Brian Tanaka

Brian Tanaka Consulting Services LLC

Use Growl and at for Reminders in Mac OS X

If you like desktop reminder apps like the excellent but want to get all nerdy about it, you can use the Unix utility at() and Growl to set little reminders for yourself.

As the time and date for each reminder arrives, you'll see a Growl notification.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Enable atrun:

    $ sudo launchctl load -F /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Note: You only need to do this once to enable at() to work.

  1. Try your first reminder:

    $ at 11:19 today
    > growlnotify -m "eat a doughnut" -w -s
    > (ctl-d)
  2. At 11:19 today, you'll see a Growl notification that says, "eat a doughnut"

It's also useful to Google around for tips on using at(). For example, the time specifications are very flexible. You can do, for example:

... and so on.

To see all your scheduled reminders, type: atq

To remove a reminder, type: atrm [job id]

See also: man at

Tue Oct 12 11:31:18 PDT 2010