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V.T. Eric Layton

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Import and convert calendar and .ics files to remind/tkremind

As I found out after beating my poor old head against the difficult to find information wall on the net (having a program named remind did not help 😉 ) I found out that Arch has a package for the purpose. Tkremind is included in the Arch remind package though you may need to install the tk package.








To do things the manual way you need this script,





A script to convert from the iCal / ICS format the format used by Remind. It converts the calendar entries as well as the To Do items. It uses the Due Date as the Remind date, or the current date if there's no Due date.


Download the script from Github; the script should be placed in a "bin" directory in your executable path. /usr/local/bin/ or ~/bin are good candidates. You may need to install some Perl modules first. Try as root.


cpan -i iCal::Parser DateTime


I did that on my Arch and it asked me if I wanted to install so I said yes. It took quite a while to install so maybe I was installing all of perl.


I wanted to include all of the UK official holidays in tkremind and at the uk.gov site I found the information in a .ics format. Downloaded the information and then did,


-->cd ~/bin

--> mkdir ical2rem.pl

--> cd  ical2rem.pl  *place script in here make script executable

-->chmod 755 ical2rem.pl

-->cat /home/username/.reminders/england-and-wales.ics | perl  ical2rem.pl >/home/username/.reminders/.ical2rem

In the ~/.reminders file at the top to include the new file create and uncomment,

INCLUDE /home/username/.reminders/.ical2rem


So yes I successfully created a .ical2rem file in the .reminders folder and it contained some information. The uk.gov .ics file had dates running from 2018 to 2026 so I thought that the new file would have the same information. Hmm I was wrong it contained this,



REM  MSG Calendar Events:%"%"%
REM Mar 29 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Good Friday%"%
REM Apr 1 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Easter Monday%"%
REM May 6 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Early May bank holiday%"%
REM May 27 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Spring bank holiday%"%
REM Aug 26 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Summer bank holiday%"%
REM Dec 25 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Christmas Day%"%
REM Dec 26 2024 +3  MSG %a %"Boxing Day%"%
REM Jan 1 2025 +3  MSG %a %"New Year’s Day%"%


Which only contained information from today up to New Years day 2025 one years dates for official holidays. I looked at the +3,%a,and other %'s and thought that it was some esoteric code to give dates for every year. I was wrong whilst it did automatically insert the dates mentioned in the file to the tkremind calendar it did not carry them over to the following years.

Now does this behavior occur when you try with other calendar information say from a google calendar I have no idea as I do not run any other calendars. From my reaserch on the net it would seem to work for calendar transfers or so folk are reporting.

For me I at least had some content to play with and after a little tweaking I had this which gives me entries for all years in the tkremind calendar,



REM  MSG Calendar Events:%"%"%
REM Mar 29  SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Good Friday
REM Apr 1 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Easter Monday
REM May 6 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Early May bank holiday
REM May 27 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Spring bank holiday
REM Aug 26 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Summer bank holiday
REM Dec 25 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Christmas Day
REM Dec 26 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  Boxing Day
REM Jan 1 SPECIAL COLOR 255 0 0  New Year’s Day



As you can see I have included





Which highlights the entry in red.


I find it amazing that a program over 35 years old is still not only able to run on a modern pc but is also a very very useful and stable tool for use today.


Here is a modern take on the program,


remint_a_simple_tui_for_the_remind_calendar - video showing it in use


remint is a simple wrapper script to add interactions and navigation to the terminal outputs of D. Skoll's Remind scripting calendar program.


Well done that clever person. Personally I use tkremind on my Window Maker set up. It is run and opens up every time I boot up the pc to remind me of any important events. Then it is closed down to a dock icon which I can then easily open to input new events. It is fast and uses hardly any resources and best of all I can customize and play around with it to my hearts content.


Oh and by the way remind is still actively developed as you can see here,




You can join the list here




Enjoy 😋


As I found it quite hard to find information on the net which could be down to my lack of searching skills, I  have added a list of all the places I found information at.



https://linux.die.net/man/1/remind man pages

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3529?page=0,0       useage and outline for the program




https://fossies.org/linux/remind/examples/defs.rem       good tips




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SNgvsDvx7M&t=25s      tons of info from creator

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FdMrS4biVE       print info 1-57min

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLF2BqDQekw     interview with D Skoll 2012







https://www.linux.com/news/manage-your-time-remind/      printing instructions


https://www.roaringpenguin.com/wiki/index.php/ICal2Rem      import ICAL stuff 

https://jalcorn.net/public/        ICal2Rem script




https://dianne.skoll.ca/pipermail/remind-fans/       place to ask for help

https://dianne.skoll.ca/mailman/listinfo/remind-fans       signup to above



Edited by abarbarian
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