--schedule-contacts

Alas can help you keep in touch with your contacts - family, friends and other people you know. Alas tracks when you last heard from a person and schedules a new task to contact the person if you didn’t hear from them in a while. Alas can also schedule a reminder for a birthday.

Each contact is stored in a separate Markdown file. All contact files should be in a single directory, separate from other Markdown files. For example:

├── contacts
│   ├── john-doe.md
│   ├── mary-doe.md
│   ├── jack-black.md
│   ├── ...
├── diary.md
├── plan.md
└── scheduled.md

Each contact file has the same structure - the contact name, details and the log of communication.

# John Doe

- Birthday: 04-27
- Category: B

## 2022-02-15

Talked over the phone about stuff.

## 2022-01-28

Grabbed a beer and talked about stuff.

The first line is the title that holds the contact name.

Then, there’s a list of details. Each detail has the same structure:

- Detail name: Detail value

A contact can have as many details as you need. However, 2 details are special: Birthday and Category.

If a contact has a Birthday detail and the value matches today’s date, Alas will schedule a reminder to congratulate the person’s birthday.

A contact Category can have one of these 4 values: A, B, C and D. The idea was taken from Derek Siver’s article where categories are defined as:

  • A list: Very important people. Contact every three weeks.
  • B list: Important people. Contact every two months.
  • C list: Most people. Contact every six months.
  • D list: Other people. Contact once a year, to make sure you still have their correct info.

The command input requires a path to the directory that holds the contact files. For example:

alas --insert-days 3 --schedule-contacts contacts plan.md

This command might insert new contact tasks for today:

# My Plan

## Inbox

- [ ] #home - Fix the lamp

## 2020-08-01, Saturday

- [ ] Contact John Doe
- [ ] Congratulate birthday to Marry Doe
- [X] Pay bills

Note: Alas will insert contact tasks only for days that are already present in the plan. If a day doesn’t exist, --schedule-contacts won’t insert a day. This means that it’s best to use --schedule-contacts in combination with --insert-days. Alas will make sure that --insert-days is always executed before --schedule-contacts.

Missed Birthday Reminders

If you don’t run Alas every day, it’s possible to miss scheduling a birthday reminder. If a birthday reminder scheduling is missed, the task will be scheduled the next time you execute --schedule-contacts.

Missed tasks are marked. For example - Congratulate birthday to Jane (missed on 2022-09-05).