the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Get family scheduling under control with Google’s Family Bell

Here’s the scenario: at 8am my kids both have morning announcements from their school principal followed by my oldest going into related arts and my youngest going into reading at 8:15. Then it’s ELA for the oldest at 9, 9:30 the younger one goes into math, 10:10 the oldest goes into sciences, arts for the younger one at 11:45, sciences for the youngest at 12:30, math for the oldest at that time as well.

These virtual classes are found in multiple places – one teacher has a Teams meeting invite, the other a Schoology page that links to it, the related arts links are different each day. The kids are 7 and 4, we’ve got a spreadsheet and a whiteboard just to handle the scheduling. While the kids can handle getting into and out of most things if they know what they’re supposed to be in, neither have a concept of time or personal space.

In the Googleverse, there exist alarms you can set for the family that stay thankfully outside of your calendar, and that’s what Google’s Family Bell allows. Let your smart display or a speaker let you know what it’s time for without having to schedule around it. You can either ask your Google Home / Nest / whatever they’re calling it this week to set a Family Bell, or you can use the Home app to schedule them.

Because it’s Google, to get to the Family Bell settings in the Google Home app it’s tap your picture in the top right, choose Assistant Settings, click the Assistant tab because assistant settings was not clear enough, Family Bell is about halfway down. This will most likely be different by the time you read this and Family Bell will be called something like Tripod by Google.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.