Here is a review of my favourite meeting scheduler software and how I use it to be more productive. This software not only saves me a lot of time and actually makes me money each month.
Needs Background #
As a time management coach and consultant, I need to be able to quickly schedule meetings with my clients around the world and ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts.
The Problem with Scheduling Meetings #
My clients are busy, successful people so it is often very difficult to find openings that match both my calendar and theirs.
In the beginning, I just used my Google Calendar. I would email a suggested calendar time to a client and wait for them to get back to me. I might mark that time as tentative in my calendar so I didn’t schedule anything else there.
What happened most times was that the original time I suggested didn’t work for the client and they would suggest another time. If I was really lucky, they time they wanted might be open on my calendar but most times, it wasn’t. So there would be round after round of emails, trying to find one that worked for both of us.
Another problem is time zones. My clients are in Canada, US, Europe and Australia. So the time zones make it very difficult to find times when an Australian client is 17 hours ahead of me. This adds to the confusion. When I suggest Wednesday morning at 10 am, do I mean my local time or the client’s time?
I knew there had to be a better solution to this problem, so I put on my research hat. I noticed that some of my clients were using tools to share openings in their calendars with people needing to book with them. I tested several and eventually settled on the one I liked best.
My Chosen Solution: ScheduleOnce #
Of the meeting scheduler programs I tried, I chose ScheduleOnce. Here are the reasons why:
- Google Calendar Integration: With ScheduleOnce, there is no need to give up Google Calendar. ScheduleOnce integrates with Google Calendar so that whever I set an appointment in Google Calendar, that time automatically becomes unavailable in Schedule Once.
- Easy Schedule Link: ScheduleOnce gives me a simple URL where people can see my openings and book instantly. Here is what my booking link calendar looks like.
- Time Zones: When people view the calendar, they see their LOCAL time zones. This is fantastic because I don’t have to worry about any time zone conversions or mistakes. They simply see the times I have open on my calendar rejigged to their local time.
- Notifications: Both of us are immediately notified of the booking and it is immediately added to my calendar. My client can easily add it to their own calendar as well. In addition, you can set notifications to go out to participants at the 24 hour and 1 hour marks and other times.
- Control: You have full control of your calendar and you can set what times you are not regularly available. So if you have a course or go to the gym every Thursday morning, you can easily block off that time. You can also control how much notice you get of a new booking so you don’t have a surprise booking only 10 minutes away.
How a Meeting Scheduler Saves Time #
So how has ScheduleOnce saved me time? I used to go back and forth many times with clients trying to find a block of time that might work for both of us. Sometimes we might go back and forth for weeks by email with different time suggestions!
Now, they can see all of my openings at a glance and book instantly. No wasted back and forth. It saves time for both myself AND my client and provides a much more professional level of service.
How it Makes Me Money #
Something that surprised me was that ScheduleOnce actually made me money. Because my clients can book faster, they tend to use their coaching hours more quickly and then buy more.
They are also more engaged and tend to stay in coaching longer.
Questions and More Help #
I would never go back to my old method of booking after using ScheduleOnce. If you have questions about using a meeting scheduler or any other productivity hack, contact me.
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“Giving the gift of time” – Garland Coulson, “Captain Time”