If you’re an Android user, I highly recommend you check out Tasker. Tasker is an automation app that can control just about anything in your phone. You can do things as simple as telling your phone when you want it to go to silent, loud, vibrate, etc, to more complicated tasks, like notifying your wife via SMS when you’re five minutes from home. It’s a little pricey ($6.50) but it’s an incredibly powerful app, and I think it’s well worth it. It’s the first app I suggest to new Android users.
On to the actual tutorial.
I’m currently on a diet, and part of it is logging my meals into a calorie tracking app. I’ve done this many times before, but I often end up forgetting to log meals, and after a while my logs become pretty useless. So I wanted to create a way to remind myself to log all my meals. Yes, I could set a series of alarms, but with a tiny bit more work, I could create a much more graceful solution. What you’ll end up with is a notification that pops up with a short vibration and sound effect, and when you click it, it will open up the app of your choosing. In my case, it’s MyFitnessPal.
OK, so the first step in this process is to create a “Notification Click” which tells Tasker what to do when you click on the notification (which you’ll make later.) So click on the Add button at the bottom of the screen. You can name it whatever you want. In my case, I named it “Food Log Click.” Select “Event”, then “UI”, and finally, “Notification Click.” In the “Title” field, enter a name. I chose “Log Your Food.” It’s important that you remember this, as you’ll need to call on it later for your notification.
Click the Green Check.
After you’ve named it, you’ll select “New Task” and you don’t need to name this one. The Task Edit screen will come up, and you’ll click the add button, and select “App” and then “Load App.” At this point, you select the app you want to launch when you click the notification.
Press the green check mark, and your Notification Click is finished. On to the next step.
Next, you’ll be making the notification. I have 3 of them, each launched at specific times of the day. You can have more or less, it’s just a matter of making additional notifications. Again, press the add symbol at the bottom of the screen. I named this one “Food Log Morning.” Select the “Time” context, since we’ll be launching the notification at a specific time. Now, you simply set the “From” time to whenever you want it. Deselect the “To” time, or else your notification will disappear after that time period passes.
Click the Green Check Mark.
Now the Task Selection screen will come up again, and you select “New Task.” It will ask you to name this task. I recommend you do, as you can then call it back up for every following notification you want to make, which will save you some time. On the Task Edit screen, click add. Select “Alert”, then “Notify Sound”. Title this notification whatever Click task. Again, I chose “Log Your Food” earlier, so I’m using it here. The “text” field is simply what the notification says when it pops up. Put whatever you want here. If you leave it blank, it will just say “Alert.” Set the “Number” slider to “1.” Then find a sound file you want to use by clicking the magnifying glass.
Click the…oh, you get it at this point. You’re back at the Task Edit Screen. Press the plus again. Select Alert, then Vibrate. Its set to 200 ms. That’s a nice little single buzz. Just click the check. You should now have this:
Press the Green Check, and you’re all set.
If you want to add more notifications (as I did), then you’ll simply repeat that notification step, but this time you’ll only need to select the named task after setting the time. In my add task menu, I now have an entry titled “Food Log Notification.”
Selecting that will create a finished notification, the same as the first notification, only at the newly selected time. That’s called streamlining.
So there you have it. I have 3 of these set up, so after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’m reminded to log my food. You could use this for just about anything really, but I’ll leave the ideas up to you.