Reminders Done Right with John Cody's Alerts!

By Mike Temporale on Monday, June 13, 2005

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Inside Alerts!

Figure 2 - The main application screen of Alerts! showing all of the reminders in the system. From here you can create and manage all of your reminders and default settings.

When you launch the main Alerts! application, you will be presented with a screen similar to figure 2, listing off all your Alerts!. However, it won't be exactly the same. For starters, you shouldn't see my personal Alerts!, Wink as well, I have customized my screen a little by turning off the column headers, and using the small display font. My biggest complaint with Alerts! is the horizontal scrolling on this screen. I hate having to scroll left and right to read things on my Smartphone. However, this is a tough and unique situation, because there's a lot of information to display about each reminder and not much space to do it in. In order to totally get rid of the horizontal scroll, there would have to be big changes like splitting a reminder across multiple lines or something. Which ends up creating more problems when you try to read and view a large amount of reminders. It is possible to eliminate the scrolling if you use the smallest display font, but that's really small, and I find it a little too hard to read. Figure 3 shows how much horizontal scrolling there is if you use the small display font setting. It's not something that would prevent me from using Alerts!. It's just awkward. Perhaps a display option that changes the date format or hides it all together would be the best solution.

Figure 3 - Unfortunately, the main screen requires some horizontal scrolling. As this image shows, it's not a lot, but it's still a bit of a pain.

Figure 4 - The screen on the left shows all the different options available from the Menu soft key on the Alerts! main page. By selecting View (#5) you are presented with all the different sorting and filtering options displayed in the image on the right.

In case you end up creating a large number of Alerts!, you can sort this list by name, date/time, or type. As well, you can also filter the list based on the Alert! type like Countdown, Event, or Date/Time. Making it really easy to find a given reminder. You may never use this, but you should know the feature is there, and what it does. I speak from first hand experience on this one. I accidentally disabled showing of Data/Time based Alerts! and I must have spent the next hour entering and re-entering a Date/Time Alert only to watch it disappear after I save it. When I finally fixed my error, I had more than a couple copies of my reminder to delete. Embarassed

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