Like many of us now, I have lots of calls these days. Usually not back to back, but with 10–15 minutes in between them. And you know what happens in those 10–15 minutes? I start writing an email. Or reading something. And I forget when the next call starts. I remember 5 minutes in and I’m embarrassed.

So I asked our developer at to build an iOS shortcut for me that creates an alarm 2 minutes before each meeting I have in the Calendar. I start the app in the morning and I have alarms for the entire day. Of course, if I add another meeting during the day, I need to re-run the shortcut.

Here’s the shortcut (you need to allow Untrusted Shortcuts to be installed, see here how):

Calendar Alarms Shortcut

Now, there are some things you need to know. Because of the limitations of the Shortcuts app, you need to keep these things in mind:

  • if there’s already an alarm set for 2 minutes before your call (from a previous day), it will be put to on. BUT! It will not change the name of the alarm (it can’t be done through Shortcuts on iOS). We can’t delete it and replace it, as a hack. We tried.
  • it only reads the iOS calendar, so you need to have your calendars added to that specific app, otherwise it won’t work
  • because it reads the iOS calendar, if you add a call through another app (Google Calendar or Fantastical), you need to wait for the iOS Calendar app to sync, otherwise the shortcut won’t see the new meeting. There’s no Sync button on iOS Calendar, so sometimes it can take 5–10 minutes. I couldn’t find any way to change this.

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This article was also published on my blog.

Entrepreneur, angel investor, startup mentor. Co-founder at Mavenhut, avid reader, curious about a lot of things. I blog at