Appointment slots are handy things, but they aren’t a part of most free online calendar services. So, if you use Google Calendar, you also need to use a service like Calendly or WhenIsGood to actually schedule events with someone else. Right?
If you have a personal Google account, that’s still the case. However, if you have a Google account through your employer or educational institution, you now have access to appointment slots in Google Calendar. Here, we’ll talk about how to set up this tool for the first time and how to use it going forward.
Setting Up Appointment Slots in Google Calendar
To get started with the Appointment Slots tool, navigate to your Google Calendar and click the Create button in the upper left. This opens a dropdown menu. Select the bottom option, Appointment schedule. The first time that you do this, you’ll be guided through a series of pages setting up the feature for future use.
1. Creating Your Calendar
This starts with the name of your appointment calendar. If you’re using a business account, this might be the name of your business. If you’re using an educational account, this may be your name and major, or your role with the institution. In either case, you can also add a photo and a short description.
You can also fill in your general availability (which hours on which days of the week) and how long your appointments are. You can also set a General availability for how far ahead you’re willing to schedule appointments.
So far, most of this has just been defining how your appointment slots will work. In case you don’t want to use Google Calendar for this, here are some of the best meeting-scheduling apps to use instead.
2. Creating Your Page and Forms
From here, you start creating the outward-facing elements in Google Calendar. Your appointments calendar gets its own booking page, and a form with a shareable link that you can send others so that they can schedule meetings with you. Each meeting can also have a description of that particular appointment.
You can also control settings for event reminders and meeting locations, whether that’s a physical space, phone number, or video calling link. When all the guided set-ups are complete, click the blue Done button in the appointments window, and you’re ready to start scheduling appointments.
If your schedule changes, go through this same sequence to adjust your availability, location, or other information as it changes.
Using Your Appointments Calendar
Looking at your Google Calendar when you don’t have any appointments, your appointment availability is displayed as a narrow column along the left side of your regular day-at-a-glance. A grid icon at the top opens a special menu where you can view your schedule and access the link to your scheduling form.
You can send this link to others so that they can schedule with you, but you can also fill this out yourself, including adding other email addresses to the event as your guests. Why would you want to book your own appointments?
- It’s easier than going back through the appointment settings to change your availability.
- It helps you manage events and availability across multiple calendars.
- It’s easier if you schedule an appointment over the phone or in-person rather than by email.
When you do have an appointment, it appears like other events in your Google Calendar. If you need to review, edit, or delete the appointment, click it in your calendar.
All of the options are in the upper right corner of the event tile, including the trashcan icon to delete the event from your schedule. Moreover, there are some useful add-ons for Google Calendar that you can use to enhance your experience.
Another Handy Feature for the Google Suite
The appointment slots in Google Calendar aren’t available to all users, and it’s not quite as intuitive as more familiar Google Suite features. But, it does add a lot of utility, particularly for people who regularly use Google Calendar within their professional or educational workflows.
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