I’m happy enough with Mavericks Calendar app that I decided to use it full time. While it generally works well, I quickly found it cumbersome when Google hangouts were involved. And as a remote employee, nearly all my meetings are conducted via hangout, which means loading Google calendar in a browser simply to click the hangout link. This often resulted in me missing or being late to a lot of meetings. Not only that, if I’m going to keep Google calendar open in my browser, then I might as well not use Apple Calendar at all.
This is where the life hack comes in. Inspired by Muness Castle (perhaps you could say stolen from), I decided to programmatically grab upcoming hangout links and use Apple’s desktop notification to present them to me 2 minutes prior to any meeting. This means I no longer need to load Google calendar in the browser, PLUS I am now usually the first person to a meeting. Here’s how I do it:
- Install Muness’ gcalcli fork (master branch)
- Authorize gcalcli to your account by launching it
- Install terminal-notifier (I use the bin wrapper)
- Clone and modify my hangout-alert script as needed
- Schedule cron to run the script periodically
I setup my cron schedule to run 2 minutes prior to each quarter hour from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday. I also have the terminal-notifier notification set to “alert” as opposed to “banner” like so:
Figure 1: Hangout Link Notification
This way notifications stay on my screen until I click “close” or “show”, where show opens the hangout link. With this system in place I am 100% Apple Calendar, and have yet to miss or be late to another hangout!