Use email as a searchable appointment database

Wifezilla has found a handy use for her email's "search" function:

We just moved to the Pittsburgh area and had to set up new doctors, pediatricians, dentists, etc.  I found that I was always losing the piece of paper that I wrote the appointment information on.  If I wrote it on my calendar there would not be enough room to write the appointment date, doctor's name, phone number, address, etc.   So I started emailing the information to myself.  Now when I make a new appointment, I write the time on the calendar and send myself an email with all the other information (like what I need to bring and directions to the office).  When the day approaches, I use the search feature in my email to find my appointment and print out the info.  I can also access my email from wherever I am, so if I'm visiting relatives and need to know when my appointment is, I can look it up.  In the future when I need to call the doctor, (and have of course lost the contact info), I just look it up in my email.  And no more little scraps of paper hanging around the house.

Sandy, Email Assistant (! This is the ideal moment for me to tell you about a cool new bit of tech email-savvy parents should know about! Sandy is the new email assistant that can turn your emailed notes to yourself into actual entries in your calendar or to-do list, and can even send you reminders when you ask for them. Sandy's currently in beta — sign up to be one of her first clients. (Nepotism alert: Sandy works at Values of n, a small startup founded and CEO'd by my husband, Rael.)


  1. Serena says

    I use Google calendar for all the reasons above – most of my day is spent on the computer, and Google is accessible from anywhere, easily searchable, and has room for location, details, etc.

    Big bonus is the ability to share calendars, so my husband and I can see each other’s calendars, and also the ability to make multiple calendars, so you can have a home, work, kids, etc calendar easily and see all of them or one at a time.

  2. Ran Barton says

    The best part of Gcal is its integration with Gmail, which makes it an ideal solution to this issue. Our family’s been using Gcal since it came out last April, and it’s a huge help.

  3. Kathy says

    I gotta second Google Calendar. If you enter an address in the location field, you can click it and get a Google Map for it. You can set it to email you reminders too. If it wasn’t for that, I’d miss every appointment I ever make.

    Thanks, Google.

  4. John says

    I don’t know how we survived without Google calendar. My wife is home with the kids, I’m at work and we both use the same calendar. Essential for keeping track of all the kids’ activities. I also add in calendars for the local minor league sports teams and add any other local events we might be interested in attending. Great for remembering b-days too!

  5. Ed says

    Another vote for gmail!
    Our family also uses Google Document to keep a shared spreadsheet of to do lists. Great for us to adding to the same grocery list or travel check list (esp. since I’m at work during the day, and wife is at home with kids).

  6. Leslie says

    If you have yahoo mail, you can also put entries onto your calendar, and have the option of getting an e-mail reminder. I do it with all of our bills. E-mail myself a week before they’re due, and I can either make sure my checking account is sufficient to cover bills, decide whether to mail them in, or pay online.
    It would definately work with apppointments and such.

  7. Rebecca says

    I do this too! I also save the e-mail in a new folder so I can go straight away to the folder and find all the e-mails about that dr or whatever in the same place.

  8. Ted says

    With all the responses about Google, my tip might be more of a business tip.

    In Microsoft Outlook, I flag email I need to reference later with color-coded flags. Rather than using the search feature, which can take some time, I click the flag icon across the top of the inbox which sorts the email by flag, and the email I want is there at a glance.

  9. Eileen says

    I have been using my AOL calendar for the same reasons everyone else has mentioned. It is awesome! Sends out reminders… And both me and my husbnad can use, edit, etc. If it’s not on the calendar – it ain’t happening!