The Problem: Scheduling meetings one-to-one can be difficult. Scheduling meetings with multiple participants is exponentially more difficult, e.g., a board meeting. The major task in scheduling is to find a time that works for everyone. From experience, we know that exchange of emails to schedule optimal meeting time can quickly get out of hand. So, is there a better way?
The Solution: There are a number of online meeting scheduling apps that can make the scheduling of a meeting much easier. These scheduling apps come with the basic functions of scheduling a meeting and following that up with creating event invites. The most suitable app for you is the one that is compatible with the online calendar that you use and at the same time does not limit the calendar applications used by your meeting invitee.
The meeting scheduling app that I like and recommend is Calendly, https://calendly.com/. I will go through the steps to setup Calendly.
Step 1: Signup with your email and connect all of your calendars to Calendly
Calendly has a clean and simple user interface and solves the scheduling problem. The sign up process for Calendly is short and simple. You A key part of the registration process is authorizing access to your online calendar, which in our case is the Google calendar. Unfortunately, Calendly is not yet set up to accept Calendar from the Mac OS.
Figure 1. Signup for Calendly
Figure 2. Connect with your calendars
Step 2: Setup all of your event types
You can add your custom event type for your calendar by clicking on Event Types and using Add Event Type. There are two main event types - one-on-one event or a group event (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Create an Event Type
Once you choose the one-on-one or group event type, you can fill in the rest of the name, description, duration and location of your event as in Figure 4 below and a unique event link will be created for your event.
Figure 4. Creating an event type of your own Figure 5. Custom event types
Once you create an event, you can click on the gear icon to copy the link to invite a person to make the appointment as in Figure 6.
Figure 6. Have others setup appointments on your calendar by sending them an invitation link
When the invitee goes to the event link, this is the view that they will see. It is easy to book an available slot on the calendar and the invitee receives a confirmation.
Figure 7: Invitee view of your calendar
So, next time you need to schedule a meeting with one or multiple individuals, all you need to do is send them an email invite that has your organization Calendlylink. Similarly, you can also send out your Calendly link the next time you receive a meeting request. The invitee can then can look up the available openings in your schedule and pick the time that works best for them. Calendly also sends reminders, enables people to easily cancel if something comes up.
Calendly also support team or group scheduling - it syncs up the time between all of the members and finds a common time to meet avoiding dozens of back-and-forth over a group chat or email to find the right time. It is a great and easy tool to use for one-on-ones, groups and teams, saving hours of time in scheduling a simple appointment.
Nirupama Mallavarupu is the Founder and CEO of MobileArq, a boutique software company based in Summit, NJ. MobileArq provides schools, synagogues and churches with a fundraising and communication platform and a mobile app for parents/members that gives them their school or organization at their fingertips. Learn more at https://mobilearq.com/