Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Gentle reminders for Google Calendar

If you use pop-up reminders in Google Calendar, you’ll have noticed how the reminder interrupts whatever you’re doing to take pride of place on your screen. Although this is great for ensuring you don’t miss an event, in can be frustrating when you are right in the middle of something important. The Gentle reminders Calendar lab takes a more polite approach, giving you a blinking browser bar or a notification in the right corner of your screen that does not steal the focus. You can have a nice sound alert too.

Here’s the difference:

Standard reminder


Gentle reminder


As you can see, the Gentle reminders notification is much less intrusive, but still does the job of letting you know about upcoming events.

To enable gentle reminders:

1. Click the Settings cog button > Settings.
2. Select the Labs tab.
3. Find and enable the Gentle reminders lab.
4. Click Save.

To configure gentle reminders:

1. Click the Settings cog button > Settings.
2. Select the General tab.
3. Find the Gentle reminders (labs) section.
4. Tick or un-tick the options to suit your preferences. Leave the Show floating desktop notifications option ticked to get a pop-up reminder (Google Chrome users only).

This lab is most effective when used in Google Chrome, as it supports floating notifications. However, if you are not a Google Chrome user, you will still see the blinking browser tab with the name of the event, and the full pop up notification when you open the tab.
Tip: Clicking on the floating notification will make it disappear, then take you to your calendar and prompt you to have another reminder in five minutes.


  1. I follow the steps mentioned but I don't see the notification as it is shown here.

  2. Simplify Solutions16 September 2014 at 23:16

    Thanks for the feedback Lilian.
    Can you confirm that you are using the latest version of Google Chrome, and the floating desktop notification option is ticked?
    Let me know how you go.

  3. I'm using Google Chrome ver. 36 and floating desktop notification is ticked. Do I need to keep calendar open for this function to work?

  4. Simplify Solutions17 September 2014 at 20:20

    Hi Lilian
    Yes, you do need to have calendar open to see notifications.
    Test this out and let me know if it works.

  5. oh yes if I keep the calendar open it works. Previously I did not open the calendar. I thought it works just like the simple notification which is with a line mentioning about the upcoming event.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. Simplify Solutions17 September 2014 at 21:20

    Hi Lilian

    Great, glad it is working now. Apologies for not mentioning that in the original post.

    Glad I could help!

  7. Google calendar with gentle reminders lab enabled used to notify me with sound...does not anymore. Any advice what I can do about it?

    1. Hi, the first thing to do is check the Gentle Reminder settings (Calendar Settings, General tab, look for Gentle notifications (lab) right at the bottom). Playing the sound requires Flash and an up-to-date browser. If either of these are causing the problem, you will probably see a message about it in the settings section. Even if you don't, it is probably worth updating Flash in your browser and seeing if that helps. You can also try disabling and re-enabling the lab. Hope these suggestions help.


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