Workflow: Using Timers in Due to Remind Yourself to End an Activity

As a part of my day job, I need to attend meetings every once in a while. Regardless of the meeting's goals, my personal goal is to limit the amount of time I spent on meetings. If I'm the one who arrange them, I'd set the duration to no more than an hour. Otherwise, I'd notify the other attendees that I can only attend the first hour of the meeting.

That's why most of my meetings are entered as "Meet someone for an hour" in Fantastical. While this seems to let me achieve my goal, it's only the first half of the battle. The second half is how to be reminded that I should end or leave the meeting when the 60 minutes has passed.

To do this, I could create a Due reminder that's set to trigger exactly an hour after the event. This can be done easily as a single chain action because Fantastical supports x-callback-url. But, if the event is rescheduled at a later time, I'd have to move the reminder manually.

Fantastical allows you to embed a URL to the event sentence.

Using a Timer instead of a Reminder

To solve this problem, I decided to use a Due timer instead. The idea is to trigger the timer when the meeting is scheduled to start. To do this, I need to set the Fantastical alarm to trigger at the time of the event. This way, I'd get a push notification when the event is supposed to start, and I could trigger the Due timer at just the right time.

There are two ingredients that I need for this to work. First, Fantastical automatically parses any URL (including x-callback-url) in the event sentence to the appropriate URL field. When the event is triggered, you can tap the hyperlink to trigger the URL. You can even trigger the URL from within the built-in Calendar app.

The second ingredient comes with Due's 1.9.5 update. In that update, the developer added a URL scheme to search for Timers based on the provided keyword. So I created a new timer named 1-Hour Meeting that lasts for an hour. I'd use the timer's name as the search keyword when I embed the Due's search URL inside the event. Then, I created a Drafts URL action that allows me to enter the person name and the start date/time, before handing it over to Fantastical.

Open this link if you want it installed on your iOS device automatically.

Pomodoro Timer is a pre-defined timer with 25 minutes duration.

Attaching a Timer to a Reminder

You can also attach the timer onto a reminder in Due. For example, a reminder may remind you to perform a task within a predefined duration. Pomodoro Technique is famous for this approach where it uses 25 minute as the default time allocation for all its tasks.

If you want to create a Pomodoro task in Due, you need to create a reminder for the task, and attach the search URL for a pre-defined Pomodoro timer on that task. Here's a simple Drafts URL action to create a Pomodoro task as a reminder in Due with a Pomodoro timer attached to it:

Open this link if you want it installed on your iOS device automatically.

If you like to enter several tasks at the same time, you can do it as a recursive action:

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The ability to search for a timer in Due allows you to setup an end-of-duration reminder for events or tasks with a pre-defined duration. Feel free to download and tweak these actions to fit your needs and routines. These actions have also been added to my Drafts Action Directory where you can find other custom URL actions I have created.

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