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Own Your Alarms

Remember everything without being annoyed by your alarms

Enable/disable multiple alarms at once (Updated for Shortcuts version 2.1)

This is a post designed for iPhone and iPad users. I'm sure there are similar solutions for Android devices.

A single button disables all (or choice) alarms then sets a reminder for later in the day to enable the alarms. A single button will enable all the same alarms. All made possible with the iOS app Shortcuts.

Setting alarms is all part of being a responsible adult. As a teacher, I have alarms that go off for everything, especially to remind me that class is ending. I use at least 10 a day (pro tip: set an alarm for 9 minutes before class ends. Hit the snooze button and it will go off again right when class is over).

A problem I run into with my alarms is when I have a day I'm not teaching. I just finished a professional development day where some of the first sessions were interrupted by teacher's alarms going off. It's just as frustrating on a day off. I've had days where I get to noon and I'm already annoyed by having had to turn off multiple alarms. Or I'm on top of it and I turned off all my alarms before the day starts, only to forget to turn them back on again.

Sure, I could tell Siri to disable all my alarms; but it rarely works correctly and I also need to tell her to remind me later to enable them. But the new Shortcuts app is amazing for this. Now, I just swipe to my widgets and tap my new Disable Alarms button. It turns off all my alarms and sets a reminder for 3:30pm to "Enable Alarms." Then when I get that reminder, all I have to do is go to my Enable Alarms shortcut and tap it. I've also added these shortcuts to Siri. So now when I say "disable school alarms" it will run the shortcut (including the reminder).

Cool. How do I get it?

The setup is similar to my Station Times Shortcut. All you need to do is select the right alarms and when you want to be alerted to turn them back on again.

Start by creating your Disable Alarms shortcut.

  1. Go to the Shortcuts app. Get it HERE. Make sure you're using at least version 2.1
  2. From your iOS device, get the Disable Alarms shortcut HERE.
  3. It will walk you through the initial setup.
  4. During initial setup, it will ask you when your day ends (several minutes after your last alarm of the day. My last alarm goes off at 3:21, so I put this time as 3:30). This is going to do two things. First, it will set the time that you are reminded to turn your alarms on. Second, it tells the shortcut whether to set the alarm for today or tomorrow (this is important because if you preemptively disable your alarms so you aren't annoyed tomorrow, you want the reminder at the end of the day tomorrow. But if you waited until your alarms have already started annoying you to disable them, you'll want the reminder to go off the same afternoon).
  5. Then it will ask you to choose the alarms you want disabled. It will ask 9 times. If you have less than 9 alarms, just ignore the rest. If you have more, you'll need to add more alarms to the shortcut (which isn't very difficult, see below for details).
  6. Make sure you enable the Shortcuts app in your Widgets. You can do that by scrolling to the bottom of your widgets and tapping the Edit button (and I highly recommend putting the Shortcuts app at the top).

Now, create your Enable Alarms shortcut. The process is very similar except you will only need to choose the alarms you want to enable. Download the Enable Alarms shortcut from your iOS device.

Adding more alarms or customizing these shortcuts is fairly simple. Check out the video below to see how to quickly edit your Enable Alarms shortcut.

I know you're itching to learn more about Shortcuts. Here's a deeper dive into shortcuts by looking at the Disable Alarms shortcut.

Enjoy all the newfound free seconds you have!

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