Setting up Reminder lists with Applescript

I’ve spent a bit of time looking at Applescript on the Mac and getting it to import reminders into the Reminders application. Yes yes, I know. Why on earth would you want to do this?

Well, if you want to set up a reading list or a daily task, sometimes it is easier to write the reminders as a text file, particularly if you want to repeat the list at some point. As you may be aware, I spend 30 minutes everyday journaling and reading. Ryan Holiday recommends several texts including his own books, Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations and several religious texts. I like to keep track of what I’ve read in a reminders list. Another application is to add all the episodes of a TV series to a reminders list that you happen to have in a text file.

I have written two Applescripts to help with this. You can download them here and you will need to put them in your path or use them in the current working directory. The first is import_reminder_list which simply takes a text file and adds them as reminders to a new list. You can use it on the Mac from the Terminal application as follows:

# Add a new list called Terry and add all the lines in File.txt to it as reminders
./import_reminder_list Terry File.txt

With a file containing this:

This is an example
This is another example

I get a reminder list like this:

(Unfortunately I don’t know how to get rid of the blank entry – it’s created with the list. If you have any ideas, please let me know.)

The second is dated_reminder_list which adds the reminders but sets the reminder date on the first one and then the subsequent ones at an interval, such as:

# Add a new list called Harry, add all the lines in File.txt to it as reminders.
# Set the first reminder to the date 10th Oct 2020 at 07:00 and subsequent ones
# 1 day apart
./dated_reminder_list Harry File.txt "10 Oct 2020 at 07:00" 1

And with the same file, I get a reminder list like this:

I’m not Jewish but I’m going to use an example here that Ryan Holiday recommends as a weekly reading list. A popular weekly Jewish reading schedule is the Torah. There is an approved set of readings throughout the year, starting at Jewish new year. I believe the next cycle starts on the 17th Oct this year. Here you can get incredibly tasty on the command line and add a list to your Reminders application:

dated_reminder_list "פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ" Torah.txt "17 Oct 2020 at 07:00" 7

will give you a list like this:

All the files you need are here. Use at your own risk.

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