Most of my meetings, both in person and on the phone, are with people who are outside my company. Many appraisers reading this might remark, “all my meetings are with people outside my company.” Typically, this means phone calls and/or emails to find a mutually-agreeable time. If I need to reschedule, still more emails. If there are more than 2 parties involved, the effort increases exponentially.
So, I found Calendly and have been using it for a while now. I can send a link to people in an email and they can select a day and time for a meeting that works for them. Times that are already booked on my calendar are not available, but nobody can see what is actually on my calendar – just the open slots I made available. Calendly automatically schedules the meeting and it includes a link for rescheduling if necessary. The free version only allows one kind of meeting so after using that a few months, I upgraded to the paid version and have several meeting types and durations available.
Our office uses Microsoft 365 and the integration is very smooth. When you set it up the first time, you link it to your email account and select the times you are available either on specific days or offer ranges. For me, I opened up Tuesday-Thursday from 9 am – 5 pm on my calendar. Some people may choose to restrict the times, but sales is a big part of my job, so I want to be available.
After using it a while, I learned it’s important to keep all my time in my calendar including personal appointments (haircut, dentist, etc.), drive time, and vacation time. After using it only 2 weeks, I found I had saved both time and aggravation scheduling meetings in this way. Calendly isn’t the only product of it’s kind out there, so there may be another with features you like more. For me, it was a useful boost to my productivity.
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