Tag Archive: calendar

Dec 07

Event time zones in Google Calendar

Dealing with time zones can be a headache. Whether you’re a regular traveler or trying to plan ahead for your weekend in Paris, it’s often difficult to keep track of time differences. We’ve heard your feedback and are pleased to announce a new addition to Google Calendar: event time zones.

With event time zones, you can specify the time zone for a given event. So when you’re home in Florida, you can more easily set up dinner with your friend in Paris for the following week. Events will appear on your calendar according to the current time zone you’re in, and when you change to your destination time zone they’ll be in the right place. Just click the “Time zone” link to the right of the date and time fields on the event page. You can even set up events which start in one time zone and end in another, ideal for those of you who fly often.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/event-time-zones-in-google-calendar

Nov 29

Optional attendees in Google Calendar

Time is one of our most precious resources. Despite their necessity, meetings tend to vary in importance for different attendees. John might be really interested in his team’s weekly meeting, whereas Jane, who is working on a unrelated project, may want to skip it.

Guests’ roles in meetings tend to vary as well. Some people have to be there to lead the meeting or help make decisions, whereas others are gathering information they may be able to digest just as well via the notes. Without knowing which attendees are crucial and which are optional, it can be difficult to know which meetings you really need to attend.

That’s where Google Calendar’s new “Optional attendees” feature comes in. With a couple clicks, you can openly communicate the importance of a meeting for each attendee. Click on the “Make some attendees optional link” above the guest list and then toggle the role of each attendee by clicking the icon next to his or her name. So far, this feature has helped us more effectively manage our own time on the Calendar team — we hope it does the same for you.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/optional-attendees-in-google-calendar

Apr 15

Insert a calendar invitation

Since my friends share their schedules with me in Google Calendar, when I want to see a movie with them, I can check to see which nights they’re free before sending out an email about it. However, I need to switch between Gmail and Calendar in order to check their availability and send an email invitation.

Today, we’re launching a new feature that brings tighter integration between Gmail and Calendar, making it easier to create Calendar events from within Gmail. When you compose an email message, there’s now an “Insert: Invitation” link right under the subject line.


When you click it, a small window appears that displays your availability as well as that of the people you’re emailing provided you have permission to see their calendars.


You can check your friends’ availability and choose an appropriate time for the event you’re setting up right from there. When you’ve settled on the details of the event, click the “Insert Invitation” button and a preview of the invitation will appear in your email message:


When you send the email, the event gets added to your calendar as well as to your friends’ calendars.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/insert-a-calendar-invitation

Mar 18

Smart Rescheduler in Google Calendar Labs

As you can imagine, those of us on the Google Calendar team spend a lot of time thinking about scheduling. We regularly talk to people who schedule and reschedule a lot of meetings: administrative assistants. Talking to them, we understand just how much time they spend looking at schedules, investigating other people’s calendars, finding replacement conference rooms and rescheduling conflicts. And then some manager’s travel plans change and everything starts over again.

If you’re searching for something on the web, you don’t just start randomly visiting pages looking for relevant content, you use a search engine. So we decided to apply some of Google’s search experience to the problem of scheduling. We experimented with using ranking algorithms to return the most relevant meeting times based on specified criteria like attendees, schedule complexity, conference rooms, and time zones. Just like Google search ranks the web, our scheduling search algorithm returns a ranked set of the best candidate dates and times.

Today we’re launching the result of that experiment, a gadget called Smart Rescheduler, in Google Calendar Labs. Once you turn it on, just select an event you’d like to reschedule, then click “Find a new time…”:

You’ll see ranked list of possible times for your meeting. By investigating the calendars others have shared with you, Google Calendar can make some educated guesses about how easy it might be to reschedule a conflicting meeting and even find you a replacement conference room nearby. This process is 100% automated — no Google employees are doing any work behind the scenes. You can refine the results by marking people as optional, changing the meeting duration, ignoring certain conflicts, or specifying the earliest and latest times you’ll accept. The results will immediately update to reflect your new requirements.


This feature is still experimental, so we’d love your ideas and feedback. Of course, we can’t make meetings more interesting, but we can try to save you frustration leading up to them.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/smart-rescheduler-in-google-calendar-labs-2

Mar 10

3 new Calendar Labs

Today, we’re happy to announce three new features in Calendar Labs. To try them out, just go to the Labs tab under Calendar Settings.

