One of my favorite features in Google Calendar is the “quick add” capability which lets you create new events using a more natural language rather than filling out a form. The number of formats it can handle are pretty extensive, and after you start using them you’ll probably find creating events any other way to be tedious.
What some people may not have realized is that you can add events to Google Calendar through SMS thanks to the quick add feature. If you have a Google Voice account you can do this for free by configuring the mobile section in your Google Calendar settings to use your Voice phone number. After you add your phone number a verification code will be sent as an SMS to your Voice account, which you’ll then enter in the required field:
So now you can add events to Google Calendar using the free SMS through your Google Voice, but you can also take it one step further. About a month ago we covered a free online service called GVMax that will let you respond to an SMS message through Google Talk as if it was an IM conversation. You can also use this kind of configuration to add events to Google Calendar through an IM, which you can see in this example event I created on my calendar:
If you decide to go this route I recommend setting up GVMax (if you haven’t done so already), and then hooking up your Google Calendar account to your Google Voice phone number. That way you’ll get the verification code as an instant message, and a Google Calendar contact will be added to your Google Talk contact list at that time. Otherwise you can always add your first event through the Google Voice interface, and it will automatically respond saying the event was created which accomplishes the same thing. Why do you need to receive a message from Google Calendar to get started? By doing that a special GVMax contact will be created in your contact list that you can use to add events on-demand in the future.
This isn’t the most elegant solution to adding events to your Google Calendar, but I must say that it’s proven to be incredibly useful for me since I keep Google Talk open most of the day.