EletiofeGoogle Calendar Now Makes It Easier to Find a...

Google Calendar Now Makes It Easier to Find a Time to Meet. Here’s How

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Whether it’s deciding when to meet a friend for coffee or setting up a meeting for work, scheduling is annoying. The inevitable back-and-forth—“I’m free Monday, does that work?” “No, I’m busy then, what about Thursday”—is just plain tedious. Google Calendar can help with this. The application now offers a free tool called Appointment Schedule, which makes the whole process easier.

With this feature, you can block out time that you’re available to meet. You can then send a link to anyone who might want to meet with you—they can use the link to choose a time. It’s very similar to Calendly. Tools like this are great for freelancers, who need to give potential clients an easy way to book time with them, but it could also be useful for personal things.

Appointment Schedule, when it launched, was a paid-only feature with a limited feature set. That’s not true anymore. You can now use the feature on a regular Google account without a subscription. The service is also now offered to Google Workspace users—previously it was available only to consumer accounts. This is a great change, but the feature is a little bit buried. Here’s how to find it.

Creating an Appointment Schedule in Google Calendar

To get started, open Google Calendar and click the Create button in the top right corner, then click Appointment Schedule.

Google via Justin Pot

Now you can set up your appointment schedule. First, choose how long the appointments you’re offering are. Next, choose which hours of the day you’re available to meet. You can then choose how far in advance people can reserve time, or create rules establishing a buffer between meetings and how many meetings you can handle in a single day. Finally, you can choose a calendar that is checked to determine your availability.

Google via Justin Pot

In the free version of Google Calendar, you can only set up one calendar to determine your availability—if you have separate work and personal calendars, you can only connect one of those. (Connecting multiple calendars requires a Google One subscription. The subscription allows you to send automatic email reminders to anyone who requests a meeting with you.)

When everything looks good, hit the Next button. Now you can change the location where the meetings will occur. This can be a physical place if you like, or it can be over Google Meet. There’s no support for Zoom or other videoconferencing options, though you can specify a phone number if you prefer.

Google via Justin Pot

You can then provide people booking an appointment with a little more info by adding a description. This can say whatever you want, and it allows them to provide you with information by setting up a form. The default form includes the name and email address of the person you’re trying to contact—it will also include the phone number for phone meetings. You can add whatever fields you want, though, allowing you to collect more information if appropriate.

When you’re done, you are given a link to share with anyone who might want to schedule an appointment with you.

Google via Justin Pot

People can choose whichever time they like. You’ll get a notification via email when people sign up, and appointments will also show up in your calendar. Granted, this takes a while to set up, but if you’re often scheduling things it can save you a lot of time. It’s pretty great that Google offers a version of this for free, right inside Google Calendar.

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