@a alert

The specification of the alert(s) to use with the item. One or more alerts can be specified in an item. E.g.,

@a 10m, 5m
@a 1h: s

would trigger the alert(s) specified by default_alert in your etmtk.cfg at 10 and 5 minutes before the starting time and a (s)ound alert one hour before the starting time.

The alert

@a 2d: e; who@what.com, where2@when.org; filepath1, filepath2

would send an email to the two listed recipients exactly 2 days (48 hours) before the starting time of the item with the item summary as the subject, with file1 and file2 as attachments and with the body of the message composed using email_template from your etmtk.cfg.

Similarly, the alert

@a 10m: t; 9191234567@vtext.com, 9197654321@txt.att.net

would send a text message 10 minutes before the starting time of the item to the two mobile phones listed (using 10 digit area code and carrier mms extension) together with the settings for sms in etmtk.cfg. If no numbers are given, the number and mms extension specified in sms.phone will be used. Here are the mms extensions for the major US carriers:

Alltel          @message.alltel.com
AT&T            @txt.att.net
Nextel          @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint          @messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom          @tms.suncom.com
T-mobile        @tmomail.net
VoiceStream     @voicestream.net
Verizon         @vtext.com


@a 0: p; program_path

would execute program_path at the starting time of the item.

The format for each of these:

@a <trigger times> [: action [; arguments]]

In addition to the default action used when the optional : action is not given, there are the following possible values for action:

d   Execute alert_displaycmd in etmtk.cfg.

e; recipients[;attachments]     Send an email to recipients
   (a comma separated list of email addresses) optionally
   attaching attachments (a comma separated list of file paths).
   The item summary is used as the subject of the email and
   the expanded value of email_template from etmtk.cfg as the
   body. If there is an entry for @i (invitees), these email
   addresses will be appended to the list of recipients.

m   Display an internal etm message box using alert_template.

p; process      Execute the command given by process.

s   Execute alert_soundcmd in etmtk.cfg.

t [; phonenumbers]      Send text messages to phonenumbers
  (a comma separated list of 10 digit phone numbers with the
  sms extension of the carrier appended) with the expanded
  value of sms.message as the text message.

v   Execute alert_voicecmd in etmtk.cfg.

Note: either e or p can be combined with other actions in a single alert but not with one another.

@b beginby

An integer number of days before the starting date time at which to begin displaying begin by notices. When notices are displayed they will be sorted by the item’s starting datetime and then by the item’s priority, if any.

@c context

Intended primarily for tasks to indicate the context in which the task can be completed. Common contexts include home, office, phone, computer and errands. The “next view” supports this usage by showing undated tasks, grouped by context. If you’re about to run errands, for example, you can open the “next view”, look under “errands” and be sure that you will have no “wish I had remembered” regrets.

@d description

An elaboration of the details of the item to complement the summary.

@e extent

A time period string such as 1d2h (1 day 2 hours). For an action, this would be the elapsed time. For a task, this could be an estimate of the time required for completion. For an event, this would be the duration. The ending time of the event would be this much later than the starting datetime.

Tip. Need to determine the appropriate value for @e for a flight when you have the departure and arrival datetimes but the timezones are different? The date calculator (shortcut Shift-D) will accept timezone information so that, e.g., entering the arrival time minus the departure time

4/20 6:15p US/Central - 4/20 4:50p Asia/Shanghai

into the calculator would give


as the flight time.

@f done[; due]

Datetimes; tasks, delegated tasks and task groups only. When a task is completed an @f done entry is added to the task. When the task has a due date, ; due is appended to the entry. Similarly, when a job from a task group is completed in etm, an &f done or &f done; due entry is appended to the job and it is removed from the list of prerequisites for the other jobs. In both cases done is the completion datetime and due, if added, is the datetime that the task or job was due. The completed task or job is shown as finished on the completion date. When the last job in a task group is finished an @f done or @f done; due entry is added to the task group itself reflecting the datetime that the last job was done and, if the task group is repeating, the &f entries are removed from the individual jobs.

