The missing (Google) Calendar feature

A decade ago, I used a Windows computer, running Outlook. Yeah — I’m still not Microsoft-neutral. However, Outlook had this great Calendar feature I had yet to see in any other Calendar system: Drive Time.

Let’s say you have a dentist appointment on Tuesday at 2pm.

Naturally you will add into your calendar: Dentist on Tuesday at 2pm on 365 Union Street in San Francisco, CA. You added the addresses so you can easily pull up directions on your mobile phone.

However, to avoid that people use time before and after the appointment, you will add 1:30–2pm “Drive to dentist” and block 3–4pm “Return from dentist”.

That means a simple calendar entry now became 3 separate entries. You are likely going to get three alerts for these appointments, as the calendar has no idea they are all connected.

If you use Waze or any other modern Maps application, you will get real-time traffic notifications for your appointment as well. “In order to be at 2pm at your dentist, you should leave by 1:17pm. Traffic is heavy.” … oops you guessed wrong that you had to leave by 1:30pm.

This can all be much simpler:

  • Add calendar entry “Dentist on Tuesday at 2pm on 365 Union Street in San Francisco”
  • Select Add Drive Time before and after (as Outlook used to provide)
  • Either specify a drive time, or select Dynamically update drive time based upon real-time traffic info.

The next killer Calendar feature is born.

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