Will Bachman: An annoying waste of time is scheduling meetings. Today’s episode is the tool that I’ve found to fix that problem. Hey, welcome to Unleashed, the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host, Will Bachman. Today, I want to talk about the tool that I use. It’s called Calendly. There’s other calendar tools out there. There’s Schedule Once, there’s You Can Book Me, and I’m sure there’s other ones that are somewhat similar. I took a poll of a bunch of people I respect, and the majority said use Calendly, so that’s what I adopted. I’ve been very happy with it. I want to tell you about it today.
The basic idea is with Calendly you’ll get a link that you can send by email to somebody and say, “Hey, yeah, great. I’d love to meet with you. Please just find a time that works for you on my calendar.” They click on a link and they can see current availability on your calendar, and they click on one of the times, and then they fill out their name and email and boom, there’ll be a calendar invite generated from your calendar tool sent to them. It’ll be on your calendar. It sends out a regular calendar invite and then you’re done, so none of that back and forth about, “I’m free on Friday at 2:00 pm.” Then, two days later, they respond, “Great.” They send you a calendar invite for 2:00 but no you’re no longer available. You have to go back and forth. It eliminates all of that.
Here’s how my Calendly works. You get to have more than just one event type. You can create multiple event types. Let me walk you through how that works. You just click on this button, New Event Type. You can choose one on one or a group. Let’s say that you’re planning on just the one on one. I’ll go through some of the options. If I’m going through the options, I have, for example, one that’s a 25 minute call, which in a 30 minute block gives me five minutes at the end. The first thing you do is give it a name. This one is named just 25 Minute Call. The location is phone, but you could also put an in-person, in real life location, and when can people book the event. You put in the duration. There are standard durations of 15, 30, 45, 60 minutes. You can put in your custom duration, which for me is 25 minutes. You can put in a date range. A default is events can be scheduled over 60 rolling days, so I left it like that.
You put in your event time zone, so I’m on eastern time, but the recipient will be able to see it in their time zone when they click on the link. Then, you put in your availability. Each day of the week, you can put in what your available time is on that day, and you can control that for all Mondays, or you can change it for one particular Monday. Then, let’s say that on Thursday, I put in from anytime from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm eastern. It’s also going to be connected to my calendar so that if I have a meeting already scheduled for 12:00 to 2:00, then Calendly will not show that time as available. It’s dynamic, so if I send out someone a link today, but then tomorrow I schedule a meeting from 3:00 to 5:00 on Thursday, Calendly will immediately look at my calendar and will immediately block those times as no longer available.
You put in your availability day by day, and the thing I like about it is each event type, you can have different availability. For example, my podcast interviews I typically will do on Friday afternoons. I just block off that Friday afternoon from 12:00 to 5:00 and have a one hour event type for the podcast interviews. Recipients can just see from 12:00 to 5:00 on Friday, but a different type of call maybe every morning, I want to be able to have blocks of time available from say 10:00 to 12:00 for a different type. Okay, so then you go through invitee questions. That’s super powerful. The defaults are the name of the other person, and they have to put in their email address so they can get the calendar invite. You can add additional custom questions.
The standard one I add is what number should Will Bachman call you at, and if it’s for a project and I’m planning on paying the person for their time … If it’s doing some research, and paying the person, then I’d also ask what PayPal email address should I use to pay you. Also, if I’m asking people how much they want to get paid, I might put that in as well, like what’s your typical rate per hour? I might ask that. Let’s see. You can also have a cancellation policy. You can set up custom calendar invite and custom text messages, custom email reminders that would get sent out automatically by the system. You can add some custom links, and you can also collect payments. If you were actually being a coach or something, and giving advice by the half hour or by the hour, you could collect payments as well.
You do all that, you save it and close it, and then you have your link. Then, you can just send that link out to people, and they can grab time on your calendar. The whole tool, there is a basic version for free if you just want to try it out. That gives you, I think, just one event type. I pretty quickly upgraded to the middle tier. I think it’s premium, and that’s $8.00 a month paid annually, so I guess $96.00 a year. That’s fine for my purposes. If you really need super premium features like being able to collect payments and doing all sorts of fancy stuff, it’s I think $12.00 a month or $144.00 a year.
I highly recommend Calendly. It saves a ton of time, and as I send these out, almost one-third of the time, the person responds, “That’s a great tool. Do you like Calendly? Do you recommend it?” Yes, I do. That’s it for this episode. Thanks for listening. We’d love to hear your thoughts or your questions. Try to answer them on a future episode. You can email me at Unleashed@umbrex.com. Also, you can visit our website, Umbrex.com/Unleashed, where you can find all past episodes. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter, where we send you the transcripts of all the episodes, and some bonus features available only to subscribers.
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