If you have a Google Home assistant, you are likely as frustrated as I am that it doesn’t support many calendar features beyond just telling you what’s next. It’s even more head-shaking that Amazon Echo offers better support for calendars than Google Home. Oh, well. I have to assume Home will catch up soon.. right?
There are three BIG issues with Google Home’s calendar support:
- You are not able to connect to calendars that you are subscribed to or that are shared with you. You can only use your account’s primary calendar.
- You will not be notified of all day events. They must have a start time.
- You cannot add events or edit events by voice.
That last one kills me.
The good news is that you can create new events with Google Home if you are willing to setup an IFTTT applet. If you’re not familiar with IFTTT, read this, then come back. IFTTT (if this, then that) is a service that allows you to create tons of custom actions (turn on lights) based on tons of different triggers ( at 9 am).
Creating a calendar event with Google Calendar:
Now you’re going to create an applet that allows you to tell Google Home, via Google Assistant, to add a new Google Calendar entry.
Step 1: Create a new applet (you’ll need to be logged into IFTTT to do this).
Step 2: Click on ‘+this.’ You will now select the trigger (command) using the Google Assistant service. After clicking on ‘+this,’ select Google Assistant.
Step 3: Choose the Assistant service ‘say a phrase with a text ingredient.’ Now, you’ll start editing what Google Home will listen for and how to handle it. This part is a little messy because you would like to say something like, “enter a new event.” Unfortunately, anything that initially sounds like you’re trying to add a new calendar event will trigger Google Home to say it doesn’t support calendar entries. So, your trigger phrase has to be something a little different and likely somewhat awkward. Again, this is a workaround until Google comes up with a real solution.
In the example below, I’ve used ‘Time to $.’ When Google hears time to, it will handle everything verbally communicated after. The $ sign represents the text information that’s variable every time you tell Google Home about a new event.
Hey, Google. Time to have dinner with John at 6pm on April 5th.
Hey, Google. Time to wash car at 11am tomorrow.
Step 4: After you’ve entered your text ingredient, click on ‘create trigger.” It’s now time to choose Google Calendar by clicking on ‘+ That.’ This part is super easy. Just select ‘quick add event’ and then ‘create action.’ You won’t need to make any updates here.
That’s it! You’re done. Try it out and see what happens. If you have any issues or questions, let me know.