Looking for Feedback to Simplify Your Availability Settings

Looking for Feedback to Simplify Your Availability Settings

Hi Calendly Community,

My name is Chris and I'm a part of the product org here at Calendly. As part of our ongoing commitment to create the easiest-to-use and most effective scheduling automation platform on the market, we are considering some updates to help you better manage your availability settings. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on any improvements you would want to see.

Here are some questions that are top of mind.

  1. There are a many ways to control your availability through your calendar and/or Calendly. Which method do you use the most often? What would make it easier or more efficient?
     
  2. Dialing in your availability helps ensure you're available (or not!) at the right times. What have been your experiences with ensuring your availability is accurate and up-to-date? Was there anything that you want to see improved in Calendly?

While we are still in the planning phase, your feedback will be invaluable as we work on building our roadmap. Please feel free to reply in this discussion thread on our community forum — and thank you for being Calendly customers!


10 replies

I prefer to use my calendar but currently have both. Calendly handling my hours available and my calendar blocking out dates and times where I’m not. On the go it’s simply easier to use my calendar. 
 

On the availability side of things, I had to add holidays to my calendar to manage available dates, but otherwise has been smooth. 
 

kudos to @jillian for the prompt to join this discussion via LinkedIn. And great to see product interested in learning. 

One area that is critical for us is to have the ability to force a meeting to a timeslot that the current availability settings would not typically allow. A simple example is that the client requests to push a meeting back by an hour, and that violates one of the rules in the meeting type (i.e. buffer, etc.).

 

The potential workaround is to move the meeting in google calendar, works fine until the meeting reminder comes up and has the original time, not the updated time; which causes confusion.

 

The other workaround is to have duplicate meeting types w/o any of the buffers (this leads to use having 40+ meeting types) then canceling the original meeting and setting the appointment using the new meeting type. This also does not always work, in the instances where we have a time block on the calendar, instead of just forcing the meeting to the desired slot in the moment, we’d have to have to wait for the calendar owner delete the time block then go back in and reestablish the meeting. 

One area that is critical for us is to have the ability to force a meeting to a timeslot that the current availability settings would not typically allow. A simple example is that the client requests to push a meeting back by an hour, and that violates one of the rules in the meeting type (i.e. buffer, etc.).

 

The potential workaround is to move the meeting in google calendar, works fine until the meeting reminder comes up and has the original time, not the updated time; which causes confusion.

 

The other workaround is to have duplicate meeting types w/o any of the buffers (this leads to use having 40+ meeting types) then canceling the original meeting and setting the appointment using the new meeting type. This also does not always work, in the instances where we have a time block on the calendar, instead of just forcing the meeting to the desired slot in the moment, we’d have to have to wait for the calendar owner delete the time block then go back in and reestablish the meeting. 

To build on this idea, I would like to give certain contacts the ability to tentatively book time even if doing so would violate Calendly rules or if a conflicting meeting is identified as flexible.

For example, a Google Calendar event might be tagged as flexible, so a Favorite Calendly contact could tentatively schedule a meeting that would otherwise conflict. Alternatively, all events could be deemed flexible for Favorite contacts unless the event is tagged as inflexible.

Userlevel 6

Hey all! Thanks for the feedback. Super appreciate it and I know my Product peers do too. Some follow up questions for y’all!

 

@SWB - Sounds like you’re using your native calendar for most things including blocking off dates and such. You can do this in Calendly using date overrides, but I know there are reasons to keep it in your native calendar. Tell us more about that if you don’t mind!

 

@d.inc - Interesting. One of the things we’re asked for quite often here is the creation of tangible buffers (actual calendar blocks on your native calendar) versus rule-based buffers. Can you tell us more about those 40+ event types? How do they all differ (outside of buffers for some and no buffers for others)?

 

@Opt-In Jeff - Ah, I can definitely see the interest there! We just introduced some new functionality (into beta) that would allow you but not the invitee to basically book over blocked off time. Check it out here (step 5): https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/15442361021463-Schedule-in-real-time-with-Calendly-s-extension#01H7WXQPPVSAGW1FC0ERS8HQ1Z

@jillian I don’t use date overrides as plans may change and it’s simply easier to make that change in my calendar than to remember to do it in multiple places.

