MyCalendarAlerts
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My Calendar Alerts Help



INTRODUCTION:

 The My Calendar Alerts® app is not itself a calendar, but enables you to receive text and email alerts based on your existing calendar events.

Alert Flow

So how is this different from your calendar's notifications? Here are a few features that we include:
  • First, unlike most calendars that require you to create an alert for each event, My Calendar Alerts allows you to create Alert Policies (alerting rules) that apply to ALL events.
  • Second, also unlike many calendars, My Calendar Alerts enables text-alerts (in addition to email-alerts) for notifications that require extra attention.
  • Third, My Calendar Alerts allows you to send calendar summaries as texts to your contacts. This can be done manually (at the press of a button), or automatically (whenever the calendar changes). This is very helpful for those who needs to know what is scheduled.


Here are some ways My Calendar Alerts can make your life easier.

  • BUSINESS:
    • If you run a rental business, this app will help you with turnovers.
    • Whether a chiropractor, tax-preparer, therapist/counselor, workout/life-coach, or anyone else who takes appointments, My Calendar Alerts will keep you up to date.
    • Add contacts for your business' service providers such as cleaners and maintenance to get notifications on your changing schedule.
    • Monitor just about any online calendar to send you alerts.

  • PERSONAL:
    • If you need help keeping track of your personal appointments, My Calendar Alerts can help.
    • Create a Birthday & Anniversary calendar for your extended family and setup policies for each person to get the announcements they're interested in.
    • Have My Calendar Alerts monitor your work-place calendar and send you alerts for meetings etc.

My Calendar Alerts was especially designed with individuals and businesses in mind who handle rentals (such as Airbnb™ and VRBO™). Such business-proprietors have a need to get timely alerts for when the customer arrives, property-vacated and events in between. My Calendar Alerts will make that simple and reliable. However, My Calendar Alerts can be used for most any calendar that provides a URL to download & sync their calendar.




PRICING:

 MyCalendarAlerts services are provided through subscriptions based on the needs of the individual or business. Below is the account subscription pricing. The FREE Trial account allows you to try the service before signing up for a paid-subscription.

Available subscriptions:

Feature Trial (Free) Basic Account Basic+ Account Prem/Bus Account
Monthly Fee FREE!
$3/Mo
$5/Mo
$10/Mo
Max Contacts
Max Contacts 2 10 25 50
Max Alerts/Mo
Max Alerts/Mo 10 100 100 200
Direct Texting (Twilio)
Direct Texting (Twilio) None None None 200
Customer Support
Customer Support Online, Emails Online, Emails Online, Emails Emails, Ltd.Ph


 Subscription options are presented when creating a new account or when pressing the "Upgrade Account" button (for Trial accounts) from the Account Configuration. Once subscribed, the "Upgrade Account" changes to an "Unsubscribe" button in the Account Configuration.
The "Unsubscribe" button can be used to cancel subscriptions and must also be used before upgrading or downgrading subscriptions.

Note that MyCalendarAlerts does NOT maintain the subscriptions nor billing of payments.
MyCalendarAlerts simply provides a button to navigates to PayPal where payments and subscriptions are handled.



GETTING STARTED:

 To get started, you will simply do the following by first creating a My Calendar Alerts account:

  1. Create your account
  2. Configure the account by providing the URL to your online-calendar & your time-zone
  3. Add contacts (alert recipients), their email address, cell phone, and cell carrier (needed for text alerts with no additional charges)
  4. Create alert policies which define the rules of when alerts are sent to contacts

Create New Account
Configuration Setup
Add_Alert Policy
Add Contacts
  Done!  

 See below details for each of these steps. Links for each of these activities are at the top of the web page.



ACCOUNT CONFIGURATION:

The account configuration requires the following information:
  1. Your time-zone (This is crucial for getting alerts at the expected time)
  2. Calendar-sync URL (This URL is required for importing your calendar to MyCalendarAlerts). How/where to obtain this URL depends on the calendar web-app. Instructions are usually easy to find with a quick search for "How to sync [google|airbnb|yahoo|...] iCalendar ICS file with other programs").
    Instructions for getting your calendar's URLs: Other things to note:
    • Once you obtain the URL, you can do a quick test by pasting it in your browser's URL address field and ensure the ICS file is downloaded. Open the file and confirm it has "BEGIN:VCALENDAR" on the first line.
    • Any web app that provides a URL for downloading the calendar ICS file is acceptable, but procedures sometimes vary even from the official help pages of the app service documentation.
    • Once the URL is provided, My Calendar Alerts will automatically keep your calendar in sync
    • My Calendar Alerts frequently checks for calendar updates
    • For more details on Calendar-sync URL and how to obtain them for these calendars go to this help section for Calendar-sync URLs

