Monday, October 15, 2007

Lifehax0r: How To Get Meeting Reminders from Google through SMS (for free!)

One of my favorite website is and as a hommage to Lifehacker, here's my own lifehack.

My current job involves a lot of meetings.  Either I initiate meetings by creating meeting invitations through MS Outlook 2003 or I receive meeting invitations from my clients, also through MS Outlook 2003.  A few weeks ago, I was on leave when a client sent me a meeting invitation and cc:'ed my Gmail account.  To my pleasant surprise, the meeting invitation format of MS Outlook 2003 was recognized by Gmail.  So I accepted the meeting invitation on Gmail and to my further surprise, my Google Calendar account automagically added the meeting!

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My Google Calendar is set to send SMS alerts to my cellphone whenever a meeting is due so on the day of the meeting, I was alerted by my cellphone with the following message:

From: Google
Reminder: xxxxxx Meeting @ Mon Oct 15 10:30 AM in XXX Conference Room 16th Floor Main Building (Bernie Jxxxx)

This gave me a rather bright idea.  Whenever I receive a meeting invitation, I forward the invitation to my Gmail account.  Then I log on to Gmail to accept it and viola: my meeting is added to my Google Calendar.  I am now alerted of that meeting even if I am not in front of my office computer!

I am not sure if this will work with other email clients like Lotus Notes or even Outlook Express.  But the workflow is so slick, I can't resist sharing it here.

This lifehack is not entirely free.  I had to send an SMS to Google Calendar to verify my cellphone number but that's the first and only overseas SMS I had to send out (and pay for) to make this work.

Here's the customary screenshot gallery (click on the image to see full-size screencap):

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