Google recently released new scheduling-related features for Gmail with Google Calendar integration, including quick event creation and easy availability sharing. Gmail will now have a calendar icon at the bottom of the conversation view, which will have two options — “Create an event” and “Offer times you’re free”.
The “Create an event” button is quite straightforward—it generates a Google Calendar event with the email subject as the event name and recipients of the email as participants. It also generates a meeting summary in the email body to quickly share the meeting. This feature was already available in Gmail, but was under the three-dot menu.
The new availability-sharing feature opens the calendar in the sidebar and lets you drag slots across different days to share them with the recipient. While you can share your availability in an email with multiple people, only the first person to accept a slot will be added to the invite automatically.
The scheduling space has seen the rise of multiple tools including Calendly, open-source Cal.com, Spark Capital-backed Amie, and Y-Combinator-backed Vimcal. Google is now offering an easy alternative to these tools when it comes to booking 1:1 meetings and sharing availability.
Google Calendar is on a feature-releasing spree with functions like support for paid meetings and better work location information sharing. The first feature allows freelancers to take paid meetings with a Stripe account integration. The second feature, released last week, lets hybrid workers share their work location based on the time of the day to indicate if they are working from home, the office, or another location.