Calendar program with automatic reminders?
December 12, 2005 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Is there a calendar program that will automatically remind me to do things on a certain date every month? Like, you know, pay my (ahem) credit card bills...

Both my girlfriend and I are huge procrastinators, and we have lots of trouble keeping up on paying bills and things like that. We have signed up for autopayment on everything that will allow it, except for our credit cards and a few other low-tech services. We also use online bill paying, and we have an email account that exists solely to collect our bill reminders. The problem is that it all just isn't enough.

We need a program, that runs on my computer, that will just keep popping up ALL DAY LONG until I mark the task completed.

I've checked out the other calendar questions, but none of them seem to address this feature specifically.

I'm running Windows 98SE, and I need a program that is free. Any suggestions?
posted by MrZero to Computers & Internet (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Palm Desktop
posted by k8t at 8:34 AM on December 12, 2005

I just use Outlook at work. If there is anything else, I send myself a quick email to my home address.
posted by jon_kill at 8:46 AM on December 12, 2005

You could use Yahoo! Calendar, and have it send you emails and/or text messages.
posted by gramcracker at 8:48 AM on December 12, 2005

I get free e-mail reminders from Very helpful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:50 AM on December 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

i use Backpackit. Free and easy.
posted by oh pollo! at 8:51 AM on December 12, 2005

Rainlendar is a tiny calendar that sits on your desktop. It has configurable reminders.
posted by gleuschk at 8:54 AM on December 12, 2005

I'm a fan of Rainlendar. If you leave a memo to come up for all day on a certain day, it (for me) won't leave the desktop until it's done.
posted by itchie at 8:54 AM on December 12, 2005

You said you want free, but this is honestly what Quicken is made for.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on December 12, 2005

Oops, looks like Rainlendar needs at least Windows 2000. Sorry.
posted by gleuschk at 8:55 AM on December 12, 2005

If you use Firefox, you could try ReminderFox.
posted by undertone at 9:00 AM on December 12, 2005

Backpack is great, but it seems as if MrZero wants something running client-side (I'm assuming from "a program, that runs on my computer"). ET reminder looks like it might work for you. Haven't tried it, but it supports Win98, is free as long as you don't need to use more than 10 regular events, and looks like it'll do the pop-ups you want.
posted by youarenothere at 9:16 AM on December 12, 2005

Use this, coupled with this.

I have it set to remind me to pay my bills (and a bunch of other stuff too). IT uses the iCal standard so you'll be able to combine it with all sorts of neat things, like the new iPods.
posted by oddman at 9:38 AM on December 12, 2005

Low tech solution: Open your mail. If it's a bill, write a check immediately and mail it. The few days float you might get holding the payment to the last minute isn't worth it.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:48 AM on December 12, 2005

When you get the bill, schedule it on the online bill pay right away. Only takes about 1minute to log in and schedule a payment. Then you never have to remember, and you get to hold on to the money in your account until the bill is due.
posted by gus at 9:51 AM on December 12, 2005

I use SteveInMaine's method personally for bills, but for other things I need to do on a monthly basis (like giving a dog a preventative medicine) I use iCal. That way I can also share the calendar with others.
posted by terrapin at 10:33 AM on December 12, 2005

Correction to my correction above: looks like Rainlendar would work for you.
posted by gleuschk at 12:17 PM on December 12, 2005

Seconding Rainlendar. It does work on Win98, but you'll probably want to change the default skin.
posted by Sharcho at 12:27 PM on December 12, 2005

Know a unix geek? Get some cron jobs set up to send you emails/text messages.

Or if you have Mac OS X, you can set your own up
posted by drstein at 12:38 PM on December 12, 2005

I downloaded Rainlender, and it seemed OK but the skin issue was giving me too much grief - I can't believe I'm complaining about something being too customizable.

I downloaded Sunbird, which I vaguely remember hearing about but couldn't find on Mozilla's website before posting this. It seems like it will do what I want, so I'm going to run with that for now. Of course, I'm still open to suggestions!

I was not entirely clear in my post, though. We use automatic bill payments wherever possible, and electronic withdrawals from checking for some others. I don't have online bill payment through my bank, and although my girlfriend does, she's more of a procrastinator than I am (we try to approach this problem as a team, which helps).

We are trying the email notifications, but with all my email addresses, it just seems to get lost in the shuffle.

I thought that it went without saying that just opening the bills and paying them didn't work for me. It also does nothing for the dog's heartworm medication or all of the other deadlines I tend to miss.
posted by MrZero at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2005

"We are trying the email notifications, but with all my email addresses, it just seems to get lost in the shuffle."
Open a gmail account
Foward everything there
If you have a cell phone that lets you get text messages then set up a couple filters for your notifications to forward them to your cell too.. That helps me some..

I am totally with you in this boat.. My wife and I suck at bills.. This week we're recovering from a bill that went through that we forgot about and dropped our account to -5 bucks.. then I bought a energy drink that cost me 32 friggind dollars with overdraft.. bah!
posted by JonnyRotten at 1:09 PM on December 12, 2005

I use the small free program Kana Reminder to do exactly what you need. Reminders pop up on the screen with optional sound and can be either postponed until a later time or dismissed.
posted by EiderDuck at 1:36 PM on December 12, 2005

FutureMail is what I have used for reminders. It sends email to myself on a certain date.
posted by matildaben at 2:07 PM on December 12, 2005

gleuschk, despite what the website says I've been able to use Rainlendar on Windows 98 with few problems.
posted by itchie at 2:26 PM on December 12, 2005

Kana Reminder appears to be the exact type of program I was looking for, so I'm giving it and Sunbird both a trial run. As a bonus, I love websites like Kana Solution that post useful little programs like that for free.
posted by MrZero at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2005

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