remind: a text based agenda and todolist manager

November 16th, 2008 edited by Vicho

Article submitted by Olivier Schwander. Guess what? We still need you to submit good articles about software you like!

There are lots of different tools for managing your time: Mozilla has a standalone solution: Sunbird and another one based on Thunderbird: Lighting, KDE has Korganizer, and Gnome has the young gnome-agenda and the very popular Evolution, and we must not forget the most famous web based tool: Google Calendar.

All these applications are based on a graphical user interface, and use either iCalendar or the older vCalendar as the data formats.

What about people who prefer console based interfaces and want to edit the data with their favourite text editors? The best solution is remind: it uses an easy but powerful language for describing events. A simple example, this event happens every Tuesday at 13:00 and lasts one hour:

REM Tue AT 13:00 DURATION 1:00 MSG Group meeting

You always forget your appointments? Remind can help you:

REM Tue +1 AT 13:00 +120 *5 DURATION 1:00 MSG Group meeting

It will begin to bother you one day before the date, and will display warnings two hours before, every five minutes. The language is really powerful, and is able to express arbitrary complex date calculations (first Monday of a month, excluding holidays, moon phases). To look at the events of the day, simply run:

$ remind
Reminders for Thursday, 10th July, 2008 (today):

Write Debaday post today at 3:00pm

Remind can import and export iCalendar files, and generate HTML and Postscript from your calendar. You can choose to have reminders sent by email, or showed by a pop-up window but you’ll need to start remind with some special arguments for that, see the Remind FAQ at the 43folders wiki which has a lot of useful tips for remind.

You can also use it through user-friendly interfaces: tkremind, a Tk based front-end, but it hides some of the power from remind; and wyrd, a curses based interface which eases the editing of events and lets you use all of the power of remind.

tkermind: Tk front-end wyrd: curses front-end


Remind has been available in Debian since Sarge (perhaps even longer), and in Ubuntu since Dapper.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

3 Responses

  1. Tom Fernandes Says:

    Sounds promising. I’ll gonna check it out soon - thanks for the article!

  2. paul.r Says:

    Interesting, thank you for the article. If you happen to edit text files in Emacs, you may also want to check the Emacs Org mode, that also provides agenda, todolist, but directly integrated into emacs.

  3. Pinkilla Says:

    With Calgoo, Google Calendar is not more “web calendar only”.

    (I just try Calgoo)