User Submitted Macro

Alert and Remind

Written by Les Hazlett, Automated Mailing Services

What it does

This is a simple two part macro which provides a flexible technique for controlling the timing of events. It alerts the user at a scheduled time and periodically displays a reminder. These example macros alert the user of a weekly task and then display a reminder every 30 minutes until the user declares the task done.

To install

Download the macro file umalertandremind.mex and save it to your hard drive in the folder where you store your macro file(s). If desired, import the macro into your existing macro file by clicking File, Import, Import Macros.

To use

Set the scheduled time for Remind.mex to 5 seconds so that you needn’t wait 30 minutes to see it display a reminder. Right-click on Alert.mex and Run Macro Now to pretend that it is 11:00 am Tuesday. After testing, set the scheduled time for Remind.mex to back 30 minutes or whatever interval you prefer.

How it works

The macro Alert.mex is scheduled to run at 11:00 am on Tuesday morning. Alert.mex enables Remind.mex. Remind.mex is scheduled to run every 30 minutes but is normally disabled. When the user indicates that the task is not done, Remind.mex stays enabled. When the user indicates that the task is done, Remind.mex disables itself. Alert.mex only runs once a week and Remind.mex only runs when enabled by Alert.mex. Remind.mex only runs until the user responds and is then inactive until it is scheduled again in 30 minutes.


It doesn’t continue to run during the period of time between reminders. Other techniques considered required that the macro continued to run for a period of 30 minutes (or longer). Running during this extended delay used up computer resources and prevented the use of the MacroExpress Explorer.

This current implementation is very simple – that’s good. But, it requires two macros per task. Remind.mex could be implemented so that it is common to all tasks. Then there would only be one Remind.mex and multiple Alert.mex’s – one for each task. The macro scripts would be more complex but the management of macro files would be easier.