Google is known for search but the tech giant is also a key player in the business software arena, including the popular Google Calendar app. Many organizations want to use Google Calendar to send reminders to clients. In this short tutorial we look at adding the ability to send appointment text reminders in Google Calendar (try it out).
Like most scheduling software, what Google Calendar lacks in glamor it more than makes up for in simplicity and sheer usefulness. It also supports the iCalendar (iCal) standard making it possible to share calendars between different software (the iCalendar format, a.k.a. iCal or ICS, was originally developed by Apple and has since become the de facto standard in calendar sharing).
Launched back in 2006 some of Google Calendar's stand out features include:
You can get email and SMS reminders sent to yourself as part of Google Calendar's core functionality. This is ideal for personal calendars so you're not late for that job interview or meet up with your friends. But if you're a business using it to arrange client appointments there's no easy way to remind them about upcoming meetings, sessions, seminars or whatever else you have arranged. And text reminders and/or email reminders are a useful thing.
SMS Client Reminders fills that capability gap. If you run a business using Google Calendar to manage client meetings and need automated appointment reminder software, with emphasis on the automated, then look no further! Crucially you won't have to ditch Google Calendar and use bespoke appointment software with texting capability instead; you can carry on as normal whilst it runs seamlessly in the background .
It achieves this close integration by making use of Google Calendar's support of the iCalendar standard to share or export calendar events. Using the Share option you can generate a private web address which gives access to that calendar (but with an impossible to guess url for security). This ability allows SMS Client Reminders to scan your appointments for any clients that match your contact list and send out email and/or text reminders accordingly. Scan...match...send. Scan...match...send - that's all it does, day in, day out - but at least it means you don't have to.
Google include the Calendar app as part of their business-oriented G Suite. G Suite used to be known as Google Apps for Work and provides the same software but with extras such as a SLA and dedicated support.
If the Secret address in iCal format is missing in your calendar settings it's because your G Suite Admin needs to enable this option (it is disabled by default).
It can take up to 24 hours for the change to filter down to all calendars, but it's usually much quicker than that.
If your business operates in a team or shared environment the ability to view other people's schedules is often essential in terms of coordination.
Adding a calendar to the main view is very simple:
There are other sharing options (including making calendars public so anyone can view them) but the above method is arguably best when working in a group.
SMS Client Reminders also makes light work of handling multiple calendars, and has been designed with teams in mind. Assuming each team member has their own calendar:
You can add as many calendars as required. Each one will be scanned for new appointments and find matches against your client list. The calendar reference name can be useful to help distinguish which calendar a particular appointment originated from, as the reference name is displayed with the appointment/reminder info.
Once the calendars have been set up you can sit back and let it do its thing. Every fifteen minutes the latest version of the calendar (in iCalendar format) is retrieved and scanned for appointments. You can also do a manual refresh via the Link to calendar dialog.
Although it's possible to add appointments manually we wouldn't recommend this as they won't appear on your calendar (the link is one-way), which could be confusing.
Google Calendar provides all the basic functionality a business needs in terms of time management and scheduling. One thing it doesn't do is provide reminder messages for clients, but SMS Client Reminders seamlessly plugs that gap.
If you're looking for Google Calendar appointment reminders and want to give it a go, our free trial or guide are good places to start. Although it integrates with a range of apps including iCloud and the service-formerly-known-as-Hotmail, we reckon Google's offering is the best of the bunch.