Another step is taken for repeating task groups. When the first job in a task group is completed, the @s entry is updated using the setting for @o (above) to show the next datetime the task group is due and the @f entry is removed from the task group. This means when some, but not all of the jobs for the current repetition have been completed, only these job completions will be displayed. Otherwise, when none of the jobs for the current repetition have been completed, then only that last completion of the task group itself will be displayed.

Consider, for example, the following repeating task group which repeats monthly on the last weekday on or before the 25th.

+ pay bills @s 11/23 @f 10/24;10/25
  @r m &w MO,TU,WE,TH,FR &m 23,24,25 &s -1
  @j organize bills &q 1
  @j pay on-line bills &q 3
  @j get stamps, envelopes, checkbook &q 1
  @j write checks &q 2
  @j mail checks &q 3

Here “organize bills” and “get stamps, envelopes, checkbook” have no prerequisites. “Organize bills”, however, is a prerequisite for “pay on-line bills” and both “organize bills” and “get stamps, envelops, checkbook” are prerequisites for “write checks” which, in turn, is a prerequisite for “mail checks”.

The repetition that was due on 10/25 was completed on 10/24. The next repetition was due on 11/23 and, since none of the jobs for this repetition have been completed, the completion of the group on 10/24 and the list of jobs due on 11/23 will be displayed initially. The following sequence of screen shots show the effect of completing the jobs for the 11/23 repetition one by one on 11/27.

@g goto

The path to a file or a URL to be opened using the system default application when the user presses G in the GUI. E.g., here’s a task to join the etm discussion group with the URL of the group as the link. In this case, pressing G would open the URL in your default browser.

- join the etm discussion group @s +1/1
  @g http://groups.google.com/group/eventandtaskmanager/topics

Template expansion is supported so it is also possible to use a mailto link such as the following:

- the subject of the email @d The body of the email
  @g mailto:sam@what.com?cc=joe@when.net\&subject=!summary!\&body=!d!

Pressing G with this item selected would create a new message in your email application with “To: sam@what.com”, “Cc: joe@when.net”, “Subject: The subject of the email” and “The body of the email” already entered.

Tip. Have a pdf file with the agenda for a meeting? Stick an @g entry with the path to the file in the event you create for the meeting. Then whenever the meeting is selected, G will bring up the agenda.

@h history

Used internally with task groups to track completion done;due pairs.

@i invitees

An email address or a list of email addresses for people participating in the item. These email addresses will be appended to the list of recipients for email alerts.

@j job

Component tasks or jobs within a task group are given by @j job entries. @key value entries prior to the first @j become the defaults for the jobs that follow. &key value entries given in jobs use & rather than @ and apply only to the specific job.

Many key-value pairs can be given either in the group task using @ or in the component jobs using &:

@c or &c    context
@d or &d    description
@e or &e    extent
@f or &f    done[; due] datetime
@k or &k    keyword
@l or &l    location
@u or &u    user

The key-value pair &h is used internally to track job done;due completions in task groups.

The key-value pair &q (queue position) can only be given in component jobs where it is required. Key-values other than &q and those listed above, can only be given in the initial group task entry and their values are inherited by the component jobs.

@k keyword

A heirarchical classifier for the item. Intended for actions to support time billing where a common format would be client:job:category. etm treats such a keyword as a heirarchy so that an action report grouped by month and then keyword might appear as follows

27.5h) Client 1 (3)
    4.9h) Project A (1)
    15h) Project B (1)
    7.6h) Project C (1)
24.2h) Client 2 (3)
    3.1h) Project D (1)
    21.1h) Project E (2)
        5.1h) Category a (1)
        16h) Category b (1)
4.2h) Client 3 (1)
8.7h) Client 4 (2)
    2.1h) Project F (1)
    6.6h) Project G (1)

An arbitrary number of heirarchical levels in keywords is supported.

@l location

The location at which, for example, an event will take place.

@m memo

Further information about the item not included in the summary or the description. Since the summary is used as the subject of an email alert and the description is commonly included in the body of an email alert, this field could be used for information not to be included in the email.

@n noshow

Only tasks of type “-” or “%”. A value or list of values from d, k, and t, that specify views in which the task should not be shown.

