email-reminder: Never forget a birthday or an anniversary again!

July 13th, 2008 edited by Tincho

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

Email-Reminder is a simple tool to define events for which you want to receive a reminder by email. These reminders (sent out daily by a small cronjob) can be either on the day of the event and/or a few days beforehand.

Events can be:

  • birthdays
  • anniversaries
  • weekly, monthly and yearly events

Sample Reminders

Here is an example of what you get in your inbox for an upcoming birthday:

From: Email-Reminder
Date: Tue, 12 May 2007 04:00:22 -0400 (EDT)
To: Francois Marier <>
Subject: Trent Reznor’s birthday

Hi Francois,

I just want to remind you that Trent Reznor is
turning 42 in 5 days.

You can reach Trent Reznor at

Have a good day!

Sent by Email-Reminder

And here is one on the day of an anniversary:

From: Email-Reminder
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1996 04:00:11 -0400 (EDT)
To: Francois Marier <>
Subject: 15th anniversary of Prince Charles and Lady Diana

Hi Francois,

I just want to remind you that the 15th anniversary
(Crystal) of Prince Charles and Lady Diana is today.

Have a good day!

Sent by Email-Reminder

Event Definition

Events for each user are defined in an XML file (~/email-reminders) in that user’s home directory, click here to see a sample file. You don’t actually have to define each event by hand in the XML file though. Email-Reminder comes with a simple GTK user interface:

email-reminder GUI 1 email-reminder GUI 2


Email-Reminder has been in Debian since Sarge and in Ubuntu since Dapper. It is licensed under the GPL.

More Information

You can find out more about Email-Reminder by visiting its homepage and subscribing to its news feed.

If you want to get involved, see the roadmap and feel free to contribute some patches!

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

6 Responses

  1. Marcelo Says:

    Does anybody what would be the advantage of this in comparison to setting up “remind”( to send email reminders?

  2. Andrew Says:

    I’m sure e-mail-reminder gives you more control and granularity over the events you create. Plus, if it doesn’t, you can modify the source code and make it happen. That’s the primary difference.

  3. Marcelo Says:

    Not knocking it, just trying to understand how I could use it, so
    have a look at

  4. Ridgeland Says:

    Doesn’t look like something I want.
    I use Thunderbird with the add-on ReminderFox.

  5. Sourezo Says:

    For the more unixian / console-based people among you, there’s the calendar command from the bsdmainutils package that looks more flexible to me.
    Just set up a cron job to get your reminders emailed to you every day/week.

  6. arno Says:

    I’m using pal to record events (regular ones or punctual ones), and I’m using that piece of script every day to send me an email in case there’s something to remember:


    export LANG=C

    if ! pal -c 0 -d today | grep “No events.” > /dev/null; then
    # replace arno with your user name.
    pal -c 0 -d today –mail | /usr/lib/sendmail arno