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App to remind things like Father's Day?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Tristan Raghnall, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Tristan Raghnall

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    I have 3 or 4 great birthday reminder apps, some with widgets, that look into the Contacts app and notify you of events. But there are holidays, like Father's Day, that don't make it into these apps as they're not in Contacts. That's because it would mean entering into each Father's a custom event that approximates the date only, as none of the applications handle holidays that fall on a certain day of a month, like Father's Day which falls on the 3rd Sunday each June. Unlike something like Christmas that falls on the 25th of each December, Father's Day would require an app that handles perpetual dates, as it were.

    I don't enter global events such as this in the calendar app itself, either, as I have to work with an empty calendar before every yesterday. That means that in order for me to work efficiently and that is successful to me, I'm constantly keeping my apps current and not leaving any from before yesterday. So everything before today is blank (something that wouldn't remain that way for long if I started adding holiday and observance events).

    The 3 calendars I have that are for holidays such as this don't allow for editing (they're read-only). And they're missing Father's Day so this solution hasn't worked out, either.

    Does anyone know of something like an offline calendar or offline holiday reminder app that will generally work with birthday reminder apps? I spent 2 hours on this earlier today and have tried looking for the past year, off and on, for a solution to this type of thing, but nothing so far. The 2 calendar extension apps I found do a great job of turning the stock calendar into something spectacular but they don't have the option of adding in holidays like Father's Day.

    Thanks.
     

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  2. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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  3. steiny180

    steiny180 Android Enthusiast
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    Use the built-in calendar app...
     
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  4. Tristan Raghnall

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    Hi, thanks.

    Not offline. Drat. It's been a hard one to search for. Sorry I should have made this more clear to begin with by not just mentioning offline in the body of the post.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  5. Tristan Raghnall

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    Hey, that sounds like you might know how, then. I can't figure out how to do that. If you do, please let me know.

    [5m later] Nope, I still don't see it.

    I can repeat something once every year, or I can even repeat every x number of _weeks_ but I just don't see how to add holidays that are every third Sunday in June every year, like Father's Day and other such holidays or observances. How are you doing this, please?

    Thanks.
     
  6. psionandy

    psionandy Android Expert
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    I still get reminders from my calendar even when my phone is offline.
     
  7. Tristan Raghnall

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    Ah. No, this is not the same as the word offline that has been used historically and up until now. My sincere apologies for the confusion.

    Offline apps, esp. for the stock apps, in the play store are those that run free and clear that don't synch with anything online. And, as you know, whether or not our phones are on or off is irrelevant here as the minute we power up our devices, notifications pop up if we've set things up that way.

    So, what I'm looking for again is an offline app or solution for the stock calendar that allows for repeating reminders with unusual repeating parameters such as Father's Day but that doesn't synch online but also, of course, doesn't require one to be online, as is also my case as I don't have a data plan. My calendar is an offline one thanks to an app that allows one to create local calendars on our phones that don't talk to google. I get that a lot of people love cloud and other synching options and that's really great that our devices allow that for all those folks. But that's not my case.

    Thanks once agian. And thanks for making me aware that I have to be more careful when using the word offline. That was bad of me, unintentially <g>.

    Cheers!
     
  8. psionandy

    psionandy Android Expert
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    Fine.. enjoy your shiny new filofax ;)
     
  9. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I think the problem you are having is that there is no algorithm to figure this out without mapping each year individually. How would you do Easter which is the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox? which also translates to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

    What you could do is setup a calendar with the holidays you wish to have reminders for and then have a recurring reminder around the first of the year to manually update your calendar.
     
  10. Tristan Raghnall

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    There are many solutions for Easter. An old app on my PC still works for this though I'm now in a 64bit environment. <g> It also comes from a completely different calendar than ours - same case as is Haunukkah, I believe - so these 2 holidays require their own solutions, if desired. Easter holidays are pretty universal in North America and elsewhere and sometimes I even get them paid! <g> I personally have 3 major birthdays happening at this time each year so it's not like one can lose track of the days or lose sight of these holidays easily. Like Christmas, the stores don't let us forget this one, either! <g> This one is just so not an issue.

