5. How Timely Reminders works


The basic principles needed to use Timely Reminders can usually be learned in a few minutes. The program can help anyone to organize their learning and revision more efficiently. It ensures information is not only properly learned but can be recalled.

There are four main screens in Timely Reminders.

  1. The Users screen
  2. The Subjects screen
  3. The Bank of Reminders
  4. The Review Reminders screen.

Overview of Timely Reminders screens

There are 4 main buttons to move around the program. These buttons are labelled:

  • View Users (takes the user to the Users screen)
  • View Subjects (takes the user to the Subjects screen)
  • View Bank (takes the user to the Bank of Reminders)
  • Review Reminders (takes the user to the Review Reminders screen)

These four buttons are used to move between the four main screens. Each screen shows the buttons that are needed to take the user to one of the other screens.

If a mentor/therapist/partner is entering the questions and answers for a user with special needs then the user will only need to look at the Review Reminders screen if this is felt to be more appropriate.

There are other buttons that are important to be able to use the program.

  • Add - allows a new Reminder, Subject or User to be added.
  • Modify - is used to edit an existing Reminder, Subject or User.
  • Delete - removes a Reminder, Subject or User from the program.
  • Move from Bank - transfers Reminders, which are initially stored in the Bank of Reminders, into the Timely Reminders system where they can be seen in the Review Reminders screen.
  • Return to Bank - transfers Reminders from the Review Reminders screen back to the Bank of Reminders.
  • View Users – returns to the Users screen to add new users.

By moving the cursor over a button for a second or so, additional help on that button is provided in a pop-up box.

The following buttons allow advanced use of Timely Reminders.

  • Import
  • Export
  • Print

It is possible not only to write one’s own questions and answers but also to import pre-written questions and answers using the “Import” button. These may have been written by someone else or bought from the CALSC web site.

A tutor/lecturer/teacher/therapist can write questions and answers on any subject within Timely Reminders and export these for use by other people with copies of Timely Reminders such as other tutors. This is done using the “Export” button. There are several options for printing. For example, a text copy can be printed out of the Reminders for conventional follow-up work.

The first screen allows one to set up the users. An unlimited number of users can be entered but only one person can use the program at a time. If one has a multi-user version the licence will determine the number of people who can use the program concurrently.

The second screen is the Subjects screen which is used by the user to add or modify subjects. It is important to classify/organise the information stored in the Timely Reminders system into separate subject/topic areas to aid efficient use of the program. The Subjects screen also contains the advanced buttons that allow import, export and printing of Reminders.

The third screen is the Bank of Reminders. New questions and answers are stored in the Bank of Reminders until they have been learned and transferred into the Timely Reminders reviewing system. The writing of questions and answers can be done by a tutor/teacher/therapist/student/ user on a daily or weekly basis.

Several questions and answers can be entered and stored in the Bank on one particular day. Gradually they can be transferred to the Timely Reminders reviewing system over a period of several days.

The Bank of Reminders shows all the questions in a list. The student can browse down the list of questions shown in the Bank of Reminders and choose which to learn. Having learned the answer, it can be added to the reviewing system by clicking on the “Move from Bank” button.

The fourth screen is the Review Reminders screen. This is the most important screen.

The Review Reminders screen shows each Reminder in turn and allows the user to test themselves on the work. If at any time the answer to a question is not known the Reminder (which comprises a question and answer) can be returned to the Bank for additional learning by pressing the “Return to Bank” button.

If the user can answer the question correctly then it can be moved through the reviewing system. Firstly the “1 day” button should be clicked whereupon the reminder will disappear from the screen and will be shown again in one day's time, i.e. the following day.

As the program is used on subsequent occasions the appropriate reminders will be displayed and they can be moved through the reviewing system outlined earlier: 5mins, 1 day, 2 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. The top box on the right shows the status of the current Reminder and allows the user to move the Reminder to the next required time for reviewing. However to allow flexibility the program does not move the Reminders on automatically. It can be personalized by each user and allows self-assessment and ownership of the process by a user. The user can decide that the fact is not well enough known and needs to be reviewed again the next day.

Some people find it helpful to review certain tricky facts everyday for the first week before moving them to a day later, 2 days later and then on through the system. Because the computer does not move Reminders on automatically each individual user can judge each question and decide when it should be reviewed again. If a user does not look at the program on the required day then the Reminders will be saved up until the next day they use the program.

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