I am not statisfied with current alarm handling methods. It got worse, when I moved to my current home, which is a small town, 20 km to the capital. The problem is, that IMHO there should be more than one alarm before the event. If I have an event in the capital, and I'm home, I need to be alarmed 1 hour before (some kinda "prepare, dude"), 45 mins before ("take the car and go!"), and 10 mins before ("if you're in traffic jam, call your party" or in lucky case "about to finish your coffee, go to the meeting room"). Also, if the event is in my town, "prepare" should be 30, the "go" should be 15 mins from the event, and, if when I'm in the capital, and the event is also in the capital, they are 45 and 30 mins.

Also, I would be happy if the "prepare" alarm should be not to be dismissed, it should just warn me, but I don't want to take care with it anymore. If I heard the alarm, then OK, if not, who cares, there're further alarms which require user reaction, I will hear them.

Of course, if there were more alarms, there would be a "forget it" option, which cancels all further alarms for that event.

Okay, it's my extreme habit, but I think 2 alarm timepoints would be nice.

I've just switched from PalmOS to webOS. On PalmOS (and 99% of systems) there is a snooze option, most of systems offer more snooze lenght: 5, 15, 30 mins, 1 hour, 2 hour, 1 day, 1 week. The webOS's Übecalendar is the best solution I've seen: I can set a commonly used "default snooze time", so when the alarm comes up, there are three choices: dismiss, snooze that default (one button press), and snooze custom. In snooze custom I can choose snooze lengths in 5-min steps from now, or next alarm time in 5 min steps (backward) from the start of the event.

The question is: what kind of alarm construction do you prefer? How do you want to snooze? What about more than one alarm for an event? Should alarm types organized to categories and assign alarming "choregraphy" to categories? How does your current gadget handle that job?

I mentioned todo here, because it's a similar problem, if not bigger: if I have a deadline for a todo, what kind of alarms and when should indicate this?

2 Answers 2


Apple's iCal supports multiple alarms that can each be configured individually to show a window, play a sound, send an email, etc. Quite nifty, especially considering the otherwise rather poor usability of that particular application.


The best way to wake up is using a Wake up Light. No snooze needed, and it's available with iPhone stand if you'd like some music along with the increasing light. I bought it as a gift to my wife, and she loves it. It makes her wake up the way humans are supposed to.

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  • now if we could just couple that thing with an Exchange server... ;-)
    – Jan
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 18:35
  • I'm sure there's "an app for that" :) How about apple.com/iphone/business/integration Commented May 5, 2011 at 18:47
  • 1
    There's an even better app for that mdlabs.se/sleepcycle It wakes you up when you moving in bed (so you're not in the middle in a deep sleeping phase).
    – ern0
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 19:51

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