How can I get Siri and Fantastical to ignore natural language dates

I have the worst time telling Siri to remind me TODAY about an event on a future day. For example, “Hey Siri, remind me today to send an email to Dave about the meeting on Friday” or “Hey Siri, remind me to schedule that doctor’s appointment for next Tuesday.” Is there a magic sauce to avoid scheduling the reminder for the wrong day?

Same with Fantastical’s natural language engine (this time, typed): “Next Wednesday, remind me to cancel the free trial that expires on Thursday.” In that case I get an event that starts on Wednesday and ends on Thursday. Usually I try to avoid directly referring to the second date but the coded language gets a little old.

I understand the difficulty in programming the system to understand the subtleties of date references, but at least when you’re programming or using RegEx you can “escape” the things you want to include verbatim, as in: don’t try to interpret this next part.

Anyone found a solution?

I don’t think this can be done.

You should see what I had to go through to create an event called “Ash Wednesday” without the event being named simply “Ash” – and that was when I was typing

If someone knows a way, please share.

In Fantastical, I enclose the terms I want the app to ignore in double quotes. So, for the Ash Wednesday example, if I type “Ash Wednesday” next Wednesday, the app interprets the string correctly. I’m sure this is documented somewhere (in one of MacSparky’s field guides, I’m sure!) but I just stumbled upon this by accident.

1 Like

I don’t have Fantastical, but Readdle Calendars, which has the same feature, has an on/off toggle in Settings > Options > Natural Language Input

I’d done something like this in the past, just tried it as a test:

Format seems to be [on | at ] [time of reminder] “remind me to” [details of reminder].
Not really sure why I mixed my 24 & 12hr clocks there though…

1 Like

Appreciate the troubleshooting, @stu_w. That may be the best we can hope for. Maybe I’m asking to much to want to ask for a reminder without specifying a reminder time. I use OmniFocus to grab my siri reminders, and I process them later. I’d prefer not to 1) have to think about when to remind me about something that doesn’t really need an arbitrary due date just yet, and 2) have the system tell me it’s overdue when that reminder time expires. But what you point out is definitely feasible. Cheers!

1 Like

I just tried the same thing but as “later today remind me to…” and that seemed to work, it’s there with “today” as the due date but not expired yet. I’m presuming that it’ll do that at the end of the day.

I think I’m pretty much the opposite, reminders either don’t have a date/time against them at all or are specified exactly. :slight_smile: