Manager's Calendar Settings: Reliably get Notifications of Events in iOS

I don't really post much in the way of "productivity hacks" but I have not found any content online for this. If you "live by their schedule" (as I do), then the default calendar settings of iOS are really bad. They will make you constantly watch the clock OR miss things.

In fact, I had switched to Android for a few years simply to ensure that I always got notified reliably, as they have much more flexibility in their calendaring settings. Android + AlarmCal was perfect. I never missed a meeting with these. However, I had to move back to iOS for other reasons.

If you have worked with, or seen executive assistants, one of their main jobs is to manage the executive's calendar. And one of their main functions is just to walk over to the exceutive and tell them "You have to go now".

What would the ideal calendar settings?
1. Calendar notifications should occur right when needed. Not 10 minutes before, which gives you a lot of time to miss. 1-2 minutes before is my preferred one. Basically, the phone should be telling you to wrap it up now, not wrap it up later.

2. Calendar notifications should notify you for anything you need to be notified about (e.g. unaccepted notifications if you intend on trying to join).

3. The phone would ALARM and not stop until acknowledged. You should not really be able to miss an event.

Frankly, iOS makes this REALLY hard to accomplish, even for me.

This is almost the opposite of iOS calendar settings, which:

1. Default the notification to 10 minutes before.

2. They ping you once, which can be easily missed.

  1. They follow your global settings, so if you are on silent mode you will probably get the notifications silenced too.

But, I have gotten iOS close to reliable notifications, and here is how I have done it.

Adjust Do Not Disturb Settings

First, do not disturb settings. I have "Do Not Disturb" on almost all the time, mostly because I get so many inbound calls that having it act otherwise I would be almost DDOSed. But you can set your "Do Not Distrub settings to allow notifications from calendar events (and your contacts, like this:

Update Calendar Settings for Alarms

Next, you can set your calendar settings to ensure you are notified correctly. The most important settings are to ensure the banner style is "Persistent" and to pick a sound that is an "Alarm Style" sound. I picked "Slow Rise" because it There are multiple sound options, some are long, and you want the long ones.

After receiving notifications in the midde of the night for invitations, I turned off everything other than notifications for upcoming events:

Auto-Accept Invitations

To really close the loop here, you need to "Auto-Accept Invitations". In my case, if I get an invite to something, and it is not accepted, it sits on my calendar, but I still need to accept it in order to get an alarm. Google apps makes this hard, and honestly, I have not figured out a way to do this without introducing a 3rd party app. This is the only gap in my approach right now. Outlook does have auto-accept from what I understand, so that could be an approach to fix it for you.