Reminders are a super way to keep you on track, especially if you can get into a work rut like me and forget there’s an entire world outside of your computer. I don’t just need to be reminded to check my to do list or go to the gym, though. I’ll be typing away and completely forget that it’s time to go home or, perhaps worse, that my laptop is running out of power.
A neat little app to help with all of that remembering, Notifi will create notifications based on your preferences. You tell it what’s important, and it let’s you know when you need to make a move. Notifi isn’t the only app of its kind, though, so can it hold its own?
Notifi is accessible from the menu bar, and you’ll want to open its application preferences to get started. That’s where you set up your notifications and toggle on and off the different types of notifications. Every time something on your Mac pings one of the actions you’ve told Notifi to look out for, you’ll get an alert on your Desktop and in Notification Center.
The first in Notifi’s preferences is device notifications, which will let you know when a device connects or disconnects. This didn’t work when I connected my iPhone over USB, but I guess that’s because my phone isn’t a mountable device. This one had limited use for me, because when I connect a mountable disk drive, I don’t need a notification, since I had just mounted the thing myself. Same for when I unmount (dismount?) my devices. But I’m not one to deny another a feature they’ll find useful, and I can always just keep it toggled off.
The next is the Disk Space tab, which will alert you when available disk space gets below a certain level. Set your disks–you can choose four–with the Choose Device buttons. Then use the sliders to set the low percentage Notifi should be on the look out for. The Battery tab works similarly, in that you’ll set a percentage at which you’ll want Notifi to send up a flare and let you know it’s time to plug your machine in. I try to avoid menu bar clutter and don’t have my battery’s percentage displayed, so I often run the thing way down without realizing it, and this is a neat one to have.
In the Files in Folder tab, choose the folders you want Notifi to monitor. Anytime files are created, modified, or deleted, Notifi will do its job and let you know. As before with the Disk Space tab, Notifi will only monitor four folders, so you’ll want to choose what’s most important to you. The app won’t be peeking into your subfolders either, so if Notifi’s monitoring Documents and a file changes in Documents > Bills, you’re not getting told about it. That’s probably for the best, though, because that could end up being a lot of notifications about stuff you already know. This is used best when put to work monitoring folders that will have a lot of files moving around or being created automatically, and not a lot of folders fit that bill.
Time notifications let you set up alarms. You’re kind of hamstrung here, because there are just three types of alarm and you only get one of each. There’s a normal sort of alarm that you can set for any time of day. Type in whatever notification you want, like a reminder to have lunch to take a walk in the afternoon, and it will pop up when it’s time for the alarm to go off. The second alarm sets a recurring notification at whatever interval you’d like, again with your own message. The third will just throw a notification up every hour, if that’s what you’re into.
Making Your Notifications Yours
The default notifications for Notifi are alerts. These are different from banner notifications, because alerts have to be acted upon before they’re dismissed. They won’t just go away on their own. You’ll have to click them or they’ll just sit up in your upper right corner literally forever. I ignored mine for a bit, and they started to stack up. This is great if you want to have to do something to your notification, if you don’t just want it to go away, but if you only want a friendly reminder, alerts can be a real pain.
To get banners instead, you’ll have to get into Notifications in System Preferences. From there, find Notifi in the list of apps, and select the kind of notification you want, in this case banner notifications. You can also decide how many notifications you want to appear in Notification Center and whether you want OS X to play a sound when Notifi has something to tell you.
It’s probably a good idea to have Notifi launch at login. You can set this pretty easily in the menu bar dropdown, and it’s nice they give it to you right there in the app and don’t make you manually add Notifi to Login Items yourself. You’re definitely going to want to select that Open at Login feature, because if Notifi isn’t running, you won’t get any of your notifications.
There are other, more full-featured apps that will give you lots of options and control over your notifications and that can perform other actions, too. Hazel’s one that comes to mind right away, and it’s just great. There’s a whole lot you can do in Hazel that you’re never going to be able to do in Notifi, but Hazel’s going to cost you a lot more, too. And if all you want is a simple heads up when things are popping in your folders or your battery’s getting low, Hazel’s going to be too much app for you, anyway.
Notifi’s good if you just need a reminder every now and then to stretch your legs, plug in your laptop, or check your Downloads for new stuff. I do wish I could add more notifications or different types of notifications, especially in the timed tab. As it is, though, Notifi does have some great features that can really enhance your productivity. If you just want to add some easy notifications to OS X, Notifi is an app to try.