to assign events or tasks to people or groups, this reminder option will have the reminder sent to everyone assigned to the task or event, even as this list changes over time.

Another nice feature is that with one click, you can copy all of the settings, including the recipient choices, from a reminder already configured on a task or event to a new reminder.

When Can Reminders Be Sent?

Reminders can be configured to be sent either:

  • A certain amount of time before a task is due or an event happens.  I.e. “remind me 1 hour before the event”, or
  • At a specific date and time.  I.e. “remind me at 10:00am on August 15th”.

Recurring Items and Reminders

Recurring items can have reminders as well.  For example, you could setup a meeting for 1pm every second Tuesday and have reminders sent to all assignees of the meeting event 2 hours ahead of time.  This reminder will recur with the meeting event and send reminders at the appropriate time each second Tuesday.

Nagging Reminders

Task reminders can be configured to periodically “nag” you until the task is completed.

For example, you could configure a project task to be due on Friday at 1:00pm and set a reminder to let you know Friday at 11:30am that this task is due.  This reminder can be further configured to keep reminding you every 30 minutes (or at almost any interval of your choice from every 15 minutes to every 7 days) until you actually mark the task as completed.

With nagging reminders, you won’t forget about what you need to do!

Visual/Pop-up Reminders Dialog

If you are using visual/pop-up reminders, then a dialog box will pop-up when these reminders arise and you are logged into and on any page the LuxSci interface.  From this reminder view/manage dialog box, you can:

  • Dismiss individual or all reminders
  • Snooze reminders — so they wake up later (after a time of your choice) to remind you again
  • Mark tasks complete
  • View the underlying calendar or task entry
  • Edit the underlying calendar or task entry
  • Comment on the underlying calendar or task entry

This dialog box auto-updates itself — so if you leave it open, new reminders will automatically appear as they come up.

You can also choose to use this reminder view/manage dialog box as a Widget in any of your Workspaces, pull it up from any page using a Hot Key, or open it on demand from the Tools menu in your Calendars, Tasks, or WebMail interfaces.

Other Features

  • Block Visual Reminders: If you are getting visual pop-up reminders (i.e. because other people set them up for you) but don’t like them, you can alter your Calendar and Task Preferences to disable the “popping up” of the reminder dialog.  The reminders are still there for you to look at if/when you want, but they will no longer be “in your face”.
  • Filter Emailed Reminders: If you are getting emailed reminders, you can now create a custom email filter to match these reminders.  You can then do anything you like with them — save them to a special folder, forward them to another address or mobile device, delete them, tag them, etc.

Calendars and event reminders are available to all LuxSci email hosting customers.  Tasks and task reminders require a WebAide license for use.

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