We built a tool to create calendar events from an email without clicking any buttons, without copying and pasting email addresses, and without even opening your calendar at all. We wanted to find the easiest possible way to create a calendar event from email.
Our tool is called Schedulus, but in this post, we’ll first show you the features Gmail already has for creating an event from an email, and then show you why we built our tool and how it makes the process even easier.
The Limitations of Using Gmail to Add an Event to Google Calendar From Email
Gmail has had, for a while, a default way to create a new Google Calendar event from the Gmail inbox, but it has limitations. First, from any email you have to click the “3 dots” above the email, then click “create an event”:
This is not bad, but notice it requires mousing around and 2 clicks. Then, when you click create an event, you’re removed from your inbox and taken to a new tab with the calendar event details:
At this point, your email creation routine is completely interrupted. You’re basically in a new calendar tab, similar to what would have happened if you had opened Google Calendar in a new tab by yourself and clicked “create event”.
Now to set the date and time, you have to mouse around and do it manually, just like any calendar event:
For example, if you want to schedule the event for tomorrow at 3pm for 30 min, you need one click to open the date drop-down menu, another to pick tomorrow, another to select the start time, and a fourth click to select the end time.
Like we said, we find this just as tedious to add events as doing it manually.
For location, say you want to use a Zoom link or your conference phone number that you always use, you have to enter that manually:
Finally, this Gmail default method also by default puts the last email or two’s text in the description, which you may not want and have to manually delete:
For us, like most of our co-workers and people we know, we don’t copy the entire text of the last email in calendar event descriptions we usually leave them blank or add a small note with details.
And it invites every person on the entire email chain, so if you only want to create an event from the people you just emailed with — not every single person that’s appeared in the history of a long email thread — you have to remember to delete the extra people.
We found this system lacking. So we built something simpler.
Why we Built Schedulus to More Easily Create a Google Calendar Event from Email
What we really wanted, when we built Schedulus, is to never leave your inbox to create an event, and never even have to use the mouse. We wanted to just be able to send an email, with text, and have a calendar event created for you.
We wanted to absolutely minimize the number of clicks you had to make, details you had to specify, and time you had to spend.
So here’s how it works…
Say you’re exchanging emails with someone and you agree on a meeting.
All you have to do is forward that email to Schedulus, and tell it the time and length:
Schedulus will then create the invite for the day, time, and length you specified and send calendar invites to everyone on the last email.
You don’t have to open Google calendar, you don’t have to leave your inbox — at all.
It will use your default location (which you can set to be anything, a zoom link, a phone number, a conference room, blank, anything). Or if you want to specify the location for that invite, just say “location:” and enter a place.
You can even set a default meeting length in Schedulus, so for meetings using your default length and location, you only have to specify the time of the invite!
Here are the advantages:
- You never have to leave your inbox
- No mousing around a new tab or pop-up
- No copying and pasting emails over or deleting people you don’t want. It’ll just invite everyone on the last email, not people form the entire email thread like Gmail does by default.
- You can type the day and time in a fast, natural way — things like “Tomorrow at 2pm.” Or just “2pm” if you want it for today.
- If you want to add or remove people, just use +emailaddress or -emailaddress
This way you can process email super fast. Just forward to Schedulus, type the bare minimum, and move on — Schedulus will create a new event for you.
Does this work on mobile?
Yes! Because schedulus just involves forwarding an email, it works on any device — iPhone, Android, whatever. On your phone, you don’t have to worry about moving between your Gmail account (or any other email mobile app) and the Google Calendar app. You can just stay in your inbox and forward an email just as you would on desktop.
If you want to give it a try, sign up here to be an early adopter.
Schedulus Bonus Feature: Tell People When You’re Available with a Shortcode
In addition to adding events by just forwarding an email, we wanted to also make it easy to tell people when you’re available during the scheduling back and forth by also not leaving your inbox.
So we built the ability to just type a shortcode like “times1” to for example, list out the times you’re available tomorrow for a meeting. When you type this, Schedulus will quickly look at your calendar tomorrow, find the open windows of time and list them out by text which you can drop into any email, Slack, or text conversation (literally in any program where you type on your computer).
For example, say this was your calendar for tomorrow:
And say you’re emailing with a co-worker on arranging a meeting for tomorrow. Without even looking at your calendar, you can just type “Are you free tomorrow, times1.” and Schedulus will expand that “times1” into:
Wednesday 1/18: 10am – 12pm, 1pm – 5pm.
If you want to list out time windows where you’re free for the next 3 days you can just type “times,1,2,3” Or just today would be “times0”.
You can do this in an email, in a Slack, or even in a text. You can literally use this on any app you type in on your computer.
Want to try this out yourself? Sign up here to be an early adopter.