1. Event flair by Dave Marmaros
Want a little airplane icon next to information about your upcoming flight? Or stars next to meetings with your boss? This experiment lets you choose from forty different icons and add one to each Calendar event. Even better, if you invite people to your events, they’ll be able to see the icon you added too. After you enable this feature, click on an event and look for the “Event flair” gadget to activate.

2. Gentle reminders by Sorin Mocanu
If you keep Google Calendar open all day long, you probably end up seeing quite a few reminders every day. Browser alerts are okay, but I tried to find a way for Calendar notifications to integrate smoothly with everything else.

Turn on “Gentle Reminders,” and when you get a notification, the title of your Calendar window or tab will start blinking and the event details will stay in Calendar.

If you’re using this lab in a supported browser (currently Google Chrome for Windows and Google Chrome beta for Linux), you’ll also have the option to get your reminders in the next generation of floating desktop notifications:

After you enable this feature, you can configure notification options on the Settings page.

3. Automatically declining events by Lucia Fedorova and Miguel García
Have you ever checked your calendar and noticed that someone scheduled a really important meeting during your vacation or at a time when you’re not available? Now there’s a way to automatically decline events when you’re not around. Turn on “Automatically declining events,” block off times when you’re unavailable, and event invitations during this period will get automatically declined.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/3-new-calendar-labs-3

Sep 22

Push Gmail for iPhone and Windows Mobile

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Marcus Foster, Product Manager, Google Mobile

Those of you who live in your Gmail inboxes usually want to know what’s happening with your email more instantly than standard fetch mail on your phone allows. Sure, using Gmail in your mobile browser gives you all the benefits of conversation threading and starring, but you still have to refresh every time you want to check for new mail.

When we launched Google Sync for Contacts and Google Calendar earlier this year, an over-the-air, always-on connection to sync mail was noticeably absent. We heard your requests loud and clear, and starting today you can use Google Sync to get your Gmail messages pushed directly to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Windows Mobile device.

You can set up push Gmail by itself or choose to sync your Contacts and/or Calendar as well. If you’re using an iPhone, make sure you’re running iPhone OS version 3.0 or above (on your device, click Settings > General > About and scroll down until you see Version). If your software is out of date, follow Apple’s upgrade instructions. Then, visit m.google.com/sync from your computer for set up instructions. If you’re already using Google Sync, you can just enable push mail.

Once you’re set up, new messages are normally pushed to your phone within seconds. While this type of speed is pretty awesome, push connections tend to use more power than fetching at intervals, so don’t be surprised if your battery life isn’t quite what it used to be. We’ve done a lot of work to optimize power usage, but if you prefer to save battery life, you can always turn off push in your phone’s settings and fetch mail every 30 or 60 minutes instead.

The rest is here:
Push Gmail for iPhone and Windows Mobile

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/push-gmail-for-iphone-and-windows-mobile

May 13

Tasks, now in Calendar too

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Garry Boyer, Software Engineer

Ever since we launched Google Calendar, people in our forum have been pretty vocal about a missing piece — an integrated task list. “To-do would be tooo-rific,” “I really, really, really need to use a to-do list,” and my favorite: “I’ll join your team to help you get it done!” The rumble turned into a roar a few months ago when we launched Tasks in Gmail Labs. Now we’ve integrated Tasks into Google Calendar as well.


To get started, open Calendar and click on the “Tasks” link on the left hand side. You’ll see the familiar task list you’re used to using in Gmail, with some Calendar-specific additions:

  • Tasks that have due dates will automatically appear on your calendar. To create a task with a due date in Calendar, click on an empty space in month view or the all-day section of week view, and be sure select the “Task” option.
  • To attach a due date to an existing task, click the right-arrow from within the task list, and then click on the calendar icon.
  • You can modify a task’s due date by dragging it to a different date, just as you would with a regular calendar event.
  • To mark a task completed from within Calendar, just click on the task’s checkbox. (Isn’t that satisfying, overachievers?)
  • To keep track of due dates before they arrive, there’s a nifty new “Sort by due date” feature available in the Actions menu at the bottom of your task list. While sorting by due date, you can reschedule a task by clicking on it in your list, then pressing control and the up or down arrow key.


While working to help bring this feature to you, I used it to keep track of my own tasks. Now I can finally check off the last one in that list: “write blog post.” Phew.

Read the rest here: 
Tasks, now in Calendar too

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/tasks-now-in-calendar-too

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