I miss many calendar reminders because they're just too subtle. I might put my phone down and walk out of the room for 5 minutes, missing the reminder, then come back and not touch my phone again for an hour; completely missing an important appointment.

If reminders worked like alarms, they would make their notification sound continuously (up to a point, like alarms: ~10 minutes), and take over the whole screen, until silenced. That would be preferable to me. Is there an app that can do this?

  • Change your notification settings A link support.google.com/calendar/answer/… Nov 23, 2016 at 20:17
  • I just took a deep dive in reminders vs events vs tasks turns out it's alarms. Set a recurring alarm if you have a scrum meeting every day at 2pm. Or set an alarm for your appointment tomorrow at 12PM, you will get a notification from your Google home. Aug 18, 2020 at 5:33

6 Answers 6


You can copy the mp3 file that you'd like (for example a 5-minute song) to the Notifications folder in your Android (at the same level that the Download folder). This can be done as well for ringtones (Ringtones folder) and alarms (Alarms folder). Now, go to calendar Settings, General and change the tone to your mp3 file.

  • Thanks. Can also add vibrations in Settings > General. Works for me
    – DrGeneral
    Sep 24, 2017 at 4:46
  • No such option (set a ringtone) exists on vanilla Android (as of version 11). Either it was removed or you had a custom skin back when you wrote this? Anyways, seems like a 3rd party app is the solution. Sep 21, 2021 at 20:42

If you want to stick with your Google Calendar as backend and frontend, you might wish to check Calendar Event Reminder. You can tell that app which calendars to look at, and to annoy you until you're going crazy. I almost guarantee you cannot miss such a reminder! I've used the app for quite some time, before...

I switched to a different calendar frontend: Business Calendar. Very configurable again, also concerning reminders: vibrates and makes "subtle noises" (I've told him so) until I lose my nerves and switch it off :)

There are probably a lot of similar approaches. But I know of no way to even come near to one of them without any 3rd party tool being involved.

  • 11
    Warning: Calendar Event Reminder was using a pay-for-ratings service. It's actual ratings are far far lower. Note the precipitous drop earlier this year. I have not looked at this product myself, just warning y'all to be cautious. Sep 21, 2016 at 16:47

I found a free app, Calendar Event Reminder, that achieves the requirement at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=sk.mildev84.reminder

  • While this is a great app, it hasn't been completely reliable. Even when I check my battery optimization settings. I have been using this and another one called "Calendar Alarm". I like calendar alarm better but it doesn't work for Outlook calendar items as of August 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021 at 20:24
  • @KimballRobinson Could you share a link to the app that you recommend?
    – Flimm
    Sep 14, 2022 at 7:48
  • I used this one for a while, but it stopped working for me recently.
    – Flimm
    Mar 31, 2023 at 13:05

What I do is to set an additional alarm in my standard android "Clock" app. Alarms have the option to give them "memo text", e.g. "Reminder for meeting boss in 10 min". So the alarm will act as your intruding and persistent reminder. The alarm has also the option "Auto-start app", where you can select after switching off the alarm the calendar to be opened, showing you that you have an appointment in x min.

  • 2
    That is perhaps a tolerable workaround -- but it only works for events that are not more than a week away, and for those alarms that are further away than 24 hours you have to set a weekday which makes the alarm recurrent, i.e. you must delete or disable it after acknowledging. Dec 21, 2022 at 16:48
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica Check it again I'm able to set an alarm for any day in the future, any time, and have it recurrent or once-off. Setting an alarm this way is 5 extra config steps, but guarentees a big vibration and big default or custom sound happen for 5 minutes, with up to three five-minute snoozes and tries again for 5 mins, until acknowledged, even if phone is set to do not disturb and 0 volume. So if you step away from the phone for 25 minutes, you come back and it's still going. Dec 27, 2023 at 14:04
  • @EricLeschinski Looks like you are right! I may have missed the option below the weekdays line, or did it come with a recent Android update? Dec 27, 2023 at 17:40

I use TWO apps for this: [EDIT: I have stopped using both of these, see my other separate answer]

  • Google Calendar events: Event Alarm Reminder for Google Calendar
    • One drawback of this one: No support of Outlook/Exchange calendars (yet) (August 2021)
  • Outlook/Exchange events: "Event Reminder"
    • This app DOES support outlook
    • Isn't terribly reliable so I ONLY use it for outlook/exchange, hence both apps.

Also check out my separate answer on how to use a phone automation app.

  • Thanks for separating out the separate answer. It helps to have separate answers in separate posts, so that they can be voted on separately.
    – Flimm
    Mar 31, 2023 at 13:10
  • Both links point to the same app.
    – Flimm
    Mar 31, 2023 at 13:10

Use an automation app like MacroDroid, Tasker, or AutoMate

I use MacroDroid for most things.

There are 2 strategies to detect upcoming meetings: Detect meeting reminder notifications

In macrodroid:

  • Trigger: Notification - from (calendar apps) - anything
    • (for outlook, I filter by "\d\d:\d\d.*\d\d:\d\d" to match "09:00 - 10:00"
  • If "events seen" variable contains notification text, abort macro
    • (this avoids problems with ongoing notifications over-triggering)
  • Set variable "events seen" to "events seen" plus notification text
  • Set alarm with notificatoin text, plus "#macro"

Specifically watch for calendar events Most automation apps can detect meetings/events, though it varies how hard it is to do. I found MacroDroid does well at this, with some caveats: you must create one trigger per calendar.

  • Use MacroDroid
  • Trigger on meetings 5 minutes before they begin.
    • Exclude all-day events
    • Create a similar trigger for each calendar you want alarms for
  • Constraints: (either on the entire macro, or the trigger)
    • only during working hours plus buffer (7:00am to 5:30pm)
    • Or, only during waking hours (7am to 10pm)
  • Action: Check variable with event title [calendar_title]. Abort if it contains words/phrases like "out of office/OOO/paid time off/PTO").
    • This would be an abort macro action with an action-level constraint based on variable pattern matching
  • Action: Set an alarm 2 minutes in the future with title set to variable [calendar_title]. I found 1 minute ahead sometimes ended up on the next day.
  • The drawback of this approach is it always sets alarms the same amount of time before a meeting.
  • I usually use an alarm app that slowly increases in volume. AMDroid and Sleep As Android work well. I set them up so that single-occurence alarms auto-delete.

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