A better way to set recurring reminders in Slack
Set a recurring reminder in the meetings-channel so that every week a different person (rotating through all the people in the company) has the duty of being meeting-master – with the name of the person who is meeting master that week in the message.
Setting recurring reminders in Slack via the /remind is a pain. (I know the task is possible to set up with the vanilla /remind command, but it always takes me quite a while to figure out the right syntax after not using the command for a year.)
Every two weeks everyone at discoverize has the opportunity to use a few hours for somthing “funky”.
the path + the solution:
At first I thought I would program a .NET Core application which sends messages to Slack at the appriopriate times with the appropriate person as meeting-master. Then my toughts wandered to background tasks (which right now we also use in a different service). And I found Hangfire which would persist the tasks for me, making my life easier – on the downside of using a third-party app.
I already started to look into our Slack apps to create a new one (to follow this tutorial), but then realized that there probably already are Slack apps out there doing a better job of helping to create recurring reminders. And since my time was already dwindeling away, I just searched and compared apps. I landed on RemindUs, installed it to our Slack and started using it. It seems to do the job well enough. Task accomplished.
After testing out RemindUs it did not suit our use case well. It did not convert a @user statement in a message to an alert to that user. Furthermore the layout and text was that of a reminder (of course) which felt weird. We just want a message to appear repeatedly as if it was just entered by a bot/user.
I researched other Slack Apps, but only paid ones did the thing I needed. And for this simple usage I do not want to pay a monthly amount of 6 Dollars or more.
So I reverted to vanilla Slack and the /remind command. Here is the usage in our use case:
/remind #_meetings "@anton - you are meeting master this week" on 08.05.2023 every five weeks
And then setting up this reminder for every team member in meeting master rotation one week apart.