Mountain Lion: Adding Reminder Notifications in Plain English

| TMO Quick Tip

In a previous article, I went over how fast it is to add a Calendar event in plain text using the Create Quick Event button. In Mountain Lion’s Reminders app, you can do something very similar—tag a reminder with the date and time of when you want to be notified, and it’ll use Notification Center to tell you all about it when the moment comes. Automatically. Without you having to go in and edit reminder details after you enter them. Groovy!

To check this out, open the Reminders program and select the plus button in the upper right to add a new one. 

(You can click on the blank line below your last-entered reminder to start one, too.)

Insert the title you want first, and then type in the date and time when you’d like to be reminded to do it.

Hit Enter, and the app will parse what you’ve typed and use the date and time info to set a notification for you. So much faster than having to manually edit things!

As in Calendar’s Quick Events, you can use words like “dinner,” “tomorrow,” “next Tuesday,” and so on to designate dates or times if that’s easier for you. For example, in the screenshot below, all I typed in was “lunch Saturday,” and Reminders set a notification for me for noon this coming Saturday. 

That is both the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas.

Note that if you leave out any of the date/time data, Reminders will make some assumptions. For example, if you include a time but no date, it’ll think you want to be notified at that time on the current day. If you specify a date only, the notification will come through at noon on that day.

But no matter what, when the time comes, your Mac will helpfully inform you through Notification Center that you should be somewhere else, doing something else.

Shush, you.



Cough cough…STEALING FROM ANDROID!...cough cough….


I discovered this accidentally a few weeks ago, and this is already one of my favorite features. Combine it with Dictation and it makes my heart dance.


Cough cough?STEALING FROM ANDROID!...cough cough?.

Ahem! Try again! Talk about Johnny-come-lately. Try Newton 1993, i.e. Apple Newton MessagePad and its Assist function. Write something like “Lunch tomorrow with Jon G” in the notepad, and tap the Assist Button, and you are good to go. Apple did this years ago (almost 20 years ago! I’m getting old!!!) That was one of my most favorite Newton miracles I loved to show people, and I used it all the time. There were tons of things you could do, like “call Jon G” and it would present a call slip, choose “speaker” hold the phone mic (this is back in the days when people still used landline phones), and it would dial the number for you through the speaker. Next, if you told it to, it would present a call note slip, where you could write your call notes, and with the contact’s info filled in. When done, tap “Hang Up” and the call time was recorded, and you could chose how to file the call (call back, busy, completed, etc.) I have my suspicions that Android doesn’t do this.

What _do_ they teach kids these days… wink



Try Newton 1993

If Apple really did have this working in 1993 there’s no excuse for it taking until 2012 to show up in another Apple product. Clearly a lot of good ideas and well developed technology was shoved under the rug when Steve Jobs came back to Apple and chopped all non-core projects. Had he taken just a bit more time (yes I know Apple could have gone bankrupt if he’d waited too long) he probably would have unearthed a lot of amazing stuff that could have been part of MacOS X and iOS from the start.

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