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New Feature Release: One-Click Meetings Inside WORKetc

Long email chains, double-bookings, time zone calculations—with the new WORKetc calendar booking tool you can forget all these hassles when scheduling a meeting.

When trying to schedule a meeting with someone, there’s a reply that everybody dreads: “I can’t do that time, but I can do this other time.”

More often than not, that one line will descend into this so-not-wonderful conversation:

“Sorry, I can’t do that time, either. What about this time?”

“No can do. What about this time?”

“No, I won’t be available then. Can you make this time?”

And on and on and on. It’s even worse when you’re communicating by email; you wait a day or two for a reply, only to get “I can’t do that time. Can we do this time?”

Today we’re releasing a new WORKetc feature that will get rid of the pain of sending emails back and forth, again and again and again, just to settle on a date and time for a meeting. We call it the calendar booking tool.

The WORKetc Calendar Booking Tool

WORKetc One Click Meetings

Our support team has been using the calendar booking tool internally for a couple of months now, and some of you may even have received emails with scheduling options inserted using the tool.

The idea behind this new tool is to not only speed up the whole process of showing people when you’re available to meet, whether for a virtual meeting or an actual face to face, but to take away the frustration and effort that often comes with it.

The tool helps both you and the person you want to meet with. Some studies have shown that people choose faster and better if you limit their options. You, in turn, don’t have to sweat over calculating time zone differences to make sure you do not end up scheduling a meeting for 1AM. Plus, it effectively makes double-bookings nonexistent.

Using the Calendar Booking Tool

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

When you launch the email composer from anywhere in WORKetc, you’ll notice a new calendar icon in the composer toolbar between the “quote” button and the “insert WORKetc activity link” button. Clicking the calendar button will launch the new booking tool.

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

When the tool loads up, you’ll see your work calendar by default, although you can easily choose another calendar to use via a dropdown menu. You can then choose which schedule options to give your client simply by clicking on an empty slot on the grid.

Let’s say you want to schedule a meeting with a potential marketing client for some time between 2PM and 4PM on Wednesday your time. You can just have them come in at anytime within that whole two-hour window, but that means you’ll have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, whether you’re still working on something or not.

The calendar booking tool allows you to give that client more specific scheduling options for your meeting. You can just click on each of the four empty slots from 2PM to 4PM Wednesday on the calendar to give him four 30-minute schedule options.

There’s more control on both sides of the board. Your clients get to choose the best time for them to take a meeting, while you can easily build the rest of your schedule around whatever time slot they choose.

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

Once you’ve chosen your available time slots and clicked “Insert,” the tool will insert them as links in your email.

WORKetc One Click Meetings

The recipients can then just click on the time slot link that works best for them.

WORKetc One Click Meetings

You and the recipients will then get a confirmation alert and an email.

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

Finally, the chosen time slot will automatically be saved as an event on your WORKetc and Google calendar.

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

If you go ahead and create a new email to book another meeting before the previous person you emailed has chosen a time slot, you’ll notice that the time slots you chose for the first email are blocked off as draft events in the booking tool.

This is to make sure that those times are kept free for that first recipient until he gets back to you and to avoid scheduling conflicts. If the recipient clicks on a time slot that has since become unavailable, he will get a notification saying that time is no longer available and will be invited to select another time.

Additional Options and Features

WORKetc One Click Meetings
Click for full view.

  1. Meeting title
  2. Meeting location
  3. Meeting description
  4. Choose which calendar to schedule on
  5. Set guest’s timezone
  6. Add additional guests via contact picker
  7. Show only business hours or full day
  8. Choose day, week, or work week view

The new calendar booking tool also allows you to set a title, location, and description for the event you’re scheduling. All of these options are editable and the system will remember whatever title or location you used last. You can also set a default description in Settings > Event Calendar Settings.

Another very useful feature is a time zone dropdown. The calendar booking tool will show times and dates according to your own time zone, but by choosing the recipient’s time zone via the dropdown menu, the available time slots the tool inserts into your email will automatically follow the recipient’s time zone.

