This software is not currently maintained, but I hope to come back to it.

srem is a program for GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows systems to quickly set and receive pop-up reminders at times you’d like them.


I’ve found that often when I get engrossed in something while sitting at my computer, I lose track of the time and this has led to burnt food, cold cups of tea, clean laundry sitting in the machine for hours and being late to catch the bus to meet friends. srem (”Sean’s reminders”) is a program that allows you to effortlessly request reminders to go do things in the real world, like this:

$ srem 20m Check on food in oven
$ srem 3:40pm Go out to get the bus in 5 minutes

After typing one of these commands you’ll get a pop-up reminder at the right time. It’s much more convenient to just type srem 20m Take laundry out into a shell, than it is to find your phone, figure out what time it will be in 20 minutes, set an alarm to go off at that time, make sure your phone is not silenced, et cetera. With srem you can just quickly set the reminder and then allow yourself to get engrossed in whatever you’re doing on your computer.

Other features

If you use Org-mode for GNU Emacs to manage your scheduled appointments, srem can pull appointments from your Org agenda and show you reminders for those at the time of appointment and at (soon to be configurable) intervals before.

Other usage ideas

  • Implement the pomodoro technique: type srem 25m time for a short break
  • Use your computer more mindfully by making a decision how long you’re going to spend on a task: something like srem 40m spend ten minutes away from the screen now


Setting reminders

srem 10m do X     # reminder 10 minutes from now
srem 10 do X      # also 10 minutes from now
srem 1h5m do Y    # reminder 65 minutes from now
srem 4:30am do Z  # reminder at 4:30am tomorrow morning (probably)

You can’t set a reminder more than 24 hours into the future; don’t try things like srem 26h do something. This restriction keeps the usage of srem simple and quick. Use an appointment in your Emacs agenda instead.

Receiving reminders

On GNU/Linux with cron

In my crontab I have


* * * * *   srem --cron
0 */2 * * * srem --refresh-emacs

This has srem checking if there’s a reminder it needs to pop-up every minute, and refreshing its cache of my Org-mode agenda every two hours (this requires spawning a new Emacs instance so is a bit heavy to be running every minute).

On Microsoft Windows

This command should set the scheduled tasks:

schtasks /Create /SC MINUTE /TN srem /TR "C:\path\to\srem.exe --cron"
schtasks /Create /SC HOURLY /MO 2 /TN srem-refresh /TR "C:\path\to\srem.exe --refresh-emacs"

To get rid of the command prompt window that momentarily flashes up every time the commands are run, open the scheduled tasks manager, find the srem tasks and open their properties, and select “Run whether user is logged on or not”.


I’m currently working to make srem configurable: right now it’s set up the way I like it, but I’d like to make it so that you can change its settings without knowing how to compile Haskell programs. I’ll provide binaries at that point. Until then, you’ll need to build srem yourself; see below.


I recommend stack:

$ git clone
$ cd srem
$ stack build
$ stack install

If you’ve $HOME/.local/bin in your PATH environment variable (which you should if you’re using stack), you should now be able to just run srem from any shell/command prompt.


I’d like to hook srem up to a mobile notifications service. If it detects the computer user is idle, it might send your reminder to your phone.


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.