Gmail HackFig – Cal Notifications to non gmail accounts

The Requirement

I need to use google apps calendars for scheduling a team of people, and notify them using the notifications built into the google calendars. Those emails need to go to a mail list including a variety of address including yahoo, hotmail, sympatico, etc. The notifications should not require them to accept a calendar event, or have a gmail account or otherwise require configuration on the recipients end – ie the team members end. Simple task right?


The problem:

Notifications are only sent to google email addresses, and even with gmail addresses, it requires the recipient to both accept and setup their own notifications. This is a common issue if you search google, tons of people trying to get around the requirements. Also, you could have it email a domain email address and setup a forward rule to a mail list but it requires verification, ie an email sent to all on the list… since you need to verify the email is ‘real’ and that the recipient is accepting the email.

The Solution:

This is what I’ve coined a ‘hackfig’ (hack / config). Its not exactly a hack but its not an intended configuration either as it gets around their spam prevention techniques with the verification, requirements of gmail accounts etc.

  1. Signup for google apps
  2. Create another google apps user called – this will be used to create a forward for notifications
  3. Create a ‘group’ which is a list of emails – this is your mail list. We’ll call it Only add your own yahoo or other non google email first
  4. Login to your address in #2, create a forward to forward all email to the account to the email in #3. Verify it by checking your non google account and entering the code
  5. Once the forward ‘alias’ is verified, add the rest of your mail list users to it
  6. Create a calendar
  7. Add the email from #2 as a member of that calendar (key is that the is a local domain REAL email address which is what Google apps requires for it to send notifications to that user)
  8. Set your notifications as needed
Now what will happen is Google apps will send notification emails to a REAL google apps email which it requires, that address will then auto forward to your mail list alias which passes the normally google email only notification to all your mail list users.
Only downside is that links on the notification page may not work when reading the email from yahoo mail for example.
Some keywords for searches:
– google calendars to non gmail accounts
– calendar notification to yahoo hotmail accounts
Hope this helps the next guy!
Btw, if anybody has an easier way (I couldn’t find it), please DO let me know.

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