Oh, no. It's happened to me again. How often do you come to depend on a service and then that service ceases to exist? Even worse, imagine being in the middle of a presentation on a topic ... and find that the service has just announced a sunset date.
That's happened to me … more than once.
And it happened again soon after I posted last week’s blog. You can read that one here: bit.ly/frankbuck111.
A few minutes after making an airplane reservation, I opened the Google Trips app to see if the new reservation was already there. It was.
But something else filled the screen: “We're saying goodbye to Google Trips August 5, 2019. Many of your favorite features will live on in other Google products.”
On Tuesday, my blog post appears and heralds the virtues of Google Trips. It encourages others to use Google Trips also. On Wednesday, I find Google Trips is sunsetting in less than two months.
So what do we do now?
The answer turned out to be easy. It's "Google Travel." I opened a browser and went to Google.com/travel.
Everything that had been in the Google Trips app was there. Upcoming trips, including the one for which I had just made the airline reservations, were there.
Past trips were there.
The new arrangement was even better. Before, trips only displayed on the mobile app. Now, I can access and update trips from any computer with internet access by merely logging into my Google account.
So what does this do for me again?
In last week’s blog post, I explained Google Trips stores all your trip information in one place. Think about what happens when you book a hotel room, reserve a rental car, or buy an airline ticket. Within a few minutes, an email confirmation arrives, right?
If you're a Gmail user (and that's the catch; you must be using Gmail), Google's algorithm recognizes the message as a reservation. It extracts the individual elements (confirmation number, date, time, flight number, hotel name, hotel address, etc.). Google is smart enough to see the hotel you book in Dallas, the flight to Dallas, and the rental car reservation, look at the dates, and conclude it's all part of the same trip.
Google creates the trip and displays each flight, hotel stay, and rental car reservation. Here’s an example. Following a speaking engagement in Orlando, I was to head straight to Chicago for another speaking engagement before returning home.
All I did was book the reservations. Google extracted the information and composed this nice summary in Google Trips. It also added the information to my Google Calendar.
So what’s my next step?
Go to Google.com/travel and see what's in your account right now. You may be surprised. Look at how you can make reservations from within the site. You'll also see the ability to plan entire packages.
The world of technology changes rapidly. Good things are replaced by better things. This article shows you one more example. How do you stay on top of the changes? Read the right resources. My hope is that you number this column among them.
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders. "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.