3/8/219:00 am Using Custom Calendar Alerts On Your Mac The Mac Calendar app allows you to set custom reminders that will send you an email message, open a file or launch an application. You can also add more than one alert so you can get both a notification and use a custom alert for the same event. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at adding custom events in the Mac Calendar app. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So usually when you use the Calendar app on a Mac you want to set an alert. You get a little notification telling you either at the time of the event or maybe 15 minutes or a day before that the event is coming up. A lot of people don't know that you can have more than one notification. So you can get one 15 minutes before, an hour before, and a day before if you like. Plus you can have a special alert. Like having an email sent to you or even opening a file or app. Let's create a new event here in the Calendar app. Just going to double click here on today's date, name it, and I can set an alert by clicking right where it says Add Alert. Now here's also where I can set the Start and End time for an event. But also I have a checkbox for All Day. When I check that there is no time. It just has a range from one day to another. Now here is where I set the Alert. So I can click here and choose one of the default options. 5, 10, 15 minutes before or some other amounts of time before as well. But if none of those fit what I want I can choose Custom. Now with Custom I can set it to be an exact number of minutes before or hours or days before or even minutes after, hours after, or days after an event. I can also set it for exactly at the time of the event. This is really useful if you've just set the event to remind yourself of something. You don't need any prep time to be able to get ready for a phone call or travel to a meeting. You also have the ability to set On Date. So instead of having it relative to the event's start time, On Date allows you to choose any date and any time. For instance for a trip you may want to check hotel and flight arrangements at a certain time on a certain day. It's easier just to set it this way. You can set multiple reminders. There's no problem with choosing an alert, say, 5 minutes before but then if you move your cursor here you could see there's a Plus button. Click that and now you can add a second alert. So you can set an alert for a half hour before. You can even add more than that. So you can set an alert for, say, one day before. You get all of these notifications for this single event. To remove any of these, select it, and choose None. Choose None for each one of those and eventually they'll go away. Now there are other types of Alerts you can set as well. So let's change this one to Custom and in addition to be able to set an exact time here I can change the type of alert. So one is email. So I can set an email to be sent to me. So it's going to come from me to me and I can have it be sent a certain amount of time before or after or at a specific time. I love this option because while I can easily miss a notification I always check my email and I always try to keep my inbox clean. So if it's very important that I get an alert for an event I use this email message to make sure that I see it. But do note it is easy to receive multiple emails for this especially if you have more than one Mac and you have this setup on an iCloud Calendar. It's just going to sync to your other Mac and both Macs may or may not, depending upon conditions, send you an email. But better to get two emails that I can easily delete than not remember the event. Of course there is no problem setting an email alert and then also setting a regular alert for an event. Now there's another type of alert. That is Open File. To use Open File you have to be using an On My Mac Calendar. So it's not going to work here. Notice this calendar, my work calendar, is in iCloud. Opening a file isn't going to work if it's in iCloud Calendar or a calendar from another service like Goggle. So if you need to use that kind of thing on your Mac you want to keep an On My Mac Calendar around just for those events. These won't sync with your other devices so you may need to actually setup a regular iCloud event in an iCloud Calendar so you can see it, say, on your iPhone but also setup an event on your On My Mac Calendar that triggers this Open File alert. So I'm going to create an On My Mac Calendar here just for this. I'm going to do that by selecting one of the calendars in Other, say US Holidays. Now when I go to create a new calendar it will create it as an On My Mac Calendar. This is locally stored and not synced to iCloud. I'm going to call it For Open File Alerts. So it's clear what I'm using this for. Then with it selected I'm going to add an event and I can make sure that it is actually in that calendar. Set that up. Let's have it go here in a couple of minutes and I'm going to go to Alert, Custom and here I'm going to set to Open File. By default it's going to be calendar. In other words what happens here is at the time of the notification the Calendar app will open which is really useful if you want to be able to then look at information about the event. But you could choose anything. Let's have this happen at the time of an event and instead of Calendar I'll choose Other and then I'm going to go into my Documents folder and open up this Info File, and Okay. So now I can Quit Calendar and just be using my Mac normally. When at 9:24 hits you could see there it gave me the notification and it opened up the file. Now you can have it open up any file which means an application as well. So you can have it open up an app, for instance. Now if you have it open up a file it's going to open up that file in the default application for that file. If