If your job entails creating and accepting a lot of meetings and appointments, it can become very hectic to manage them. An assistant can be very helpful in such situations, but that might cost you a bit of money to hire one. One tool that can take the hassle out of creating and managing appointments is a web app called Calendly. The app is an online calendar that takes care of appointments by providing your clients or customers, otherwise called invitees, with a schedule of your availability so that they can make appointments accordingly without a hassle.
Getting Started with Calendly
Signing up for a Calendly account is quite easy. Just use your Google + credentials, select a time zone, input your unique Calendly URL and hit Confirm to complete the sign up. The Home page of Calendly will look like this.
The dashboard displays all events scheduled by invitees for easy viewing. The main menu, which can be accessed by clicking the drop down at the top, holds useful features such as Copy Calendly URL, Email Calendly URL, Calendar connection and so on.
Copy Calendly URL lets you quickly copy the meeting URL to your clipboard so you can add it to an email or drop it on your signature line to share with others. Event type settings lets you customize your meeting options while Calendar connection lets you connect Calendly to your Google Calendar. If you want to personalize your Calendly account settings, you can dig into the Account settings.
By default, Calendly offers three Event types or appointment options for you; 15 Minute Meeting, 30 Minute Meeting and 60 Minute Meeting. You can rename, delete or add more event types to suit your working requirements.
To edit an event type, you simply click the Edit button beside the event type. Here you can change the event name, add a description telling your invitees to join you for a meeting, a webinar or a conference call, and set your availability.
By default, the availability for weekdays is displayed as 09:00 am – 05:00 pm, but again you can click the edit button on a weekday to modify the times, set a lunch or tea break, and then apply it across the rest of the work days.
You also have options to set your future availability hours, ask invitees additional questions such as their phone number in case you need to call back to reschedule a meeting, add custom links such as payment provider options to collect payments, set confirmation notifications for invitees, and so on.
Once you set up your meeting availability instructions, you can go to the Calendar connection section to connect Calendly to your Google Calendar. Calendly can cross check your availability with Google calendar to make sure that you are not double-booked for any time period. If any of your available times are already marked as busy in Google, Calendly will exclude such times from your availability. You can also let Calendly add new events to Google Calendar.
That’s it. You are now ready to start taking appointments via Calendly.
Setting Up Appointments in Calendy as an Invitee
When an invitee clicks your Calendly link, he/she will have the option to choose from one of meeting options available on the dashboard. The invitee must then select a date and time by clicking on one of the rounded times, selecting a time and confirming it.
In the final step, the invitee must provide his or her name and email address and schedule the event. Calendly then adds the meeting to Google Calendar and generates an email to the invitees as well as yourself.
This is as straightforward as it gets to work with Calendly. Power users can do more such as personalize email notifications, set automatic breaks between appointments, add a branding, set up group events and more.
Calendly is a fantastic web tool that makes scheduling of appointments a breeze, not just from the point of view of the user but also for anyone looking to book an appointment. The tool is completely free to use although you can get more (unlimited event types and group scheduling) if you sign up for a premium pack. If you want to save time and money when it comes to managing appointments and meetings and be more productive and organized in the job, be sure to give Calendly a try!