From the Outlook forum: ‘More than 2 week reminders?’

mlevin77 asks:

I am moving to Outlook 2011 from Entourage 2008. A bunch of my calendar items have reminders that are more than 2 weeks in advance, because in Entourage I could specify however many days I wanted. But in Outlook, there is only a dropdown menu and it only goes to 2 weeks. Is there any way to specify more than 2 weeks, and if not, does it still properly understand how (when) to remind for items that do have a longer time period set already?

Outlook for Mac does only allow folks to choose from pre-defined reminder times with the earliest reminder being two weeks before the event. AppleScript, however, can set this reminder to practically anything. The following basic script snippet shows how:

The number on the third line is the number of minutes in advance for the reminder. In this case 43200 is 30 days. Paste the snippet into the AppleScript Editor found in /Applications/Utilities and save it as a script into your home folder (where ” ~ ” denotes your home folder):

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Script Menu Items

AppleScript menuTo use it you will need to select your event in the calendar and then run the script from the AppleScript menu next to the Help menu. The long number in the third line is in minutes. Adjust the minutes to however long in advance you want notification.

I’ve written a more advanced version of this script that prompts for a new reminder time and includes some more helpful windows. Download and install the script following the instructions in the included Read Me file. With a calendar event selected in the calendar or while the calendar event’s window is open, select Set Custom Reminder from the AppleScript menu.

Set Custom Reminder menu item

Enter a custom reminder time.

Set Custom Reminder dialog

The new reminder time is immediately inserted into the calendar event.

Set Custom Reminder field

Download the script.

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4 comments to From the Outlook forum: ‘More than 2 week reminders?’

  • Hi,

    Thanks for the very usefull tip!!

    I’m new to MAC and cant understand why Reminders of Office 2011 for
    Mac keep asking me for Snooze/Read/Dismiss for very old past due

    I’ve already tried to rebuild database but the problem still happening.

    Any clue ?

    • Are these old reminders imported from a .pst file? If yes, we’ve seen reports of issues with imported events. Some users have selected to delete the old events. You can use File > Export as .olm file to export and delete after exporting. The data is saved in the .olm file if you need to import.

  • Jen

    Thank you Bill very much for the script! At least you have got rid of one of the major bug-bears of Outlook 2011.

    Is there some way I could do something similar for the Office Reminders Snooze??

    Now for the other 20 or so issues with missing functionality and features that I sorely miss from the Windows version!

    • Sorry, no. To my knowledge Reminders still can’t be customized.

      Please be sure to let Microsoft know you’d like to see this feature in future versions by using the Help –> Send Feedback mechanism in any Office application.