  3. [OPTIONAL Configs]:
     An account email configuration is only required if you wish emails to display from your own email address. Otherwise a Calendar Alerts email will be utilized at no extra charge:
    • Your 'FROM' email address.
    • Your 'FROM' email password. Warning! Your regular email-login password may not work! You may need to follow the instructions from your email provider on how to create a 3rd-party app passwords. Below are links to some examples:
    • Your 'FROM' email SMTP server. (Your email service provider should have this documented online and easily found with quick search)
    • Your 'FROM' email SMTP server PORT.
    • Alert Exclusion Keywords - Comma-separated list of summary-event keywords to exclude from alerts. The events will still show in the upcoming events but not in the scheduled alerts.


ADDING ALERT POLICIES:

   My Calendar Alerts "Alert Policies" define the alerting rules. They are 'applied' to all scheduled calendar-events to generate a list of scheduled alerts. The website monitors these scheduled alerts and sends texts or emails to the subscribed contacts when the date and time are reached.
It is best to create alert-policies before adding contacts who will receive the alerts, because you will subscribe each contact to their own set of alert-policies.

"Alert Policies" allow you to make rules such as the following examples:

  • Notify me the day of (or N days before) each customer's arrival (so I can send them instructions)
  • Alert me when each customer leaves (so I can send a cleaning crew)
  • Text my cleaning crew the day before each customer leaves so they can plan to go clean
  • Give us a an email-warning 2 days before each customer leaves

Detailed Description of Alert Policies

Note that Alert Policies apply to ALL calendar-events. When you create these rules, scheduled alerts are generated where the rules are applied to each upcoming event. For example, if you have a rule to notify yourself the day of the event (e.g. the beginning of a rental) and a 2nd rule to notify you the last day of the event (e.g the end of a rental period) and you have 10 future calendar-events (e.g. scheduled guests), 2 x 10 = 20 scheduled alerts will be generated. The alerts list will be automatically regenerated each time you modify the policy's timing fields or anytime the calendar is updated.

 Excluded Events: There is an exception to the above comment that policies apply to ALL calendar-events. The Configuration Setup includes a field "Alert Exclusion Keywords" that allows you to add a comma-separated list of event-keywords to exclude. Therefore, if you have events you don't want alerts for, you can add their keywords in this field.

 The below image shows a typical calendar event and depicts the different characteristics you will utilize when creating Alerting Policies/Rules. Note that it has the following characteristics which are common to all calendar events:
  • START date
  • END date
  • Days relative (BEFORE and AFTER) the START date
  • Days relative (BEFORE and AFTER) the END date
Below depicts the days relative to a calendar event
Alert Policy Help
Alert policy rules are based on these characteristics. In order to setup alerts to handle the previous mentioned examples, you will setup your policies to fire alerts based on the days relative to the event. Below are some examples of Alert policy settings and what they mean.


Alert Policy Examples
Alert_Policy_Name/Title Alert Relative Days Count Alert Days Relative BEFORE? Alert Days Relative To START? Alert Time To Fire Description:
Guest arrives today! 0 True True 9am Alerts will be sent the morning of the START of the event (guest-arrival) at 9am.
Guest leaving tomorrow 1 True False 9am Alerts will be sent the day BEFORE of the END of the event (guest-leaving) at 9am.
2 Days past since the end of the Event 2 False False 12pm Alerts will be sent 2 days AFTER of the END of the event (guest-left 2 days ago) at Noon.

  • Note that when "Alert Relative Days Count" is set to zero '0', it means "the day of" (i.e. the day of the start of event or the day of the end of the event). For any value N > 0 for "Alert Relative Days Count", the alert will be fired N days BEFORE or AFTER the START or END of the event depending on the other settings.


