How to automatically add class bookings to your personal calendar

03 Apr

I’ve had a few people ask me about how to get class bookings from MBO automatically added to their personal (digital) calendar so I thought I would have a go at cobbling together something geeky for this purpose.

We’ll be using the truly marvellous online service If This Then That for this task. You will need to set up an account with them (free) and give them access to your email and calendar accounts (safe).

I have shared a ‘recipe’ that scans your Gmail inbox for MBO booking confirmations and passes them to the ‘quick add’ parser in Google Calendar. The parser reads all the relevant information from the email subject (date, time & location) and creates the appropriate entry. It works very much like magic.

You can access the recipe, here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/87770

Limitations and general notes:

  • This will only work for Google accounts, sorry Yahoo and Hotmail users
  • Should work for all personal training appointments and classes, including waitlist ‘promotions’, won’t work for recurring bookings (I may  fix this later, if there is demand)
  • It won’t delete calendar entries if you cancel
  • The recipe works by scanning your Gmail inbox for new mail; if you have Gmail filters set up to divert MBO emails elsewhere or mark them as ‘read’ then this recipe probably won’t work
  • I think I have fixed the problem whereby GCal interprets the date format in US style, rather than UK…let me know if I got it wrong
  • There is no notification that the recipe has worked or not (unless you dig into the activity report on IFTTT) other than an entry silently appearing in your calendar; I think the trigger fires every 15mins so in some cases the entry may take a while to appear
  • Be careful of ‘testing’ the recipe too much in a short period of time; GMail gets grumpy and temporarily blocks IFTTT
  • I assume no responsibility whatsoever if this ends badly for your calendar or other online data (it shouldn’t, though); use at your own risk

 

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