You don’t have to sweat over calculating what time 9AM in New York would be in Toronto or Belfast or Tokyo. The tool will save you time and effort.

Let’s say you’re in New York and your available time slots are from 2PM to 4PM EDT. Your client is in Arizona, so you set the guest timezone to UTC-07:00. The email the client receives will show the available time slots as 11AM to 1PM MST, instead of 2PM to 4PM EDT.

WORKetc One Click Meetings

Exclusive Early Access and Beta Invites

For the past week, our WORKetc Insiders members have been putting the new calendar booking tool through its paces in its Insiders-exclusive, early access pre-release form. We’d like to take this opportunity to give kudos to everybody who participated, sent in bug reports, and told us their concerns and suggestions regarding the calendar booking tool.

The calendar booking tool is just the first in a long list of new releases we have lined up, all of which will lead to the massive WORKetc upgrade we have planned. To get in on future exclusive beta tests and pre-releases, join WORKetc Insiders now by clicking here.

Has the new calendar booking tool already helped you arrange meetings faster? Share your experiences in the comments section.

  • Vic Dragon

    This looks outstanding, but we would need outlook calendar integration for it to work well for us. Has that already been released to early access and beta users? I know I had read it was expected in 2016.

    • You can access your WORK[etc] Calendar in Outlook via the (password-protected) .ics links available under Settings >Calendar

      • Vic Dragon

        Thanks, but I believe that this new booking feature would need to have my WorkETC calendar pull in my Outlook events, not the other way around, right?

        • Sorry Vic. You are correct. But hoping we’ll get the AIX team back onbaord to provide full calendar sync later in the year.

  • Celina

    I just used this feature for the first time. I watched the video and read all the article to understand how to do this. We normally use a Google calendar to add all the appointments and it’s synced to Worketc so I could see the times that were available in our shared calendar. The first time it didn’t post all the correct times into the email. So I tried again and used the “Work” calendar that’s within worketc. Adding each slot was a bit difficult, as the times didn’t post and I had to click on the right spot in the screen to add (weird). Finally I was able to get all the right times into the email and sent it off.

    One thing that was not explained in the article is that once you (worketc user) or the person you are sending the email to picks a slot, it will add an event to worketc and sends an email confirmation to both persons.

    The only thing I would add is a way for the other person to adjust the time. For example, I availability from 1-5pm, but the meeting should only last about an hour. The other person is available from 4-5, when they click on the slot that says 1-5pm it creates an event for the entire 4 hour duration, when in reality we only need one hour from 4-5. I don’t want to have to create hourly slots, that would be inefficient. Any thoughts on this?

    • Thanks for the feedback Celina – always appreciated.

      Right now it would be a case of adding 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 but I’m sure we’ll be making further enhancements to this over time.

      Will generally be best to create the events in the “Work” Calendar – which should be the default setting.

      I’d like to understand the issues with selecting time though. If you can spare 10 minutes for a remote support session with one of the Team here we can take a look at this and get it checked: http://worketc.com/meet

      Thanks!

  • Awesome stuff guys – I noticed the little icon for the meeting scheduler in the emails – but wasn’t sure what it was about.

    Great to hear that its all part of the coming UI upgrade – WorkETC is going from strength to strength.

  • I see this as an interesting concept, but now one I’ll really get the chance to deal with. Internally, we don’t have enough people to use for for meetings amongst ourselves. Externally, we either have weekly meetings as a set time, or is a one-off meeting organised over the phone (so no waiting). That all being said, I can see how this could be useful for people not in my situation.

  • Bryan Oleman

    I envision this tool being very valuable when scheduling meetings with multiple attendees from different organization whose schedules I don’t have access to.

    Since I still use G Suite Calendar as my primary public facing calendar I’ll be testing this feature and it’s integration back to said Gcal in the near future.

    Given the existing calendar integration is very good I’m expecting complete success.

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