Google Calendar Tip: SMS Meeting Notices

September 9, 2008

While I was out last week, someone without a laptop wanted to check where the next panel she wanted to attend would be, and we got into a quick discussion of my calendar set up. I hate keeping track of my calendar, so I’ve set it up to notify me by SMS every time I have an upcoming appointment I need to worry about so I can be there on time.

If you’re using Google calendar or another similar online calendar system, this may work for you too. It’s quick and easy to set up, and will make it even easier to store your calendar somewhere other than your head.

To set up your phone, log in to your Google calendar account and click on settings in the upper right corner.

Select the “Mobile Setup” tab, select your country, enter your phone number, select a carrier, and hit “Send Verification Code”. You should receive a text message with a short code you can enter and hit “Finish setup”.

To set up default appointment notifications by text message for everything on your calendar, switch to the Calendars tab and click “Notifications” by your calendar name.

Now just set how early before your appointments you’d like a and you’re good to go. I also like to schedule a daily agenda email, so I’m reminded to look through my schedule and plan out tasks for the day that will fit in with the time I have that day.

To adjust the settings for a specific calendar event, the “Options” panel when you’re looking at an appointment detail will let you switch when your reminder message comes in.


Office 2.0 Google Keynote – Matthew Glotzbach

September 4, 2008

Badge.png10 things I can do in the cloud I couldn’t a year ago.

10. Everything on the go. iPhone. It has opened up mobile computing. Can do pretty much everything from the mobile phone now. Email. Document access. Review presentation on way to talk on train. Hopefully soon give cloud hosted slides from phone too. Can get normal work done from phone at airport without hauling out the computer. Impact about what is coming and what to expect.

9. Search all my mail. Google’s move to cloud computing really started with GMail. Has 14 GB of mail. Can save everything. “Do you know Bob?” Search email and find old communication from years ago. (externalize nonessential memory?) But can still access the actual content in the traditional ways if desired through preferred clients. Important for enterprise clients who are attached to their desktop applications because they already know how to use them, even if they have complaints about the shortcomings of a given tool. Hit sync when boarding is called at airport, process it all in the air, sync upon land to send.

8. Chat with customers and partners in any language. Real time translation on chat. Collaboration can cross boundaries – not just within a company, but internationally. Invite a chat bot natively within GChat. Invite a foreign language speaker. Start chatting as normal and get live translation sent with your messages. Very useful for international chatting, can also teach the translator by sending feedback if the translation is not very good.

7. Collaborate simply and securely on projects with sites and documents. Shared document space creates single repository. Can then grant journalists and others access when launch documents are ready, they can track changes and revisions until time to announce. Makes a lot of version tracking obsolete.

6. Organize all business travel by email.

Accepts confirmation messages and it parses your itinerary components and aggregates them into a single itinerary. Adds them to you calendar too via iCal feed you can subscribe to. Has iphone optimized mobile interface as well. Makes confirmation numbers easier to find, when at a check in desk. Built on existing, widely adopted technology: email. Also allows sharing to track and notify others about where people are if on the road.

5. collect data in forms and dump to spreadsheet. (Google Spreadsheets – “Create new form” menu option) Drag and drop to reorder questions. gives embed code. Live tracking as results come in as well has spreadsheet copy for later use. Dynamically updates spreadsheet in the background.

4. Build any scalable business application on the cloud platform. Google app engine,, AWS. Not just small applications. On demand large processing without major infrastructure costs.

3. Online templates for documents, spreadsheets, presentations.

2. Run fast, secure, stable web applications. Broswer is the gateway to the cloud. Chrome is a speed, usability leap forward. Geared for next generation web applications. Sergey asks the developers daily when the Mac version will be ready, so it will be okay for us Apple people soon. Run browser as application window that interacts with OS like desktop software. Can kill individual plugins and tabs without closing whole browser application. Order of magnitude faster javascript engine over IE.

1. Video sharing in Google apps. Mac, Phone and flip cam mean 3 videocameras being carried around all the time. Lots of opportunities for sharing and communicating. 3000 sign ups a day at Google, huge growth in usage and adoption.