• Irit Levi

Scheduling apps

One of my first jobs after college was as an assistant to an administrative assistant. (Yes, that’s a mouthful).

My job was to answer the phone and do some technical stuff.

The AA I was helping would manage projects and the schedule.

It was a lot of back and forth calls to see when everyone could meet.

Since then (way back in the 90s...) things have come a long way. Things have turned virtual.

This means that while there are still VAs having back and forth conversations - and that's fine - there is also an entire industry of scheduling apps out there that are meant to make the process easier.

The idea is that you can send prospects or clients a link to your calendar without having to actually give them access. You can set availability times, meeting lengths, locations and much more.

Using such a tool, you basically set up a meeting page.

You define the length of the meeting, and the location (virtual, phone, online tool such as zoom or MS Teams or maybe even in person - yes, those will happen again).

You also define your availability, and other variables such as meeting buffers and how much notice needs to be given before scheduling.

Searching for a scheduling app

I've been searching for a scheduling tool for a really long time.

Six months to be exact.

When I started out, I was using Meetingbird. A great free tool that had amazing UX and basically gave me most of what I needed at the time.

But then Front, who bought them, discontinued the app and my search began.

The industry standard seems to be Calendly. And though I personally don’t like it for various reasons, I can understand why.

I've seen better tools, but they don't have all the features. And so my search continued. Until recently.

The ideal tool for me should be easy to use for me but also for my clients. I want a tool that people can use easily and compare their availability to mine without having to go back and forth.

What features to look for

Here's a list of the main features I look for when I'm evaluating a scheduling app:

1. Ease of use

How easy is it to define my availability across all meetings and per each separate meeting?

I want to be able to define a template but also change each meeting on its own.

2. Blocking time

Can I block off time for a specific meeting but not for others?

For example, l