How-To Geek

How to Take Control and Customize Google Calendar Reminders

Google calendar has great flexibility with reminders, but the defaults are often useless without tweaking the settings. Here are some common notification settings you may want to change to suit your needs better.

Change Default Notification Settings

Click on the arrow next to the calendar name you want to change settings for and then click on notifications.

From the next page you can easily delete any of the default notifications for the calendar you chose.

Likewise you can add more reminders by clicking add a reminder.

Now whenever you create a new event for that calendar, only the default reminders will be used. You can still add or remove reminders per appointment, but without changing settings, the appointment will use the default options.

Add SMS Reminders

Another great feature of Google calendar is the ability to have SMS reminders. To get started, open the calendar settings in the top right corner or use the ‘s’ shortcut key.

Click on the mobile setup tab and enter your country and phone number into the options.

Click on the send verification code and wait for an SMS message. Once you receive the SMS, enter the verification code and click finish setup.

You will be redirected to the default notifications settings from before. Although this time you will have the option to add an SMS notification to your new appointments.

To view your calendar appointments via SMS you can text the following commands to GVENT (48368).

  • next – SMS with your next appointment information
  • day – SMS with all schedule events for the current day
  • nday – SMS with all scheduled events for tomorrow
  • Calendar details (i.e. “Write important paper on Tuesday at 9”) and Google will parse the information and create the event for you.
  • stop – Stop all SMS notifications for all calendars

More Google Calendar Tricks

Don’t forget you can also set up desktop notifications for events. Likewise you can view your Google calendar in Windows calendar or Outlook with these simple stepsadd calendar appointments from your browser address bar, and even embed your calendar onto your Linux desktop.

Justin Garrison is a Linux and HTPC enthusiast who loves to try new projects. He isn't scared of bricking a cell phone in the name of freedom.

  • Published 01/31/11

Comments (8)

  1. Danny

    Great post.
    You should also give a note for implementing Google Calendar into Mozilla Thunderbird with the Lightning addon ( :-)

  2. Neolex

    the SMS feature works internationally and for free. i’ve used the sms feature to be reminded of my appointments for over 2 years now and it’s never failed. what i don’t know is the retrieving calendar feature via sms. i don’t know if that works here in the philippines.

  3. rroberto

    Is there a setting/option to make all the pop-up reminderss etc mute? I find the sounds very annoying and disruptive to my workflow — would love to get silent reminders instead. Do I have to choose between noisy reminders and none at all?

  4. Anak


    The option you are looking for is located at:
    Calendar page then >go to Settings (Upper right) >Labs

    It is called Gentle Reminders.

  5. TomSr

    +1 for SMS reminders. They are the only notifications I use.

  6. CoolHappyGuy

    I was not aware that you could retrieve calendar info via text! Way cool!! Not mentioned — but very handy — is that you can text a specific date to Gvent to get info on that date.

    However, I have 4 or 5 different calendars. Is there a way to retrieve info from these other calendars?(Retrieval just, as far as I know, works on the primary calendar.)

    Thanks HTG!!

  7. Grumpy Dave

    Event notification in Google Calendar is too short. I need about 8weeks but most I can get is 4 weeks

  8. pbug

    Would be nice if Google let you set the type of reminder, both visual and audio, that you need for a given event. For instance, no alert at all for holidays, varying tones and loudness and duration for appointments as needed. Sending me an email or popping up on the screen when I’m not looking at the screen is useless.

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