Outlook or GCal: Can I auto-populate date/time for new events?
August 4, 2021 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Suppose I have an email that refers to an event using one of a few common time/ date formats (like "Wednesday, 9/14 at 5PM"). Is there a way to convert this into a new event in Google Calendar or Outlook such that it auto-populates the time and date fields with the appropriate information, instead of making me directly input all those numbers?

A few years back, Gmail had a lovely basic feature where you could click on emailed mentions of a time/date ("Get together MM/DD at HH PM?") to create a calendar event pre-set to that date and time. This must have used some basic AI to auto-detect text in common date formats, but as I recall, it worked pretty well.

Predictably, this helpful feature was removed shortly after I noticed it, and since then, on both Outlook and Gmail/ Calendar, I've only ever been able to auto-create email-to-calendar events that come default-scheduled for right now, and must be manually reset to the actual time they occur. I have some kind of cognitive block around fussy clerical details, and it's infuriating to fiddle with little time and date sliders and fields and look back and forth and error-check EVERY TIME I try to create a calendar event from email. Quite possibly I'm just dumb and missed a setting, but after extensive reading of help literature, I still haven't been able to locate anything like a solution/

Can anyone suggest either simple or elaborate ways to get this functionality in either Microsoft or Google calendar ecosystems? I'm happy to install third-party addons, make new flows, even learn a little Python if need be, and I'm fine manually copy-pasting the relevant text snippet into a window. I just don't want to laboriously rout every single digit through my brain and out my fingers to get it into the calendar.

Ideally, a good solution should handle most common date/time formats, not just one. Ideas? Thanks in advance!
posted by Bardolph to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
GMail should be able to populate such events into GCal if you enable the events, but I believe it's only working for travel reservations and ticketed events.


Otherwise, I believe this Extension is a bit closer to what you're looking for: highlight the relevant text, hit add, and it'll parse the text and create a Gcal event.

posted by kschang at 1:06 PM on August 4, 2021

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