Set your schedule to autopilot

‘Looking forward to meeting. How’s 3pm Tuesday?’

‘No can do unfortunately… how about 1.30pm Wednesday? Or 4pm Wednesday?’

‘I’m at an all day event. Monday week?’

Spotted in the wild: two time-pressed individuals trying to book in one half-hour meeting. By the time the meeting’s locked, it’s taken almost as much time in back-and-forth, pop-up email distractions, and flipping through calendars to make it happen.

There’s a far better solution.

The rise of online scheduling has given birth to a wave of apps that do what they say they will: simplify scheduling for both parties and remove mental clutter from your daily task list. There’s more than one good option to choose from:

  • Calendly. Calendly’s 100% free, all day, every day. That’s a nice place to start. Beyond that, Calendly works by asking you to set your availability, opening up time slots that can then be booked by clients, coworkers, and anyone you provide the link to (which can also be embedded into your website). Once a new appointment is booked, Calendly will automatically add it into your calendar of choice, with integrations across Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud. Calendly supports intuitive time zones, flexible meeting types, multiple attendees and more. It’s also set up to integrate with a wide range of other automation tools, including Salesforce and Zapier.
  • Acuity Scheduling. Acuity Scheduling shares some similarities with Calendly, also working within the parameters of your predetermined availability. This app brings with it the benefit of offering payment collection based on appointment type, making it easy for service-oriented businesses to schedule appointments and collect payment in the same intuitive space. Acuity Scheduling also offers intake form capabilities, which allows for a high degree of customisation across different service industries. With easy scalability and integration, this tool is a great option for those looking to streamline booking services and client management.
  • Timekit. Timekit works on the basis of ‘booking flows’, a form of automation that triggers different actions based on the type of appointments you create. This is a more advanced form of time management, with the capability of making your entire resource inventory bookable. Whether you’re offering the services of a person, an item, a location or an asset, Timekit provides the functionality needed for easy booking and hire management. It integrates with the major calendars on the market to become an end-to-end online booking management system.

Skip out on the cycle of phone tag, scribbled post-it reminders and hasty traffic maneuvering for forgotten last-minute appointments. Adopt a schedule automation tool into your workflow and claw back valuable manpower so it can be focused on the work that matters. Just don’t forget to block out chunks of the week for the non-negotiables too - regular massage appointments, anyone?


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