Why I hate calendar reminders

Disclaimer: if calendar reminders work for you and you find them useful, that’s great… I’m happy for you. Each to their own. My personal opinion is that they’re a pointless, annoying distraction. This has nothing to do with Outlook itself, just the default setting that has been implemented. Okay, let’s begin…

  1. I know what’s in my calendar. I don’t need reminding. Proof: I remove reminders from all of my appointments and I’m usually the first person on the conference call. That’s not me adopting a holier-than-thou attitude, it’s a fact.
  2. I get my e-mail / calendar on five separate devices… laptop, tablet, iMac, Windows Phone and iPod. When the reminder pops up it does so in five places. I don’t need that.
  3. Here’s the big one. Let’s say someone has invited me to a meeting in London, or maybe even Edinburgh. A 15-minute reminder is pointless. If I’m not already in London (or Edinburgh) a 15-minute reminder isn’t a big help. I can’t get from Camberley or Reading to London in 15 minutes. If I am already in London (or Edinburgh) the chances are that I’ll have travelled to that city in order to attend the meeting… it’s the reason I’m there. So I don’t need a reminder.

This isn’t an Outlook problem, but unfortunately 15 minutes is set as a default in my workplace. I’ve turned the option off, but everyone else sends appointments with the 15-minute reminder switched on. I wish they wouldn’t…


  1. I know you know this, but I just want to remind you that in Lotus Notes, each user sets their own prefs and defaults and senders don’t set reminders for invitees….

  2. Ha, I knew someone would try to claim a victory for Notes. Fair enough.

    Outlook 2013 has the option to turn off reminders even if they’re in the appointments. However, the Windows Phone, iOS, and Outlook on the Mac don’t.

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