    But things like the type of reminder needed for Father's Day is something else entirely. The 2 calendar enhancement apps that I've used the last couple of years really give the stock app a lot of missing function, but they don't fill this gap. Shame, really. Outlook has been doing this for at least the last 19 years, and probably longer though I remember back only to Outlook 97 in detail. I'm no M$ fan despite being forced back to it from my preferred Linux box that just died, but Outlook set the standard for everything after it even beyond the functions we've lost since Outlook 2000 and the fluff that's been added since then. Gates didn't develop the apps in the office suite, he just bought the rights to them, or somesuch. Very savvy original developers, though. I've worked in all the apps of the 3 major suites in jobs from the late 80s to late 90s - Corel, Lotus and M$. I don't use the others now very much but M$ is still the best, much as it sticks in the throat to say so <g>. I can't wait to have that sort of power in my hands that the Outlook calendar gives but from open source and from Android <g>.

    Anyway, Android devs are a bit behind in providing full features in some of the their apps that should have more basic functions than they do, but they're catching up and fast! Exciting times. I love it even though it's been a frustrating 2 years trying to find a solution for these types of reminders. I'm still no closer but not giving up. I've found other gems along the way in this journey, so all's not lost.

    I'll keep looking. Was just hoping that someone here knew of something already. But I'll report back when and if I find something.
     
  11. dvhttn

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    I use OL on the desktop and sync my phone to it. For things such as Father's Day (and Easter etc etc) you can download prepared holiday files that are pre-set for all holidays for years ahead. Set a reminder (or reminders) for each holiday, sync your phone and Robert's your father's brother .....

    Oh, I don't go 'online' to sync. I use MyPhoneExplorer and sync locally (over wifi but you can also use USB or BT)
     
  12. mikedt

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    Myself, I need to use the Lunisolar Calendar, things like Spring Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival. Dragon Boat Festival are very important. Christmas and Easter and not so important, they're not even public holidays or observance.
     
  13. Tristan Raghnall

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    Reporting back. It's completely clunky and non-intuitive as hell but turns out the stock calendar app _can_ do these types of patterns after all. After much searching, I found a reference that I tried and it does seem to do the job. In no way is it is as sleek as even ancient versions of MS Outlook going back to the mid- to late-90s can do, but it does seem to be do-able.

    So, there does seem to be a working way to reminders for things like the recent Father's Day in June, or Mother's Day, as another example, where they fall on the nth day of a particular month on a yearly basis.

    So taking Father's Day as an example, as used throughout this thread (because I nearly missed it when I lost track of the days this month!!!):

    - in Calendar View, go to a month and year like June 2016, for this example (adjust to the month and year, as needed)
    - tap on the target date for that year, i.e., the 3rd Sunday in June 2016, which fell on the 19th this year
    - click on the plus sign to create an entry and choose "Event" (these particular steps may change in future rollouts of the calendar app, so may be necessary to change steps slightly in future, but you get the idea)
    - the date displayed in the reminder should be the exact day you are targetting for that year to put a reminder in. If that isn't the case, adjust to the correct date for that year.
    - Put an actual time for the reminder, or put it as "All Day", as desired
    - Once date and time are to your satisfaction, then go to next step by expanding the "More options" section to unhide the part where you can set the repetition for this reminder
    - tap on the "Does not repeat" line in order to get to the popup to make it repeating
    - several options appear in this popup, choose the one at the bottom labelled "Custom..."
    - the repetition seems to show "REPEAT WEEKLY" for me as a default. I change that to REPEAT MONTHLY from the pulldown
    - There is a line that reads "Every _1_ month" where we can change that 1 on top of the line to 12 so that we get a repeat on a yearly basis
    - The 2 radio buttons below are the key. In this example, I have two buttons - the one it seems to default to all the time is the first one that is not what is needed that says for me, "on the same day each month". The second option always seems to appear which shows in this example as the magic text - "on every third Sunday". So I choose that radio button.
    - 2 items to check on briefly before pressing DONE are - 1. the enable button shows this repetition is enabled (it should default to ON, but good to check, I think), and 2. the pulldown at the bottom but before DONE which determines the duration of the reminder, i.e., if one wants this to repeat either FOREVER, or to end by a certain date. I always just choose "Forever" with no end date for these types of reminders.
    - then once all is to one's satisfaction, one presses DONE

    At this point one is back at the reminder and we can check to see if the repeating pattern is correct. And mine shows this example as:

    "Repeats every 12 months (on every third Sunday)"

    Bingo! That's the desired repetition.

    Then I check to see how future events fall to make sure this is working. I change to the monthly view and scroll through 2-3 years. Father's Day checks out; each Father's Day falls on an actual different day of the month, yes, but they're all on the third Sunday of June. Super!