you choose an application rather than a file it will open up that application. It could be useful, for instance, opening up a teleconferencing app to get ready to do a meeting. But it could also create complex things in, say, Automator. Save it as an app and then use that as the file that is then opened in Calendar. As a matter of fact when you create something in Automator one of the options you get is Calendar Alarm. So you could choose that and then create something. Let's create something simple here. So I just added, get specified URL's to get a location of a webpage, and display a webpage. I'm going to Save this and it's going to say Save Calendar alarm as.....open MacMost site. Now when I go into the Calendar app you'll notice this has created a Calendar Event and in that event it setup Open File, at the time of the event. If I go to Custom I could see the file it is set to open is MacMost site.app. It saved it into my Library Workflows Application Calendar and put the app there. So it didn't do anything really special. I could have created the app, saved it somewhere, and then set this up in Calendar. But it did save me the time by creating this event. Note that it created a new calendar when I did that, one called Automator, to store the events to trigger these Automator actions. It created the event for the exact time it is now. So I kind of have to go in now and maybe set it up for the actual date and time that I want instead of just the current time. Note you can get creative with Open File as well. Instead of using that Automator action to open up a webpage I could simply be at a website and then drag that URL somewhere, say to a folder in my Documents folder, but I'll put it here in the Desktop. You can see this is a Web Location Link to that site. So I'm going to go into the On My Mac Calendar here. I'm going to change this event so that it triggers pretty soon. I'm going to change it so that it opens a file. But this time it's going to open up that web location file which is on my Desktop there, like that, at the time of the event. Now I should see that happen and it should happen even if the Calendar app isn't running. You can see there it triggered the notification and opened up the webpage. Related Subjects: Calendar (33 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 14 Responses to “Using Custom Calendar Alerts On Your Mac” Howard Brazee 3 years ago Neat stuff I didn't know! My two wants with the Calendar notifications are: 1. Alarm 5 minutes before I need to leave to get to the event. 2. Let the Calendar check the Maps to determine how long it takes to get there. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Howard: You can already do number 1. In the event, look for Travel Time. Set that to something and then you can set the alert to X minutes before travel time. For number 2, you can add a location to your event, and then you get a "Time To Leave" alert you can add. That calculates the time based on maps and traffic. But I don't think you can do "5 minutes before time to leave." Ron Lambert 3 years ago If there is a way to feed in a file of 20 Calendar Alerts, would you do a video on it. Thanks in advance Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Ron: Not sure what you mean by "feed in." What is the situation? What are these alerts and what are you trying to do with them? Maybe if I knew more, I could suggest a solution. Eric 3 years ago Could Ron's question be answered using a ics file with multiple BEGIN:VEVENT ... END:VEVENT entries? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Eric: It depends on what Ron really needs to do. Waiting to hear back. I have a feeling that a shared Calendar might be the solution. But hard to say without knowing more details. Jasper 3 years ago # 1 Am I right to think that there is no way to get a notification for the *end* of the event; except by making the alert occur after the same period as the duration. # 2 I see from the video that you could use Custom > Open File to run a script that says aloud something generic. But is there a way to script it so that it read something specific “Stop working on“ + “Name of Event”, so that you could have a single script that could be used on any event? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Jasper: Yes, to an an alert for the end, set the alert for the same time after the event as the duration of the event. Or, set two events, one for the start, one for the end. No, I can't think of a way to what you want in #2, at least not without a great amount of effort. Steven Due 3 years ago Is there a way to send the email reminder for a calendar event to an email besides your own? It is only putting in my email and not able to change. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Steven: No, you can't do that. Then it would basically be an email sending scheduler, which brings up all sorts of security and email regulation issues. Dave Merriman 3 years ago I thought this subject would be very useful for me but following the video I wanted to add a new calendar to my Mac but was only given the option to add an iCloud calendar.Is this because I am still using Catalina as an operating system? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Dave: Select another "On My Mac" calendar in the left sidebar first. Then File, New Calendar. If you have no "On My Mac" calendars, select the Birthdays one. Bob 2 years ago Can you default to using custom alerts or do you have to select it every time you set up an alert. I always want a message with sound. It would be much more convenient for that to be my default rather than having to set it up that way for each alert. Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Bob: No, you can't set a default. But you can always duplicate an old event and move it if that makes it easier. Comments Closed.