Why you don't need snooze with Google Calendar

18 Sep 2010
Posted by Kiran

Ever since I moved to Android from Windows Mobile, I have been complaining about the Android Platform's seeming limitation in handling Calendar reminders. The fact that the Android Calendar gave me only one 5-minute snooze option always troubled me and I have written about this annoyance in the past too.

I promptly bought Calendar Snooze, an application available in the Android Market which allows users to choose the duration of time for which the reminder must be snoozed, and even recommended it in one of my blog posts.

When I noticed that Google had neglected to include the feature in their much hyped Android 2.2 (Froyo) as well, I couldn't understand why Google chose to ignore such basic functionality.

However, in all my eagerness to lambast Google at their oversight, I seem to have neglected one design feature of the Google Calendar, which renders the snooze option redundant.

Unlike Microsoft Outlook — or, for that matter, any of the other Microsoft products — Google Calendar allows users to setup multiple reminders, or notifications as Google chooses to call them, for each appointment.

Hence if a user wanted an advance alert of an upcoming appointment and then another alert closer to the start of the appointment, the user could choose to setup two notifications: say a half hour prior to the start of the appointment and another five minutes prior to the start of the appointment.

I personally set up a pattern of three notifications for each of my appointments: 30 minutes, 15 minutes and 5 minutes prior to the start of my appointments. This approach pretty much serves the purpose of snoozing the same reminder multiple times. The variable snooze option, which I so heavily utilized in Microsoft Outlook and Windows Mobile, is rendered unnecessary.

Reminders at Calendar level
Multiple Notifications setup at a Calendar level

The notification setting can be tweaked at a Calendar level or for each individual appointment. Hence, if there is a generic pattern of reminders that any user likes, he/she could setup that pattern at the calendar level and all new appointments would follow that pattern of notifications. And the user still has the flexibility to setup a different pattern of notifications for any specific appointment as may be necessary.

Reminders at Meeting level
Multiple Notifications setup at an Appointment level

Since the calendar on Android is just an extension of the Google Calendar into the Mobile realm, this design feature is very much applicable to Android as well.

It’s a paradigm shift, that’s what it is. Most of us who have moved to Android from the Microsoft world generally don't think of setting multiple reminders on our Appointments — we just set one reminder and then keep snoozing it till our appointment is actually due. That is what we have become accustomed to thanks to Microsoft’s design.

With Google we will have to start thinking differently: setup as many reminders as you want on each of your Calendars or appointments. Then, as each notification pops-up to remind you of the upcoming meeting, just dismiss it and rest assured that the second/third notification you setup for that meeting will still come up to remind you again.

Forget snooze, you don’t need it with Google Calendar. And that goes for Android too.

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Ya it's clear you can set up

Ya it's clear you can set up multiple reminders, but the function of the snooze button is a 1 click delay. I don't want to go back and edit the event and reset the reminder every time that I'm busy when I thought I wouldn't be. That's like 4 clicks. And if I've got 4 reminders going off at the same time. That's 16 clicks. If I'm busy, this is rude to be clicking around on my phone changing reminders. I just want to snooze all of them until I'm finished with my conversation.

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Thanks! I needed this. I searched Google and found you. I set up another reminder. Most helpful! -Dave

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I agree completely with Rashad - there are many situations where you might want to choose a different snooze period depending on the situation. The preset reminders offered by Google do not offer the same functionality.

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Nope. Don't agree at all. Granted , it is better than nothing, but the calendar I've been used to has a simple drop down that let's me tell it to snooze for variable lengths of time - and that's really useful to me. I could tell a "library book due" message to come back to me in two days - but I may want a reminder to call my doctor to only snooze for 10 minutes.
Preset patterns are just not the same thing.

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Since I just found this and

Since I just found this and it's still an issue (come on google!!!) I thought I'd share my solution. I took Kiran's path several years ago when I moved from Palm to iPhone, but found it so unsatisfactory that I moved to Android. "Calendar Event Reminder (CER)" was my first purchase on Android. (I have no stake in the App other than that it is so useful.)

Multiple reminders are just too annoying. Snoozing is what I want. Snoozing is what I get with CER. I enable the "extra snooze buttons" which gives you a choice of six different customizable snoozes. I usually set it up to have the following: 5min, 10min, 30min, 1hr, 1min before event time (however many minutes from now that is), and custom (let's you pick a snooze time).

Perhaps even more important, CER can simply be setup to bring a very forceful reminder dialog to the front and remain there until you snooze it, so you don't miss the dialog, or the unobtrusive notification. Best $3 I have ever spent. It's the first app I install on every new Android it get.

There's another "Calendar Event Reminder" app in the playstore. Neither it nor "Calendar Snooze" is nearly as good as "Calendar Event Reminder (CER)", so be careful if you want to try it out.

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Good point

Good point there Rashad. Yes, the preset patterns aren't for managing tasks which you have on your mind. And yes, I forgot that many of us use calendars for managing tasks as well; I don't.

However, for calendar appointments - meetings at predefined times - the preset pattern works.

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