How Google Calendar just got better for business travelers

Travel data in Gmail will automatically create calendar events for Google Apps users. Will it raise the privacy issue with Google again? Probably.

Employees of companies that use Google Apps may soon find travel to be a bit less stressful. Instead of managing itineraries through a third-party app -- I prefer TripIt -- Google Calendar will now intelligently handle the travel details.

Travel information found in Gmail will automatically be added to the Calendar by default for all Google Apps customers with one exception: Google Apps for Government domains.

The travel data in Gmail such as flight information, hotel and restaurant reservations and other ticketed events will all appear in the Calendar; there's no need to forward those emails to another service to manage it.

Even better is that the Calendar will proactively track any changes to travel events.

Got a flight delay or a reservation change?

They'll show up automatically in your updated calendar. Much of this information has long carried over to Google Now as well, so I anticipate updated Google Now card notifications for iOS, Android and Chrome users.


While the new feature is useful, it also raises the inevitable question of Google using information in your Gmail account to provide the service.

Frankly, this is nothing new with Google; it's a core competency of the company to "organize the world's data" as its founders said years ago.

Still, some Google Apps users will surely see this as another reason to ask the privacy question again. And the new feature is enabled by default, so if you don't want it, you'll need to disable it in your settings.