If you have a diary entry for an appointment, and that diary entry
begins with a recognizable time of day, Emacs can warn you in advance
that an appointment is pending. Emacs alerts you
to the appointment by displaying a message in your chosen format, as
specified by the variable
appt-display-format. If the value of
appt-audible is non-
nil, the warning includes an audible
reminder. In addition, if
nil, Emacs displays the number of minutes to the
appointment on the mode line.
appt-display-format has the value
window, then the
appt-display-duration controls how long the reminder
window is visible for; and the variables
give the names of functions used to create and destroy the window,
To enable appointment notification, type M-x appt-activate. With a positive argument, it enables notification; with a negative argument, it disables notification; with no argument, it toggles. Enabling notification also sets up an appointment list for today from the diary file, giving all diary entries found with recognizable times of day, and reminds you just before each of them.
For example, suppose the diary file contains these lines:
Monday 9:30am Coffee break 12:00pm Lunch
Then on Mondays, you will be reminded at around 9:20am about your
coffee break and at around 11:50am about lunch. The variable
appt-message-warning-time specifies how many minutes (default 12)
in advance to warn you. This is a default warning time. Each
appointment can specify a different warning time by adding a piece
appt-warning-time-regexp (see that variable’s
documentation for details).
You can write times in am/pm style (with ‘12:00am’ standing for midnight and ‘12:00pm’ standing for noon), or 24-hour European/military style. You need not be consistent; your diary file can have a mixture of the two styles. Times must be at the beginning of diary entries if they are to be recognized.
Emacs updates the appointments list from the diary file
automatically just after midnight. You can force an update at any
time by re-enabling appointment notification. Both these actions also
display the day’s diary buffer, unless you set
nil. The appointments list is
also updated whenever the diary file (or a file it includes; see
Fancy Diary Display)
You can also use the appointment notification facility like an alarm clock. The command M-x appt-add adds entries to the appointment list without affecting your diary file. You delete entries from the appointment list with M-x appt-delete.