Google Calendar is one of the industry’s most popular scheduling and organizational tools. It’s flexible, intuitive and benefits from the excellent design interface and security seen with all Google products. Even better, Google Calendar regularly comes out with new features and functions.
A recent example of these is “Appointment Schedule,” a feature intended to help you schedule and attend meetings with even more regularity and peace of mind than before. However, this new feature launched without much fanfare, so you might have missed it or not know how to use it properly. Here’s what you need to know about this new function, including whether this or Appointment Slots is better for your workplace needs.
Google Calendar’s Appointment Slots
Google Calendar is no stranger to appointment and scheduling tools and functionalities. Even better, these tools are often very affordable. For example, in the summer of 2021, Calendar launched a new feature where internal users of the same domain could leverage the application collaboratively.
The tool, called Appointment Slots, allowed individuals to set up blocks of schedulable time for coworkers to freely choose and use for meetings without getting in each other’s way. It was a remarkable innovation and far superior to simply scheduling meetings with Google Calendar.
Like most of Google’s other tools, Appointment Slots is intuitive, easy to use and customizable based on meeting or schedule type. It includes features such as adding titles and descriptions to time blocks or repeating open time blocks as needed.
Despite their similarities, Appointment Slots and Appointment Schedule are distinct features.
Google Calendar Appointment Schedule
Google Calendar Appointment Schedule is a new functionality focused on booking external meetings. It lets individuals create professional-looking booking pages. Each page is specific to every individual user and their personal calendar. It updates as meetings are scheduled, then sends out automatic notifications through emails. In this way, Google Calendar further helps workers master their busy schedules, even if meetings are requested and booked outside internal domains/servers.
How to use Google Calendar Appointment scheduling
Google Calendar Appointment Schedule includes a wide variety of features, including:
- The ability to add buffer time in between meetings
- The ability to customize meeting times
- Title and description controls so you can differentiate meetings on your calendar
- Location controls so you can add locations to each meeting, etc.
To use Google Calendar Appointment Schedule:
- Open your Google Calendar account
- Click on the “Create” button on the left-hand side of your home page
- The button will create a drop-down list with many options, including Appointment Schedule
- Click “Open a Schedule” to make a new booking page
- At this point, you can select and customize different options, such as creating new meetings, organizing existing meetings, and more, including what time zone your meetings are displayed in (very helpful for distributed or remote teams!)
Google Calendar Appointment Scheduling is also excellent because you can easily export currently scheduled meetings or video calls already on your calendar. The software should do this automatically, but you can also manually take control and ensure everything imports properly.
Then you can use both Appointment Schedule and Appointment Slots in conjunction with one another for total control over your workplace meetings!
Which should you use: Google Calendar Appointment Schedule or Appointment Slots?
Although they seem similar, Appointment Schedule and Appointment Slots are intended for different needs.
Specifically, the Appointment Schedule feature is meant more for external meetings and organizations. In contrast, the Appointment Slots feature is made with internal scheduling and meetups in mind. It is designed so individuals on the same server or in the same organization can schedule time with one another easily and consistently.
For instance, Appointment Slots is best for professors who want to host office hours at the same time each week. Students can choose free appointment slots in open blocks, and the meeting is scheduled automatically. Since this is available via a browser, hypothetical students can easily access the controls.
Appointment Schedule, meanwhile, could be used in other instances. For example, a new client may wish to meet with a business to discuss their company’s sales pipeline and strategy. The business schedules a meeting using Appointment Schedule, modifying it as needed and adding a description, so they don’t forget the upcoming appointment and what it’s about.
Combined, both tools are excellent for streamlining your scheduling needs and ensuring that you make it to all of your meet-ups on time. Neither is better than the other; you should instead use them for their intended purposes. For the best results, try to use them in conjunction with one another as part of your broader Google Calendar account.
Is Appointment Schedule worthwhile?
That’s ultimately up to you. Google Calendar Appointment Schedule is an excellent tool if you already use Appointment Slots or other elements of Google Calendar. Bottom line: if you already like Google Calendar, Appointment Schedule is another tool for you to fall in love with and use regularly.
Appointment Schedule might not reinvent the wheel regarding scheduling software, but it is a worthwhile and welcome addition to the Google Calendar suite of organizational tools. It covers a blind spot that Appointment Slots previously left unattended, ensuring you’ll always have the information you need to schedule and attend meetings on time and with your materials ready to go. Since Appointment Schedule comes with the standard Google Calendar software, there’s no reason not to start using it and get used to its benefits immediately.