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by Dana Lindahl
If you're like most people in the modern world, you're super productive, but that also means you're busy, overworked and rely on your digital calendar to ensure you make all your appointments. Many people wonder how they ever got by without the constant reminders from their devices. It's like having a personal assistant whose sole job is to prod and remind you every time there's something you need to do.
Still, no system is perfect, and lots of people still run into issues when trying to manage their time. The biggest problem for most isn't a lack of reminders to keep appointments -- but setting appointments in the first place.
What's Lacking in Your Calendar
While your calendar app may do a great job working in collaboration with you by reminding you what you need to do, it's seldom such a streamlined process for other people looking to make an appointment with you. Sure, they can go into their own calendar, create an event, and add your email address to include you in the event, but that increases friction on their end. If you're trying to set up appointments with potential small business clients, you want as little friction as possible.
This becomes even more difficult across multiple time zones. Some people struggle with the mental math involved in figuring out which time zone you're in and how to convert that to their own time. You might even be traveling, and don't necessarily want your potential clients or contacts to know you're halfway around the world.
Then there's the back and forth of trying to find a suitable time. This often happens over email, with one person proposing a time and the second person proposing another time -- which maybe doesn't work for the first person. This planning can go on for days before a suitable time to meet is settled.
An Appointment Lifesaver
There are many different companies offering products and services to help make this process more efficient by helping you book appointments. Some people are even hiring employees just to handle this one task -- a rather expensive solution given the software that can handle it all quite cheaply.
Great options include ScheduleOnce and Appointy, which you can try for free without having to provide any credit card information, and FrontDesk, which has a transparent, tiered pricing system.
Once you create an account, you can customize your profile. This includes linking it to your online calendar, where everything syncs. You can also set the hours you're commonly available, and they'll pull the information from your calendar to show you as busy when you already have an appointment scheduled.
When you want to invite someone to set an appointment with you, simply send them a custom link to your profile. Opening this link, they choose their own time zone, and then see your available times in their local time. This means if you're on the East Coast and only available after 12 p.m., a person on the West Coast sees your available times starting at 9 a.m. No more working through time zone issues -- which makes things much more efficient.
They can then choose a time (you can offer several options and confirm the one that works best for you). After they've selected a time, you can mandate that they enter other information (such as a phone number or Skype address) for the booking to be complete.
The appointment is then made and synced to both of your calendars, with the whole process automated. All you have to do is open an email to see when the appointment is scheduled for.
If you've never really thought about how efficient your appointment scheduling process is, Software packages like Appointy and ScheduleOnce are very attractive options. As it's free for the first month with premium plans starting at $5, there's no reason not to give it a test drive.
Dana Lindahl is a writer who specializes in content marketing for startups. His writing helps companies not only reach their customers but also drive sales
Article: Copyright © iHaveNet