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How To Receive Google Calendar Reminders Via SMS (txt)

If, like me, you store your appointments electronically you'll be forever wishing that you had turned on that particular laptop, or were at that particular client's office, or had looked at your on-line calendar 15 minutes ago as you realise, "Oh bum, I've just missed a meeting!"

Using Google Calendar can mean that having all my information in the "cloud" (the trendy way of saying on the web") can either mean I have access to it from wherever OR it may as well be on Mars! And if I can't get at my calendar to tell me where I'm meant to be what's the point of it?

Google Calendar solves this for me by incorporating my mobile phone, something that is with me all the time. Reminders can be set-up and sent, for free, via SMS (txt). Will this work for you - probably, check out the extensive supported mobile providers (New Zealand has Telecom and Vodafone listed)

How to set-up a Google Calendar to use SMS
You'll need to do this for each calendar that you want SMS reminders from.
SMS reminders work with Google Apps Calendars and "stand-alone" Google Calendars.
  1. Login to Google Calendar -

  2. Click the 'Settings' link (top right)

  3. Click on the 'Mobile Setup' tab

  4. Fill in the form

    1. Enter your mobile number
      Use the "international" format, eg a New Zealand Vodafone number would be +64 21 169 1359
    2. Click the 'Send Verification Code' button
    3. Check your mobile phone for a txt message
    4. Enter the code into the Verification code box and click 'the Finish setup' button

Setting the default reminder method for a calendar
If you want, you can now set your default to be an SMS reminder for every new event you create in the calendar.
  1. Login to Google Calendar and click the 'Settings' link (top right)

  2. Click on the 'Calendars' tab

  3. Click the 'Notification' link on the relevant calendar (right hand column)

  4. Choose the defaults you want - Email, SMS or Pop-up

Whenever you create a new event you will now have a default reminder created for you.

Change the reminder settings for an event
Whilst you can only have one default reminder (send txt 10 minutes before, for example) you can mix and match your reminders for a particular event - send me an email 2 hours before the event, then pop-up 30 minutes before and finally send me a txt 7 minutes before.
  1. Login
  2. Find and click on the event
  3. Edit the reminder (add a new one, change or delete the current one)
    Note: the reminders are in a different place than when you created the event (Doh!)

What does Google Calendar actually send?
This is a typical txt:
Reminder: S/W Freedom Day: Open Source Barcamp @ Sat 20 Sep 12pm - 5pm in Wellington Convention Centre - Civic Suites 1 & 2 ( (Mike Riversdale))

It gives me the subject, the date and time, location and what calendar it was sent from.
It doesn't give me the attendees and so I usually add them to the subject if I'm meeting people for the first time.

More resources
Check out more Google Calendar help pages:


  1. Just in case someone falls down the same hole that I did ... the notification may fail "NEXTEL Unable to send notification to..." to get round this , google support says
    try setting your Country to "United States." Then, select a random carrier in the drop-down list before saving your changes. Return to reset your country to New Zealand and request your verification code


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