  • Scheduled Alerts will be regenerated when either of the following occurs:
    • Alert policies are added, deleted, modified
    • The calendar has been updated (e.g. new events added)
    Other notes:
    • Changing time-zones will NOT force the scheduled-alerts to be regenerated, but will of course affect the time alerts are fired.
    • No contacts will not receive alerts on policies that have not been subscribed; even if a generated alert show in the Scheduled Alerts. You must add contacts and subscribe them to the policies to receive the alerts.

    ADDING CONTACTS:
      
      
      
      
      

    Adding contacts is required in order to receive alerts. This is best done AFTER adding alert-policies, so that you can subscribe each contact to the policies they need to receive. Note that you will NOT automatically receive alerts with the registered account contact information; You MUST first add contacts! Adding contacts is as simple as providing the following:
    1. Contact's Name
    2. Cell Phone number (If you want to send text alerts to the contact)
    3. Cell Phone Service Carrier (Also required if you want to send text alerts to the contact)
    4. Email Address (If you want to send email alerts to the contact)
    5. Select option to receive calendar summaries when the calendar changes if your contact needs automatic updates. (This feature is WIP; The calendar update may not be reflected in the summary if far into the future)
    6. Subscribe Alert Policies (Click the checkbox for each policy this contact should receive)
  • Remember that you will not receive alerts on any policies that have not been subscribed even though they show in the Scheduled Alerts. Subscribe to policies as mentioned above in order to receive those alerts.

  • Below screenshot shows a contact with alert policies selected

    Contact example

  • The [Send Calendar] button will send a summary of the calendar (e.g. 30 days). This button can be used to test the email2text feature for this contact. However, you MUST first save the contact information BEFORE testing. If you make changes (e.g. cell-number or cell-carrier) without saving, that information will be ignored and the last saved information will be tested.


  • READY TO GO!

    At this point you are ready to go! You should now be able to see your:
  • Examine the scheduled alerts to ensure they are as expected and if not, make the necessary adjustments to the alert-policies.
  • Note that you will not receive alerts on any policies that have not been subscribed; even if they show in the Scheduled Alerts
  • To make sure everything is good, try this test:
    1. Go to contacts and click on one of the contact links.
    2. Ensure the contact has an email and cell phone number and that they are enabled for receiving emails and texts
    3. Ensure the contact has a subscribed policy and click on that link
    4. Set the values START|END, BEFORE|AFTER, Relative-Days, and Time to fire, so that it is just a couple of minutes into the future then press SAVE.
    5. Click on the Scheduled Alerts link to ensure your expected alerts are about to fire.
    6. If all above was setup correctly, your contact will receive an email and text when the scheduled alert time is reached.
    7. When confident all is working ok, don't forget to set the policy back to the normal settings.

    YouTube Video
     In addition to below help, we have this YouTube Video to take you through account creation and setup, step-by-step.



    ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE:

    Note that MyCalendarAlerts does NOT maintain the subscriptions nor billing of payments.
    MyCalendarAlerts simply provides a button to navigates to PayPal where payments and subscriptions are handled.

    How to Upgrade or Downgrade Account Subscriptions:
     When first created, an account starts off as type Trial. With this type of an account, the Account Configuration will show an "Upgrade Account" button to change to a paid-subscription.
    Once subscribed, the "Upgrade Account" changes to an "Unsubscribe" button which is used to cancel subscriptions which will downgrade back to a Trial account.
    The "Unsubscribe" button will then return to a "Unsubscribe" button which can be used to subscribe to a new paid-subscription.

    How To Cancel An Account Subscription:
    If there is a need to cancel your subscription, you use the unsubscribe button from the Account Configuration which will take you to your PayPal account to cancel the subscription.
    MyCalendarAlerts is not able to directly add or remove subscriptions from your PayPal account.
    Cancelling a subscription will downgrade the account to a FREE Trial account.

    How To Cancel An Account:
    If there is a need to completely cancel your account and you have a paid-subscription you must first unsubscribe (cancel your subscription) as described above. This will downgrade your account to a Trial account. At this point, you will see a button that will allow you to cancel the account.

    How To Reactivate A Cancelled Account:
    In the event you cancelled an account, but wish to reactivate it, you will still have your credentials and config files kept intact for a period of time. You will simply need to go back to the configuration settings and click the button to Re-activate the account.
    However, you will likely need to subscribe to a paid-subscription to restart calendar monitoring and alerting.

    Contact us:
     Having problems you just can't figure out? We invite you to submit questions here.