I hate iCal for lots of reasons that I no longer need to go into, since I’ve found the perfect replacement in the form of Remind. Yes, it’s a geeky unix tool. Yes, it requires command line skillz, but imagine a single, light-weight text file with all of your events in it. Each line looks like this…
REM Sun AT 21:00 +15 DURATION 1:00 MSG Family Guy
That says every sunday at 9:00pm show me that Family Guy is on, and start to warn me 15 minutes before it starts. That’s easy, but it can also do things like remind me…“every 3rd Tuesday from now until December 31st unless it’s a holiday or blue moon”
Wrap it up using a fabulously simple Curses-based “gui” called wyrd (pronounced like “weird”) and I’ve got lightweight, portable, fast, easy and flexible. All for free.
Oh, and I pipe the timed reminder alerts out through Growl so that it looks pretty when talking to me.
A nice piece by Mike Harris on 43Folders should get you interested.
This Linux Journal article by the author is also helpful.