This can provide a “poor man’s cron” in which a repeating task with a process alert could be used to run a process at specified times without cluttering the etm views unnecessarily. It could also be used to trigger a periodic reminder during the day to, e.g., take a prescription medication, without filling your day lists.

Tip. Want to be reminded when a meeting should end without seeing an extra reminder for the meeting in your day lists? Create a task with a sound alert at the ending time and then add “@n d” to hide it from your day lists and, optionally, “@o s” to automatically remove past due instances.

d) day

Do not display the task in the day views: agenda, week and month.

Since an undated task would not appear in week or month view, using “d” for such a task only prevents it from being displayed in the “next” section of agenda view. Using “d” for a dated task, on the other hand, prevents it from being displayed in the day lists of agenda, week and month views as well as the “now” section of agenda view.

k) keyword

Do not display the task in keyword view.

t) tag

Do not display the task in tag view.

E.g., with the entry “@n d, k, t”, a task would appear only in path view.

@o overdue

Repeating tasks only. One of the following choices: k) keep, r) restart, or s) skip. Details below.

@p priority

Either 0 (no priority) or an integer between 1 (highest priority) and 9 (lowest priority). Primarily used with undated tasks.

@q datetime

Used to provide a timestamp for an item. Intended primarily to provide a first-in-first-out queue for related, undated tasks. E.g., the following

- first in queue @c queue @q 2015-10-06 10a @z US/Eastern
- second in queue @c queue @q 2015-10-07 12p @z US/Eastern
- third in queue @c queue @q 2015-10-08 9a @z US/Eastern
- fourth in queue @c queue @q 2015-10-09 8a @z US/Eastern

would appear in Agenda view at 11:35am on 2015-10-09 grouped by the context “queue” and ordered by age with the oldest first:

       - first in queue                           3d2h
       - second in queue                        1d23h35m
       - third in queue                          1d2h35m
       - fourth in queue                          3h35m

@r repetition rule

The specification of how an item is to repeat. Repeating items must have an @s entry as well as one or more @r entries. Generated datetimes are those satisfying any of the @r entries and falling on or after the datetime given in @s. Note that the datetime given in @s will only be included if it matches one of the datetimes generated by the @r entry.

A repetition rule begins with

@r frequency

where frequency is one of the following characters:

y       yearly
m       monthly
w       weekly
d       daily
h       hourly
n       minutely
l       list (a list of datetimes will be provided using @+)

The @r frequency entry can, optionally, be followed by one or more &key value pairs:

&i: interval (positive integer, default = 1) E.g, with frequency w, interval
    3 would repeat every three weeks.
&t: total (positive integer) Include no more than this number of repetitions.
&s: bysetpos (integer). When multiple dates satisfy the rule, take the date
    from this position in the list, e.g, &s 1 would choose the first element
    and &s -1 the last. See the payday example below for an illustration of
&u: until  (datetime) Only include repetitions with starting times falling
    on before this datetime.
&M: bymonth (1, 2, ..., 12)
&m: bymonthday (1, 2, ..., 31) Use, e.g., -1 for the last day of the month.
&W: byweekno (1, 2, ..., 53)
&w: byweekday (*English* weekday abbreviation SU ... SA). Use, e.g., 3WE
    for the 3rd Wednesday or -1FR, for the last Friday in the month.
&h: byhour (0 ... 23)
&n: byminute (0 ... 59)
&E: byeaster (integer number of days before, < 0, or after, > 0, Easter)

Repetition examples:

  • 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.

    ^ 1st and 3rd Wednesdays
      @r m &w 1WE, 3WE
  • Payday (an occasion) on the last week day of each month. (The &s -1 entry extracts the last date which is both a weekday and falls within the last three days of the month.)

    ^ payday @s 2010-07-01
      @r m &w MO, TU, WE, TH, FR &m -1, -2, -3 &s -1
  • Take a prescribed medication daily (an event) from the 23rd through the 27th of the current month at 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm and trigger an alert zero minutes before each event.

