Helpful Guides | Productivity at work

The best scheduling tools to plan out your meetings

By wizu | 12 July 2019

We’re all busy these days and it’s hard to find time to get everything done, including scheduling meetings. Everyone has disparate schedules and at times it’s difficult to get in touch with teammates and clients to set up that next all-important meeting date. Time is invariably wasted in the process, causing frustration and disruptions in your day.

If you find yourself in this scheduling maze, don’t fret—we’re here to help! We’ve done the research to find scheduling tools to make it easier than ever to set up that next important meeting. The right tool(s) can save you time and effort, saving your precious hours for more urgent tasks.

 

What to Look for in Meeting Scheduling Tools

To find the best tool for your needs, look for these features and characteristics:

1). Ease of use: a scheduling tool should be fast and straight forward to use, so be sure to choose a tool that doesn’t take much time or effort to learn. The interface should be intuitive and easy to use.

2). Integrates with email: this is still the preferred communication method for many professionals, so look for a scheduler that easily integrates with email. In fact, look for a tool that not only integrates, but also updates your schedule if there are changes in time, location, date, etc. 

3). Price point—cost: look for a scheduling tool that’s cost effective. Be sure to consider the time and effort needed to learn and use the tool. If the tool is pricey and difficult to master, skip it and look for a simpler solution. You’ll be happier in the long run. 

4). Customization: this is a great way to carry over your company’s branding. Look for a scheduling tool that allows you to add your company logo, colour scheme and more. Your clients and teammates will easily recognize the meeting notification is for you and your company. 

5). Cross-platform: you’ll need to find a tool that works across multiple platforms, including Mac, iOS, Windows and Android devices and computers. In fact, this is helpful because many people make use of more than one platform—they may have an Android phone, but work on a Windows computer. A cross-platform scheduler will keep everyone in the know.

6). Integration: is another characteristic to consider in a meeting scheduling tool. You’ll want to find a tool that integrates with other tools including calendars, sales automation apps/tools and even CRM. Keeping it all together will help you and your teammates/clients stay up to day on meeting details (date, time, place, etc.)

 

The Best Meeting Scheduling Tools

Now we’re ready to review the best meeting scheduling tools—here they are!

HubSpot Meetings: this free scheduler is easy to use and works to automate the process of scheduling a meeting. This tool seamlessly works with their free CRM platform and works to cut down on the back-and-forth scheduling phone calls and emails. It also offers flexibility to schedule—others can see when you’re available and easily schedule a meeting. 

This tool is fully customizable and can be embedded in your company’s site. HubSpot Meetings also provides an option for group meeting links. Settings can be altered, and you receive a heads up when a new meeting has been created. 

Calendly: is an easy to use, clean interface for scheduling meetings. It offers a wide variety of integration and automation to make it easy for you and teams to schedule meetings. The basic plan is free. 

Calendly will check your calendar automatically to see if you’re available, and people outside of your organisation can see when you’re free to meet. Not only that, but this scheduler allows you to schedule round robins—meetings will be distributed to your team based on who is available, etc. You can also use this tool to schedule meetings with multiple attendees such as a webinar, trainings, etc. 

Doodle: is another easy to use tool for scheduling meetings. You can suggest times and customise meeting requests. It’s also possible to send a link and let participants indicate whether or not their available for the suggested time/date. When this information is collected from participants, then it’s easy to choose the best date and time for the meeting. 

Doodle can be customised with your company logo, colour scheme, etc. It’s also possible to request participants to share their contact information (such as email address, phone numbers, etc.), and the platform is ads-free. You won’t have to worry about ads popping up at the wrong time. Doodle integrates with your calendar, and it’s available across several platforms including Android and Apple devices. 

Pick:  is a web app meeting scheduling tool that’s also easy to use. Just set up your availability and preferences, then share a custom link with people you’d like to meet with. After receiving the link, they will then book time with you, after which you and meeting attendees will receive a calendar invite, which includes meeting details. Pick easily integrates with Office 365 and Google Calendar. 