Userlevel 7

@jillian I don’t use date overrides as plans may change and it’s simply easier to make that change in my calendar than to remember to do it in multiple places.

Thanks for clarifying why you stay clear of date overrides, for us -- I can see the logic, here, for sure! If you make a quick change to a connected calendar event, say, from “busy” to “free” that will immediately open up that time on all of your events (as long as the availability on each event covers the time you freed up!). Smart!

Let’s say that you have five event types. What if, in this scenario, you want to be freed up for four of those event types, but keep one blocked off on a specific Tuesday at 10am? If your normal availability includes Tuesdays at 10am and you only want one event type to exclude one Tuesday at 10am -- that’s where using a single date override would be fast and easy. You cannot put a “busy” event on your connected calendar to apply to only a single event type in Calendly. (Yet! This is functionality that is being worked on!)

Just some food for thought!  

@Kelsi at Calendly not a scenario I need to solve. The ask here was for us to share our use of the availability settings, which I’ve done. Hopefully that can be food for thought.

 

@Opt-In Jeff - Ah, I can definitely see the interest there! We just introduced some new functionality (into beta) that would allow you but not the invitee to basically book over blocked off time. Check it out here (step 5): https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/15442361021463-Schedule-in-real-time-with-Calendly-s-extension#01H7WXQPPVSAGW1FC0ERS8HQ1Z

That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing. One of the primary benefits I receive from using Calendly is the ability to place the responsibility for scheduling with others. So, it will be great if someday the functionality I described were implemented so that I can remain “hands off” the booking process.

Hey all! Thanks for the feedback. Super appreciate it and I know my Product peers do too. Some follow up questions for y’all!

 

@SWB - Sounds like you’re using your native calendar for most things including blocking off dates and such. You can do this in Calendly using date overrides, but I know there are reasons to keep it in your native calendar. Tell us more about that if you don’t mind!

 

@d.inc - Interesting. One of the things we’re asked for quite often here is the creation of tangible buffers (actual calendar blocks on your native calendar) versus rule-based buffers. Can you tell us more about those 40+ event types? How do they all differ (outside of buffers for some and no buffers for others)?

 

@Opt-In Jeff - Ah, I can definitely see the interest there! We just introduced some new functionality (into beta) that would allow you but not the invitee to basically book over blocked off time. Check it out here (step 5): https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/15442361021463-Schedule-in-real-time-with-Calendly-s-extension#01H7WXQPPVSAGW1FC0ERS8HQ1Z

We have 20 meeting types, and they each need to be duplicated w/o the buffer. Even then, if the calendar owner has a timeblock scheduled on their calendar, we can not schedule over that. That means in order to schedule it in the moment, we have to go into the calendar, or have the calendar owner go into their calendar, and remove the timeblock then go back into Calendly to schedule the meeting. As opposed to forcing the meeting to the desired time, then later going and clearing out the block when it’s more convenient. 

Hi Calendly Community,

My name is Chris and I'm a part of the product org here at Calendly. As part of our ongoing commitment to create the easiest-to-use and most effective scheduling automation platform on the market, we are considering some updates to help you better manage your availability settings. I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on any improvements you would want to see.

Here are some questions that are top of mind.

  1. There are a many ways to control your availability through your calendar and/or Calendly. Which method do you use the most often? What would make it easier or more efficient?
     
  2. Dialing in your availability helps ensure you're available (or not!) at the right times. What have been your experiences with ensuring your availability is accurate and up-to-date? Was there anything that you want to see improved in Calendly?

While we are still in the planning phase, your feedback will be invaluable as we work on building our roadmap. Please feel free to reply in this discussion thread on our community forum — and thank you for being Calendly customers!

Hi Chris, I offer Self-Healing programs that are booked in terms of months, not hours. Have you considered allowing an updated version for that?

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