Sometimes I wonder how much time is wasted simply setting up appointments. Here’s what a conversation thread can often look like:
Me – “Hey, I’d really like to connect with you tomorrow! I have time at 2:00 and 3:30. Which time best works for you?
Them – “I can do 2:00.”
Me – “So sorry. I didn’t hear back from you in time and someone else snatch that time. Can you do 3:30?”
Them – “No, I have to be at work at 4:00. Do you have anytime tomorrow?”
Me – “I’m off tomorrow, sorry. However, I do have time on Monday. I’m open most of the morning except for an appointment at 10:00 AM and 11:30 AM. Do you have time on Monday morning?”
You know how this goes, right? This conversation takes place over a period of two days and you’re tentatively holding a space open for someone even though you’re not entirely sure they’re going to be able to make it.
How much time do we waste scheduling meetings. Not everyone has an assistant. Even if you do have an assistant, it’s likely they don’t have the time to manage your schedule like this either.
It’s a good thing there are some great tools that take the pain out of scheduling.
My friend Jonathan Cliff pointed me to this great website and it’s already been a HUGE timesaver.
Here’s how it works.
Appointlet connects to any Google Calendar you own. You might want to point it to your work calendar where you normally schedule your meetings. You tell appointlet what days and times you’re available to book meetings. Perhaps you prefer to meet with leaders or families from 8:00 AM until 11:00 AM on Monday and Wednesdays. Then tell appointlet what your standard meeting time is, like 30 minutes. Fill out a couple of forms (instructions for people scheduling meetings, confirmation pages/emails as well as reminder emails) and you’re good to go.
Here’s the beauty. Share the link to your appointlet page with people who are will book meetings with you. Put the link on your blog, your bio page on the church website or even in the signature of your email. If you need someone to meet with you, share the link with them via email. When they click on the link, they’ll see all your available time for the next several weeks. If time is available, they simply pick it.
Appointlet only asks a few simple questions like their name and email. Once they confirm, their appointment with you is booked on your google calendar and the spot they just took is removed from you available times on your appointlet page. They’ll even get a reminder email the day before you meeting. If they need to cancel, they can click the link included in their email and it will automatically remove the appointment from your calendar and make the time available again on your appointlet page. Say you need to cancel or reschedule a meeting. You can open the appointment in your calendar and you’ll see an appointlet integrated “reschedule” and “cancel” buttons. Click cancel and the appointment is removed and they are contacted. Click reschedule and you are able to choose a new available time and they are notified of the change.
This last one is my favorite part. If a last minute work-related meeting is scheduled via google calendar during a time I’m normally accepting appointments via appointlet, I can simply accept the meeting and my availability on appointlet is immediately changed.
How you might use appointlet.com
I believe in using a calendar. Some people flirt with their calendar. They schedule some meetings and accept meeting invites in their calendar, but not really much else. They don’t necessarily schedule their time. I literally schedule just about every minute of my day at work. If I need to disappear for a few hours to work on a project where I won’t get disturbed, I put it on my calendar. If I simply want to be available for my staff, I put it on my calendar. I often tell my staff that I strictly obey my calendar. If it tells me I’m supposed to be somewhere by a certain time, I do it. If they need me, they know to schedule the time with me.
If you can be disciplined to use your calendar, simply set up specific times each day or some days each week for available times to meet with people. Park yourself at a coffee shop and simply meet with person after person. Just create the schedule and email leaders, staff or parents that you want to meet with. Put it on them to pick the time and just show up. The only work you’ll need to do is change the list of recipients each week to email encouraging them to pick a time to meet with you.
Stay tuned and I’ll tell you how I used appointlet this week to seamlessly schedule dozens of meetings with less than 10 minutes of effort on my part. Look for that post tomorrow.
If you haven’t already, check out appointlet.com for yourself.
Join the Daily Dispatch!
If you're a kidmin content junky... submit your name and email and you will get the following:
• Daily updates from the blog
• Weekly blog summaries with exclusive content
• Access to amazing resources
ALL DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX!