Automate your OOO: Stop sending out of office reminders

  • 5 February 2021
  • 3 replies
Automate your OOO: Stop sending out of office reminders
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
  • Zapier Staff
  • 4 replies

Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. Our staff writer Justin recently discovered Google Calendar’s out of office feature. This was the first time in history I knew about an app feature before him. After a mini-celebration, we realized it’s a pretty underutilized feature. Here, Justin talks about how it works and why it’ll save you a lot of grief whenever you’re planning a vacation or just a day off.

Why everyone needs to use Google Calendar's out of office feature

The coolest part (wethinks) is that it connects with Zapier, which means you can use the OOO feature in Google Calendar to create out of office actions in any other app. Automatically update your Slack status, send a text message or email to remind people, or even create a task in a project management app letting people know what they need to cover for you while you’re out.

All you need to do is use the Advanced Mode when setting up your Zap, and use the search term eventType:outOfOffice to only trigger for out of office events.

What other automations might you set up when you’ll be out of the office? (And don’t forget to check out our 5 ways to catch up on work after a vacation.)

3 replies

That’s a great trigger, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to use this trigger to then send email replies to any email I receive during the time I’m OOO. 

That would be a great way to create an automatic OOO reply. 

Userlevel 1

We have used this trigger to onboard some customers who want to block time off in Jira whenever they create an Out of Office event in Google Calendar. And it works really well!

What you need is a very simple zap in two steps:

  • The trigger will be the new Google Calendar event. You only have to select the specific calendar. Make sure that it’s a business account, as personal accounts don’t support the ooo tab.
  • The action will be a new absence with Out of Office Assistant for Jira. Here’s where you can add in the EventType: outofOffice as a filter, as seen below. Note that Google Calendar sends it for some reason with a lowercase “o”.

You can also appoint a coverer. That is, a delegate owner for any issues that are assigned to you while you’re missing in action. 

I have searched hard for anything referring to “advanced mode” and cannot find it - please explain what is meant by “create zap in advanced mode”?