How to set alarms and timers on a Mac?

Where would we be in life without alarms? Alarms get us to work on time, to the airport on time, to church on time; they stop us missing deadlines and birthdays and remind us to take our medication when we need it. They’re useful for everything.

On Mac, you can set alarms for tasks, events, meetings, and just about anything else that would require an alert. In this article, we’ll show you how to set an alarm clock on Mac with the help of the Apple Calendar and some useful apps.  

How to set an alarm on Mac with the Apple Calendar

The Apple Calendar is the place for all things schedule-related, including alarms. To set a one-time alarm, you have to first create an event.

  1. Click on the Launchpad, then click on the Calendar app.
  2. Double-click the date that you want to set the alarm on.
  3. Right-click your preferred time slot and select New Event.
  4. Enter the name for your event, then click on the date and time section.
  5. Enter the time that you want the alarm to go off, then click on None next to alert.
  6. In the pop-up menu click Custom…, then Message. Click on Message with sound and choose an alarm chime.  
  7. Select how many minutes before the event you want the alarm to go off, then click OK.

Any alarm that you set in your Mac Calendar app with automatically sync with your iPhone or iPad, so if you’re away from your computer you will still receive the alert.

This is not an option if you were looking how to set an alarm on Mac to wake up: the alert will not go off if your Mac sleeps at the time. To keep your Mac awake, use an app like Lungo. It keeps the Mac awake and prevents it from going into sleep mode.

To sum it up: if you need an alarm clock that works in sleep mode, install Lungo, set an even for morning, turn on Message with sound.

Easy ways to set alarms and timers

Using the Calendar app is perfect for one-off events such as a dentist appointment or a meeting with friends but if you’re relying on alarms to complete tasks, hit deadlines, and attend events, you’re going to need help from a third-party app.

While there are dozens of alarm-based apps available for Mac, three stand out above the rest: 2Do, BeFocused, and Waiting List.  

They’re all different in what they have to offer which is why we recommend giving all three a home on your desktop.

Organize your life with 2Do

2Do is a task management app that adapts to your needs and lets you set alarms for anything and everything. If find yourself juggling a lot of different tasks each day, 2Do will make sure nothing important slips through the net.

Use 2Do to create tasks, checklists, and projects, and set alarms for anything added to the app. Tasks can have multiple alarms so that you can hit deadlines and important milestones at every stage.

There is no wrong way to use 2Do. It’s simple, intuitive, and a must-have for busy lifestyles.

Setting an alarm in 2Do starts with creating a New Task. This can be done in seconds by clicking on the + button from the top menu bar. Once you’ve named the event and edited the dates, click on the alarm icon and set the alarm to suit. It’s as easy as that! When the alarm is set it will alert you whether you have 2Do running or not.

Work smarter with BeFocused

BeFocused is a productivity timer that’s designed to help you get more things done. The alarm in this app doesn’t work to alert you of upcoming meetings or remind you to pay your rent.  Instead, it’s focused on helping you simplify workloads by breaking tasks down into intervals using the Pomodoro technique — a time management method that improves focus by working in short bursts with regular breaks.

Use BeFocused to get your tasks in order and create a schedule to help you easily complete work.

Once you’ve installed BeFocused, quickly create a task by clicking on the app’s icon in the Apple menu bar. Give the task a name and it will automatically be added to your to-do list. In the interval timer, click on the gear button and select Settings. From here, you’ll be able to set work intervals, breaks, targets, and the sound that plays when the alarm goes off.

Working by the Pomodoro technique is incredibly effective. If you feel like you get constantly distracted when you need hyper-focus on one task, try BeFocused. Somehow this knowledge that the timer is ticking prompts you to keep working on the task, just try it.

Countdown to everything exciting with WaitingList

That big summer holiday, the new Marvel movie, the upcoming Foo Fighters gig, the release of the latest app in the Setapp collection — countdown to everything that’s exciting in your life with WaitingList.

Okay, so it’s unlikely you’re going to forget about the things that you’re really looking forward too but you don’t want to take any chances. Plus, it’s nice to have an alarm to signal something fun every once in a while.

WaitingList is a beautiful countdown timer that sits on your desktop and displays all of your upcoming events. The app's smart widgets start by counting down the days. Then, as the event approaches, the hours, minutes, and seconds.

Like 2Do and BeFocused, WaitingList has a simple and clear interface that makes adding countdowns a an easy task. Click on the + button to create your event and the pencil icon to edit it. In the settings you’ll be able to set up alarms to alert you as the event approaches so that a) you don’t miss anything, and b) can send your excitement into overdrive.

Plus, you get to choose the appearance of the event and the app offers some pretty amazing themes. The event design is basically its main benefit. It’s pretty cool to wait for a concert that looks like fireworks every time you open the app.

Alarms play an important role in every aspect of our lives. For one-off meetings or appointments, set alarms using the Apple Calendar. For everything else to do with work, play, and all the other fun aspects of your adult life, get a Setapp subscription with the apps we just mentioned and make the most it.

With Setapp, you not only get the four perfect planners and clocks that we talked about, but more than a hundred other Mac apps, all in one suite. Give it a go, it’s free for a week.

Anyways, we hope this article has been of help, have a good day!

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