Outlook Calendar for Reclaim is almost here! Join the waitlist
< Productivity Glossary
Events from Email

What are events from email?

Events from email is a common calendar feature that automatically converts relevant information from your emails into calendar events. Instead of having to manually enter the details of a meeting invitation into your calendar, your calendar app will do it for you based on the contents of your email. 

How do events from email work?

Email applications employ intelligent algorithms to identify event information within your emails. They often rely on keywords like "meeting," "event," or "appointment." Once an event is identified, the application extracts details like date, time, location, and attendees from the email body. This extracted information is then used to create a corresponding event in your calendar, saving you the hassle of manual data entry.

Here’s an overview of supported types of events you can create from email:

  • Meetings
  • Flight, train, or bus reservations
  • Hotel reservations
  • Rental car reservations
  • Package deliveries
  • Dining reservations 
  • Event reservations - music, movies, sports, or others 
  • Service reservations - doctor appointments, car maintenance, or others 

How to enable events from email in Google Calendar

  1. Open Gmail: Go to your Gmail inbox.
  2. Click Settings: In the top right corner, click the gear icon to access Settings.
  3. See all settings: Click "See all settings" at the bottom of the menu.
  4. Enable Smart features: Under the "General" tab, scroll down to "Smart features and personalization." Make sure the box is checked.
  5. Open Calendar settings: Go to calendar.google.com.
  6. Access Event settings: In the top right corner, click the gear icon and choose "Settings."
  7. Show Gmail events: Under "Events from Gmail," check the box next to "Show events automatically created by Gmail in my calendar."
  8. Choose visibility (optional): If you share your calendar, choose who can see these events. Select "Only me," "Private," or "calendar default."

How to enable events from email in Outlook Calendar

  1. Access Settings: Click the gear icon in the top right corner and select "Settings."
  2. Choose Calendar: Select "Calendar" from the menu on the left.
  3. Manage Events from email: Click on "Events from email."
  4. Turn on the feature: If it's not already enabled, click "Turn on events from email."
  5. Customize event types (optional): You can choose which types of events to add to your calendar by checking or unchecking the boxes for flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, package delivery, dining reservations, events, and bills.

Benefits of using events from email

Here are the benefits of creating calendar events automatically from your emails:

  • Automatic event creation: Eliminate manual data entry by automatically pulling event details (date, time, title, attendees) directly from email invitations.
  • Streamlined communication: Respond to invitations directly within the calendar app, keeping all communication related to an event centralized.
  • Reduced error risk: Manual data entry can lead to typos or missed details. Events from email minimize this risk by automatically extracting information directly from the source.
  • Reminders & alerts: Calendar applications often come with reminder and alert features. By syncing events from emails, users can receive timely notifications about upcoming events, preventing the risk of forgetting important tasks or meetings.

Event creation from email limitations to consider 

Accuracy issues

Automated extraction of event details from emails may not always be perfect. The system might misinterpret information or miss important details, leading to inaccuracies in the calendar. For example, some services only drop a 15-minute block onto your calendar for something that might be much longer (e.g., a dinner reservation from the restaurant). So sometimes you have to block time manually.)

Privacy concerns

Extracting and processing email content for events may raise privacy concerns. Users might be uncomfortable with automated systems accessing their emails, especially if sensitive information is involved. If you want to control privacy, you can use Calendar Sync. That way, you don’t have to change the default setting for events to “Private,” and you can still see details, while your colleagues can't.

Security risks

Integrating email content with calendar applications introduces potential security risks, especially if the integration is not implemented securely. Unauthorized access to email or calendar data could compromise sensitive information.

Spam & unwanted events

Automated systems may struggle to distinguish between genuine events and spam or irrelevant content in emails. This can lead to unwanted events cluttering the calendar.

Platform limitations

Not all calendar applications offer the same level of email integration, and features might vary depending on the platform and chosen service. Sometimes you can’t edit events from email (e.g., change duration, move them, add attendees, etc.).

Overloading the calendar

Automatic event creation may lead to a cluttered calendar, especially if the user receives a high volume of emails with event-related information. This could make it challenging to distinguish important events from less significant ones. 

Most events only end up on the personal calendar

Many events from email are for our personal commitments, which land on the personal calendar. However, these personal events from email do not automatically block out the work calendar unless you are using a tool like Calendar Sync.

Best practices when using events from email

Here are best practices to follow to ensure events created from emails are effectively helping your calendar:

1. Review & confirm automatically added events

Even with automated systems, regularly review your calendar to ensure that events extracted from emails are accurate. Confirm details such as date, time, location, and any additional notes.

2. Use a trustworthy email & calendar service

Choose reputable email and calendar services with robust security measures. Be sure the integration between email and calendar is secure to protect sensitive information.

3. Customize settings & filters

If the integration allows, customize settings and filters to control which emails and events get automatically added to your calendar. This can help avoid clutter and ensure that only relevant information is included.

4. Be mindful of privacy settings

Understand the privacy settings associated with the integration. If privacy is a concern, adjust settings accordingly or opt for manual control over which events get added to the calendar.

5. Regularly clean up & remove unnecessary events

Periodically review your calendar and remove any outdated or unnecessary events. This helps in maintaining a clutter-free and organized schedule.

Ready for an AI calendar?

Auto-schedule your tasks, habits, breaks, & meetings on Google Calendar.

Start scheduling →

It's free! 🎉