How to Efficiently Schedule Meetings Without the Back-and-Forth Emails

“I can make May 25th and 26th between 11am-1pm or 2pm-4pm on the 29th. Would that work?”

Eurgh.

We all know how painful and awkward booking meetings over email can be. There’s endless back and forth. And when you think you’ve found a good time for everyone, somebody realises they’ve double booked.

We go through the process countless times per week, or even per day, and end up lost in a sea of emails with meaningless dates and times.

Finally, after two weeks of trying to get something in the diary, everyone has settled on a date. You breathe a sigh of relief and forget about it. And so does everyone else.

You show up for the meeting on time but your colleague, friend, acquaintance or potential investor doesn’t. They forgot to add the meeting to their calendar so didn’t receive any reminders or notifications.

It’s an endless web of frustration, and nobody wants to be that person who sends the “are we still on for tomorrow?” email.

There must be a better way?! There is. We’re converted. And we think you’ll love it too.

You Can Call on Calendly

Calendly is the tool that knows when you’re free better than you do. It’s an automatic scheduling tool which can take all the meeting booking pain away. And it’s FREE! (They also offer extra features on their premium and pro plans.)

It connects to all your existing calendars and makes sure you’re never double booked. All you need to do is send your Calendly booking page to whoever you want to book a meeting with. They then choose a time convenient for them from a list of available slots.

Calendly will ask for name and contact details and any other questions you’d like answers to (up to a maximum of four questions). It then sends out email notifications and reminders (which can be personalised on paid plans) so that nobody forgets the meeting is happening. So far, so minimal email exchanging.

You can customise your calendar so that your schedule suits you. For example, you can add in buffer times between meetings, minimum scheduling notice so you have time to prepare, and a daily limit of meetings.

On the paid plans there are also lots of handy integrations, For example you can integrate with Zapier, Salesforce and Google Analytics. You can take payments via Stripe or PayPal. Paid plans also include the ability to remove Calendly branding so the whole process is all about you.

Calendly booking

Is It Really That Useful?

At Sapling, Calendly is a LIFESAVER. Here’s an example to illustrate how we use it to book guests for podcast interviews.

First, our producer sends the potential guest a link to our Calendly booking form. The guest chooses a time that suits them from a selection of predetermined time slots on Wednesdays and Fridays. They also answer a small selection of questions about any specific topics they’d like to discuss in detail.

With each new booking, our automation tool, Zapier, then sends two emails. One email goes to our podcast producer with all the details of the guest. The second goes to the guest with information on the next steps and how to prepare for the interview. The guest also receives a uniquely generated URL to use to join the remote recording session.

Whilst there’s a lot going on behind the scenes, to the end user it’s a simple and seamless experience.

Using Calendly we remain completely in control of our calendars and avoid all the back-and-forth trying to find a suitable time. AND we have fewer no shows due to the automatic meeting reminders.

Say Hello to Saving Time

So if you’re fed up with the endless emails that come with booking meetings, this is without doubt the tool for you. Calendly will:

  • Integrate all your calendars so you’re never double booked
  • Gather all the relevant contact details you need
  • Send out email notifications and reminders
  • Efficiently schedule meetings to suit you
  • Integrate with loads of other handy tools such as Zapier
  • Provide many more features depending on the plan you choose

The only reason to NOT use a service like Calendly is if you actively enjoy sending and receiving hundreds of meeting booking emails. If that’s you…well, each to their own!