FreeBusy: is another online scheduling tool that makes it easy to schedule meetings. You can easily and quickly schedule a meeting with one or more people! This tool works to pull your availability information from all of your calendars—work, personal, etc. This way, you can more easily keep your work and personal life separate. You can also use this feature for groups—the tool will check group availability to set up a meeting for teams. 

In addition, FreeBusy fully integrates with your web conferencing tool, so it’s easy to set up a conference and add call details, the call link, etc. The scheduler also works across global times zones—what could be better? 

YouCanBook.Me: this is another great scheduling tool for individuals or teams. This tool integrates with Office 365, GCal and iCal, plus it works well for businesses of all sizes. The calendar can be used to book multiple people, services and locations. 

YouCanBook.Me is available for mobile devices and is customisable with your company logo, colours, etc. Not only that, but this tool works across multiple time zones, so users can book a meeting in their respective time zone. Scheduling meetings is quick and easy with this tool.

There are a wide variety of meeting scheduling tools available—with a little research, you’re sure to find the tool that’s a good fit for you and your company. Just be sure to choose one that integrates well with your company processes and platforms and look for a scheduler that’s easy to use. You won’t go wrong!

Once you’ve got the process of planning out your meetings nailed down it’s probably time to find the best meeting room to hold them in.

Reasons Why You Need to Use Scheduling Tools to Plan Your Meetings

Planning a meeting should be easy, right? Unfortunately, planning a meeting can be more challenging than it looks. Most people don’t believe they need to rely on scheduling tools to plan their meetings. However, they eventually discover that the planning tools are pretty helpful.

Why Should You Use a Meeting Scheduling Tool?

There are several advantages that come from using meeting scheduling tools to plan your meetings. Let’s take a look!

  1. Saves Time

Meeting scheduling tools help you design a booking system that saves you time and effort. When using a meeting scheduling tool, you can cut out all the emails that go back and forth before and after meetings. Here are some examples of messages that a scheduling tool can handle:

  • Confirmations
  • Cancellations
  • Reminders
  • Follow-up

Some tools also make it easy to include a booking form with questions that can be used to gather information from attendees.

  1. Keeps You in Control of Your Availability

Meeting scheduling apps are a great way to track your bookings and appointments. Many of them also integrate with calendars you use. This creates an overview of events and calls you may have previously scheduled. You won’t have to be concerned about forgetting calls or missing out on great business opportunities.

On the other hand, the integration of meeting scheduling apps with your calendar also allows you more control over your schedule. It also keeps you from overcrowding your schedule with back-to-back meetings, phone calls, and more.

To make your meeting scheduler work for you, set some boundaries and take control of your availability by using these features:

  • Preferred times
  • Buffer times
  • Meeting duration
  • Scheduling conditions
  1. Use Colour Coding for At-A-Glance Scheduling

Create a unique colour-coding system to help keep track of your schedule. Each item on the schedule can be assigned a different colour. Red can be used to show important client meetings. Yellow may represent long-term tasks such as planning or reporting. Blue can stand for time with family.

You can also use the colour codes to establish schedule priority, for at-a-glance ease!

  1. Set Alerts

Do you have trouble remembering meetings and other important things? If so, a calendar and scheduling app may not work well. In that case, set alarms in the scheduling software to remind you about that important upcoming meeting or appointment.

Setting alerts may help you to be on time and more productive, too!

  1. Strengthens Teamwork

Another reason to use meeting scheduling tools is to strengthen your teamwork. For instance, you can assign tasks to more than one person and include instructions that they collaborate together to complete it.

You’re managing a task and saying that team members should work together, communicate thoughts and ideas, and motivate one another. The result can be a team that’s stronger than ever. And they know how to work well together!

With a meeting scheduling tool, you can simplify your work and personal lives. Schedule the meeting once, set reminders, and you’re good to go. You may feel freer than you have in years, just from using a meeting scheduling tool!

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