Make Mac OS X Announce the Time for Better Time Management

Sep 18, 2012 - 7 Comments

Make Mac announce the time

Your Mac can verbally announce the time thanks to a little setting buried in the system preferences. Though at first glance this may seem like pointless flare, it’s actually a great way to help manage your time be it through a variation of the Pomodoro method or just to let you know when durations of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour is up.

  • Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and click on “Date & Time”
  • Under the “Clock” tab check the box next to “Announce the time:” and then set either “On the hour”, or half hour, or quarter hour
  • Close out of System Prefs

Of course you can change the voice for the time announcement too, Siri (Samantha) and Daniel are two popular choices that sound great.

To get an idea of what the time announcement sounds like, launch Terminal and typing the following:

say "its 11 o clock"

You can also use any of the other text to speech options in Mac OS X from TextEdit or elsewhere, or just wait for the next hour block.

If you’re a total task and time management junkie, consider using this in addition to having your Mac vocally inform you of when command line tasks are done.

One important note: if your Mac is near where you sleep, this isn’t the best option to leave enabled all the time because it will continue telling you the time even at 3AM when you’re trying to get some rest. There isn’t any scheduling option to keep the announcements restricted to specified hours, so for that reason you’ll need to tweak the settings a bit manually throughout the day, or just mute your Mac when you’ve had enough of Samantha telling you what time it is.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rich says:

    Try this:
    Say “fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge fudge”

  2. Ken says:

    In System Preferences | Energy Saver, there is a button labeled “Schedule…” You can set the Mac to sleep between 1:00 and 6:00 for example. The Mac doesn’t talk in its sleep.

    If the Mac is sleeping, it periodically turns in its sleep; that is, it wakes up and goes back to sleep for some very good reason I forgot. If you don’t want that to happen, you can set it to shut down at 1:00 and restart at 6:00 instead.

    Either way, if you need your Mac at your bedside, and you want it to announce the time, you can set it to shut up during the night.

  3. Rich says:

    haha just realised my comment was corrected from f-*-c-k to fudge!!

  4. Alex says:

    I’ve been using that feature for like 6 years, it’s a great feature, and it does help you manage your time a little better without having to set alarms.

  5. clasqm says:

    Any Applescript pundit out there who would like to show how to turn this off at midnight and turn it back on in the morning, weekdays only? Should be possible …

  6. cvsmith122 says:

    This great for me as an admin for a school. I can see a kid playing a video game and SSH into his computer and make it say “this is your first warning. Your are not suppose to play games at school”

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates