When you’re working on multiple projects across several time zones, scheduling meetings can be time-consuming, complicated, and stressful. Mistakes happen, and people can be double-booked or miss invites to crucial meetings, slowing down project progress. 

However, there are tools that can help thought leaders to maximise their time, and minimise scheduling conflicts and stress. As a thought leader, you can also use these tools to make it easier for customers and partners to consult you, by providing controlled self-service access to your calendar to book time slots.

Doodle your way to a meeting 

Doodle has been helping customers schedule meetings since 2007 and has over 30 million users per month, with over 400,000 companies using it. Doodle allows you to send meeting guests a set of possible times and they can select a time that fits their schedule. This means that you can avoid going backwards and forwards, and simply agree a meeting time with a single click. Helpfully, Doodle shows only the times you have selected and keeps the rest of your day hidden. This means that your meeting guests cannot see whether you are actually in back-to-back meetings, or have set the day aside for something else—and therefore decide that they can override your pre-set priorities. 

Doodle is compatible with any calendar provider and can sync all of your calendars in one place to keep you from double-booking. It also automatically adjusts the time zone for each person, to eliminate confusion. Doodle allows you to reschedule using other people’s dashboards and automatically sends updates to all attendees. It also allows those invited to vote on better times that fit their schedules. 

Doodle can be integrated with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, Outlook, and more. 

Time slotting made easier 

With Google calendar, users can create bookable time slots in their schedule to share with colleagues. Like Doodle, the time slots can be shared with others, and you can hide times you are not available to meet. You can also use Google appointment slots to help eliminate double-booking and allow you to dictate how long a meeting should run and who is able to book a time with you. You can choose when you are considered free and whether you want to split your time into multiple time slots ahead of any meeting requests. 

Your appointment slot link can be shared in an email or embedded in your email signature or website to make it easy for colleagues or clients to access it. This basically means that you can automate your scheduling without handing control over to others. This therefore frees up time to work on other things on your to-do list. 

Customisable booking function

Microsoft Bookings is part of Outlook. It allows you to create unique landing pages where clients and colleagues can easily schedule appointments with you. The calendar will only show available times based on your schedule and others can book a time and add notes about the meeting. Once a meeting is booked, Microsoft Bookings will automatically send a reminder to all attendees.  This will therefore help minimise confusion and non-attendance. The invite also includes a location, and you can add a link to Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

The booking page is fully customisable, and you can mimic your brand identity with company colours, logos, and fonts. It will feel like an extension of your company’s website rather than an external site.  The booking page can also be embedded into your company website or email signature to make it easy to find. Microsoft Bookings can integrate with Google Calendar and is available online and through an app. 

Calendly, the one link wonder

Calendly has been around since 2013. It now helps over 50,000 companies to set up 100 million meetings per year. It allows you to send people a link with your meeting information and times you are available, so they can choose a suitable appointment slot. Calendly can connect to Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, as well as your calendar. It will send instant reminders and follow-up emails to all participants and put the meeting in your calendar as soon as it is confirmed. This will save you time and energy and avoid going backwards and forwards by email. You can also set your availability within Calendly and make sure you are only showing available time slots. Like the other tools, it will help avoid double-booking and rescheduling.   

What other tools do you use to schedule meetings with people outside your organisation?

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