    * take Rx @d 10a 23  @r d &u 11p 27 &h 10, 14 18, 22 @a 0
  • Vote for president (an occasion) every four years on the first Tuesday after a Monday in November. (The &m range(2,9) requires the month day to fall within 2 ... 8 and thus, combined with &w TU to be the first Tuesday following a Monday.)

    ^ Vote for president @s 2012-11-06
      @r y &i 4 &M 11 &m range(2,9) &w TU
  • Ash Wednesday (an occasion) that occurs 46 days before Easter each year.

    ^ Ash Wednesday 2010-01-01 @r y &E -46

  • Easter Sunday (an occasion).

    ^ Easter Sunday 2010-01-01 @r y &E 0

A repeating task may optionally also include an @o <k|s|r> entry (default = k):

  • @o k: Keep the current due date if it becomes overdue and use the next due date from the recurrence rule if it is finished early. This would be appropriate, for example, for the task ‘file tax return’. The return due April 15, 2009 must still be filed even if it is overdue and the 2010 return won’t be due until April 15, 2010 even if the 2009 return is finished early.
  • @o s: Skip overdue due dates and set the due date for the next repetition to the first due date from the recurrence rule on or after the current date. This would be appropriate, for example, for the task ‘put out the trash’ since there is no point in putting it out on Tuesday if it’s picked up on Mondays. You might just as well wait until the next Monday to put it out. There’s also no point in being reminded until the next Monday.
  • @o r: Restart the repetitions based on the last completion date. Suppose you want to mow the grass once every ten days and that when you mowed yesterday, you were already nine days past due. Then you want the next due date to be ten days from yesterday and not today. Similarly, if you were one day early when you mowed yesterday, then you would want the next due date to be ten days from yesterday and not ten days from today.

@s starting datetime

When an action is started, an event begins or a task is due.

@t tags

A tag or list of tags for the item.

@u user

Intended to specify the person to whom a delegated task is assigned. Could also be used in actions to indicate the person performing the action.

@v action_rates key

Actions only. A key from action_rates in your etmtk.cfg to apply to the value of @e. Used in actions to apply a billing rate to time spent in an action. E.g., with

minutes: 6
    br1: 45.0
    br2: 60.0

then entries of @v br1 and @e 2h25m in an action would entail a value of 45.0 * 2.5 = 112.50.

@w action_markups key

A key from action_markups in your etmtk.cfg to apply to the value of @x. Used in actions to apply a markup rate to expense in an action. E.g., with

    mr1: 1.5
    mr2: 10.0

then entries of @w mr1 and @x 27.50 in an action would entail a value of 27.50 * 1.5 = 41.25.

@x expense

Actions only. A currency amount such as 27.50. Used in conjunction with @w above to bill for action expenditures.

@z time zone

The time zone of the item, e.g., US/Eastern. The starting and other datetimes in the item will be interpreted as belonging to this time zone.

Tip. You live in the US/Eastern time zone but a flight that departs Sydney on April 20 at 9pm bound for New York with a flight duration of 14 hours and 30 minutes. The hard way is to convert this to US/Eastern time and enter the flight using that time zone. The easy way is to use Australia/Sydney and skip the conversion:

* Sydney to New York @s 2014-04-23 9pm @e 14h30m @z Australia/Sydney

This flight will be displayed while you’re in the Australia/Sydney time zone as extending from 9pm on April 23 until 11:30am on April 24, but in the US/Eastern time zone it will be displayed as extending from 7am until 9:30pm on April 23.

@+ include

A datetime, e.g., @+ 20150420T0930, or list of datetimes to be added to the repetitions generated by @r rrule entries. If only a date is provided, 12:00am is assumed.

@- exclude

A datetime or list of datetimes to be removed from the repetitions generated by @r rrule entries. If only a date is provided, 12:00am is assumed.

Note that to exclude a datetime from the recurrence rule, the @- datetime must exactly match both the date and time generated by one of the @r rrule entries.

Example of using @- and @+:

@s 2014-02-19 4pm
@r m &w 3WE
@+ 20140924T1600, 20141029T1600
@- 20140917T1600, 20141015T1600