    --------------------

    And perhaps more complex repeating reminders _may_ be do-able, as well. I happened to check the entries of a read-only holiday calendar that I stumbled upon and downloaded recently that was intriguing. This event has an unusual repeating occurrence as it repeats on the Monday closest to the 11th of July each year. Here's 2 future reminders I see for this event (as with a lot of free apps, they're time-limited and all holidays and events finish mid-2017***):

    Monday, July 11, 2016
    Monday, July 10, 2017

    However, the reason I state that this _may_ only be a possibility is because the calendar is also read-only and the events can't be edited, as far as I can see, so I can't study the frequency patterns in either of the existing entries above. However, these 2 occurrences show that this type of frequency may be possible as these 2 dates belong to a single entry and not 2. So they both show up somehow due to a probably complex setup like the repeating pattern above that is not as straightforward as it could and should be, but this shows that it may be possible, nonetheless.

    --------------------

    And lastly, I did find actual references online to another repeating pattern - the type where a reminder is repeated every last x day of each month, i.e., the last day or the last weekday, which are actually 2 very different cases. Both these cases have been necessary for me throughout the years. My bank requires that I have enough in my account for fees at the end of each month. It used to be the last WEEKday, which was my favourite. But when my bank was bought out, the new management changed it to the last DAY of the month - not so easy to remember for me. The earlier repetition was easier as I had to worry on the last Friday of the month. Easy peasy. But the last DAY of the month can fall on any weekday, or worse, weekend day when it is more difficult to get to the bank if I have to as the hours are restricted on weekends. But if I can set up a reminder on my phone, which I always have with me, then at least I'll be pre-warned so I don't lose track of days (something too easy to do). I'll report back once I figure this type out.

    --------------------

    I'll try to report back quickly for both pending patterns above, but warning that it make take me some time. At least the pattern I came here for initially that falls on the nth week in a given month each year is do-able. It's not as fool-proof as Outlook's way but since the frequency is yearly, we shouldn't run into weird frequency results in any given year. So we should be good to go with this one (if I ever do find difficulties in the future, will try to remember to come back to this post and add any comments).

    Cheers.



    (*** Another reason why I wanted to figure this out so that I'm not dependent on time-bomb apps whose information expires after a certain date.)
     
    #13 Tristan Raghnall, Jul 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
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  14. Tristan Raghnall

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    Okay, getting a repeat on the last weekday seems easy as pie when it's a DAY OF THE WEEK (came back to clarify). When you're trying for the last Friday or the last Thursday, this seems to work below. The key seems to be to choose a week with more than 4 days of the day you're setting a reminder for***. So I created an EVENT again (vs. "GOAL" or REMINDER") and did the following.

    Last WeekDAY in month (i.e., last Friday, Saturday, etc., _not_ the last WEEKDAY in the month, if I can capitalize them in these ways to differentiate):
    - choose the target last weekday of the starting month, i.e., Friday for this example
    - in repetition popup (see message above for instructions on how to handle that popup), again change to REPEAT MONTHLY
    - leave line "Every _1_ month" as "1", or change to frequency required, when different (any other number should still work, though I only tested with the "1" left as is)
    - below that are the 2 lines with the 2nd one again being key as it now shows "on every last Friday" for this example (it reflects the day of the week you have chosen to repeat for the event)
    - Checks before completing: 1. that slider button shows that the repetition enabled, and 2. either FOREVER option, or ends by a certain day is selected
    - press DONE once finished

    I changed to Calendar View again and scrolled through various upcoming months and this example showed every last Friday with a reminder. So this repetition pattern procedure seems to check out a-okay so far.

    Again, needed to clarify, this would not be good for the reminder I'd need for last weekday in the month as my old bank used to call for for pulling the monthly fees on. But this seems to work for reminders falling on the last day of the month that falls on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, etc.
    ------------------------

    So the last WEEKDAY and LAST day in each month repeat pattern still needs to be found. So far, haven't been able to find the original message re this that I thought I'd found the solution in. But as an aside, I have seen various references to scripting something in a text file and renaming its extension to ICS, I think it was, and then importing into the google calendar. If this is the latest information and still the only approach to use, the event is, apparently, not editable directly from the calendar and needs to be re-adjusted and then re-imported back in.

    Anyway, will keep searching and testing out potential solutions and will report back.

    ------------------------
    *** Reference: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/calendar/2s7OJNyqajE - Comment by a Rick Selby advises " The key is to find a month with more than 4 Fridays" (substitute the target day in question).
     
    #14 Tristan Raghnall, Jul 1, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
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