Intro: Build an Automated Morning Reminders Projector
I am a forgetful person; forgetting to take out the trash, water the lawn, or put on clothes (just kidding). I needed a morning wake up alarm that would remind me of everything I needed to do each day, almost like a personal secretary. So I made the LiteList, a transparency like projector that utilizes your phone's flashlight activated by an alarm, projecting a dry-erase sheet of written notes. So every morning when the alarm on my phone rings, a sheet of the events and to-do's that I had written the night before are projected onto the wall in front of me. Here's how:
Step 1: Materials
Here are the materials:
- Paint ( I used blue, black, and white acrylic craft paint, but spray paint would work well too )
- Sandpaper ( Any grade around 100 will do )
- Dry-Erase Marker
- Paint Brushes
- Tape ( Thick packing or duct tape )
- Box Cutter or X-Acto Knife
- Paper Clip
- Folder with Prongs ( Paper works best; the hard, plastic kind won't paint or cut well )
- Clear binder sleeve ( Clear dividers may work too, whatever you can find )
- Smartphone ( you can also use an iPod Touch or something similar )
These are the materials that I used, however if you find a better replacement based on what you have, then go for it! Make improvements and put them in the comments bar.
Step 2: Make the Frame
Materials Used: Folder, Scissors, Tape
1. Cut off one side of the folder, leaving all of the prongs on the other side.
2. Take the side you just cut off (the one without prongs), and form two triangles by cutting a diagonal line across.
3. Next you will need to cut about an inch or so off the base of the triangles, however much you need so that the two triangles match up with the width of the pronged side with about an inch of space for the phone.
4. Now line up the hypotenuse of the triangle with the side of the pronged page. Once it is lined up, tape just the top side. This allows the folder to fold. It should be able to stand up on its own like a tent. If confused, refer to the finished product.
Step 3: Paint the Frame
Materials Used: Sandpaper, Paint, Brushes, Cardboard
1. I sanded down the folder to give it both a matte finish and to create a better bond with the paint. Make sure to sand extra light on the tape, so that you don't tear through the bond.
2. To make sure you like the look, paint a small test strip. Using the cardboard as a palette, brush some paint on the folder. Let it dry.
3. If you are satisfied, paint the rest. To keep it looking clean, make sure to keep your stroke moving in one direction. I painted two coats on the top, let it dry, then painted one coat on the back. Luckily, I live in Texas and didn't have to wait too long for it to dry. Hopefully you won't either.
Step 4: Brand Your Creation
Materials Used: X-Acto Knife, Cardboard, Paint, Brushes
Before you complete this amazing contraption, you've got to brand it as your own. You never know, your son or little brother might sneak into your room and steal it. I signed mine too, just to be sure.
I've included a link of my template, but if you want to make your own, be my guest! Share what you've made in the comments section.
1. Print out template. Cardstock paper or anything else hard works best, but regular paper works too. No need to waste color either, just print it out black and white.
2. Next you'll need to cut out the template. This is where the cardboard comes in handy. It prevents your mother or wife from yelling at you for scraping the kitchen counter. Not that I would know, of course.
Tip: I found it quite difficult to cut out the bullet point list, so I just free hand painted that part.
3. Center the template on the front of the folder. Make sure it doesn't move; if needed, tape it down.
4. Carefully paint your brand onto the folder. Once finished remove the template and fix up any parts that didn't come out clean. I painted my projector layer first, let it dry, then painted on the list. To make the bullet points, use the back of your brush.
Step 5: Write Your Reminders
Materials Needed: Dry-Erase Marker, Sheet Protector
Next up is the easy part. However, that doesn't mean you should skip it. It's pretty important; if you don't write anything, all of your hard work will end in a light on a blank wall. If your mind is feeling just as blank, then go for it, but I would advise you write something.
Using your dry-erase marker (not a sharpie), write whatever you want to remember in the morning on the sheet protector. It could be a reminder to feed the cat, do the dishes, or help finish your kid's science fair project. You can write upcoming events, so you don't forget your mom's birthday, or a business meeting. I've used it to jot down some great ideas I've had for Instructable projects that I don't want to forget. Whatever you can think of, write it.
To attach the sheet protector correctly, imagine that the phone will be reading it from left to right. It will look backwards to you. Secure the sheet using the prongs.
Step 6: Make a Phone Stand
Materials Needed: Paper Clip, Phone
I used ab727's DIY Phone Stand - Paper Clip Mobile Phone Stand, but you can use anything you have on hand to make sure your phone stays upright.
Simple place the phone right under the frame, so that flashlight illuminates the maximum amount of the sheet.
Step 7: Software
One of my first problems was figuring out how to get the flashlight to turn on when the alarm does. I'm not as brainy as some of the other smarty-pants here on Instructables, so I found some apps that would do the trick. If you can find a way to get your phone to do the same thing without an app, please enlighten those of us with a lesser intelligence on the comments thread. I had been thinking of using Arduino and a servo motor with a stylus connected, but decided on this so folks without as much knowledge or equipment could participate.
For iOS devices, I found a great app:
Alarm Clock! - With Instant Light - RV AppStudios LLC
Don't worry Android users, I've got something for you too:
Light Alarm Clock -sssprog
The interface is quite simple and self explanatory, so you should be able to find out how to set your alarm and get the light activated too.
Step 8: Final Thoughts
Overall, I was quite satisfied with the simplicity of this project. It allows for some personal creativity, while keeping the basics the same. I particularly liked how just one folder was used to construct the projector. However, I found that it wasn't quite as sturdy as I had hoped. It stands up fine, but is wobbly and fell over if bumped. If I were to make it again, I would construct the frame out of plywood for a sturdier build.
Another thing to address was being able to write on the sheet. Since the folder was flexible, you could fold it up and write your new list. However, this meant you had to take down the frame and set it back up. It's not that big of a deal, but if I were to re-build the LiteList out of wood, I wonder if there would be a way to simply flip the sheet up onto the back and write. Instead of the folder with prongs, you could possibly use the binder rings off an old binder and screw them into the wood.
So, if any of you find improvements, share with the rest of us. I put out the idea, and now you guys can all make it better! That is what Instructables is for right? Share what you make!
If you liked this idea, please let the judges know and vote for me in the Phone Contest!