How to remember upcoming meetings? (snowflake-ish)
November 25, 2020 6:23 AM   Subscribe

Mrs. 10ch is the absentminded professor type and has developed the habit of asking Siri to set an alarm for meetings throughout the day, "Set an alarm for 1:25." The alarm goes off and the meeting at 1:30 is attended. Except occasionally Siri sets the alarm for 1:25am. Please help us prevent this.

Many times she's out in the garden or some other place, so the reminder needs to be a bit obnoxious. Calendar and reminder notifications are too subtle and do not work.

Mrs. 10ch also has insomnia and listens to audio books and watches Youtube videos when she can't sleep, so not having the phone near the bed does not seem a viable option.

We have/will continue to try altering the behavior "Set an alarm for 1:25 PM" or remembering to check alarms before going to bed each night, but the absentminded professorishness makes this an unreliable solution.

What is an alternative that 1) allows her to set alerts/alarms throughout the day as she needs them, 2) audibly and perhaps incessantly alerts her to meetings and 3) allows her to still have her phone by the bed at night?

At 1:25am this morning, the only solution I could think of was to ask Mefi.
posted by 10ch to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: "Siri, set an alarm for 9:30 pm to remind me to delete unnecessary alarms."
posted by tiamat at 6:26 AM on November 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Siri is not a mind-reader. My experience is that, absent any more specific information, Siri will set the alarm for the next upcoming iteration of the requested time. Thus, for example, if it is 3:00 PM and she asks Siri to “set an alarm for 1:30” to remind her of a meeting the next afternoon, the alarm will sound at 1:30 AM.

The solution, as you surmise, is to routinize specifying AM/PM or, better yet, also specifying the day of the week if the alarm is not for the current day.
posted by slkinsey at 6:30 AM on November 25, 2020

Alarms can have titles. “set an alarm for 5 PM titled zoom call.” Beware if you use this however: I have seen Siri change the time of an alarm, but leave it disabled, when an existing alarm have the same name has been disabled. This does not solve your problem most likely, but having titles on alarms can help in many cases.

Siri cannot set alarms from more than one day ahead so the prior posters comment won’t work in many cases.

In addition to an iPhone, I have an Apple Watch and I wear it basically all the time I am awake. I find this helps me not miss alarms.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 6:43 AM on November 25, 2020

It might take practice, but perhaps using 24 hour time would work? "Siri, set an alarm for 1325." I use a crappy piece of software at work and learning to use 24 hour time saved me a bunch of AM/PM clicks etc.
posted by papayaninja at 7:13 AM on November 25, 2020 [7 favorites]

The solution, as you've indicated, is to be a little more specific with what you're asking your digital assistants to do. If you can't even reliably change behaviour enough to add an AM/PM to your message, and a date if it's in the future, then no amount of technology will help here as this isn't really a technology problem.
posted by cgg at 7:16 AM on November 25, 2020

This absent minded professor switched to 24 hr time on her iPhone; in my case it is mostly to prevent morning alarms from being set for the evening. But it does work.
posted by nat at 7:31 AM on November 25, 2020

I set alarms manually to see the timer that my alarm function hadthere is x hours until alarm goes off . I also use 24 hour time.

I'm not sure if you can ask Siri to repeat back alarms but that might help.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:34 AM on November 25, 2020

Another vote for tiamat's solution: set a recurring alarm to remind you to check the alarms every evening.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 8:16 AM on November 25, 2020

I use 24 hour time on my phone too. The good news is that you can still use the non-24 hour designations, so if I say "Siri, set an alarm for 8 pm" it will still work, you don't have to say "Set an alarm for 20"
posted by jessamyn at 8:45 AM on November 25, 2020

Response by poster: Update: We tried 24-hour time, using am/pm, and setting a repeating alarm every night before bed to check alarms and the repeating alarm reminder is the thing that's worked best. Thanks all for your help!
posted by 10ch at 8:37 AM on December 4, 2020

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