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If you’re a Gmail user, you may have noticed a surprising new feature in your e-mail account this morning: There’s now an “Insert: Invitation” link adjacent to the “Attach a file” link in each new message you compose.

The invitation addition makes scheduling meetings and setting up appointments via Gmail much easier. It also completes the circle between Gmail and Google Calendar’s Smart Rescheduler. You can now schedule an event and verify attendee availability right from the Compose Mail window.

Inserting a calendar invitation in a Gmail message is as simple as clicking on the “Insert: Invitation” link. A new window automatically appears showing your availability and the availability of the parties included in the email. You can then adjust the time, add a place and description, and specify which calendar to add the event to. Once you send the email, the event is automatically added to everyone’s calendar.

For users of more robust business e-mail programs, today’s Gmail update probably seems minor. But for those of us who use e-mail and calendar services in the cloud, it’s an important and time-saving update that ties together two key Google services.

[Img credit: cinefil_]

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Tags: gmail, Google, Google Calendar