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I removed a lot of stress in my work life with one simple app

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Over the past few weeks, I noticed that my stress level had been ramping up. I wasn’t entirely certain why, because things were going well: I had been productive, I had been having lots of meetings, things had been going well.

But something clicked, as I was sending an email in response to an email in response to a whole chain of emails asking to set a meeting to talk about something. This was the issue.

Strangely, a lot of my stress comes from needing to find a way to set times to meet: you have to hold three different options, then none are available, and finally the meeting gets scheduled at a time where you have to re-arrange everything else. It’s horrifying, and inefficient.

So I found an app to help out, and I’ve honestly felt a lot less stressed about meetings as of late. Read on to hear about it.

First, I want to pretty clearly state that I’m not being compensated in any way to write this review of an awesome scheduling service I’m happy to use. No commission, no free time, no nothing.

Next – I want to introduce you to Calendly,  the service I’m now using to schedule my meetings – and meetings are a huge part of my life.

Here’s how it works:

  • You create a Calendly account. Super simple, and they even give you a trial period of the premium account to get started.
  • You connect a cloud-based calendar system. I use Google Calendar – actually, I use a number of Google Calendars – and connecting them to the system worked well.
  • You create an “event type” – Calendly comes pre-configured with 30 minute and 15 minute meeting types.
  • You get a link that you can send to the person you want to meet with. They can choose their favourite time and date and fill out a short form – and then boom, it’s on your calendar.

This is the screen that people get when they click through to your calendar:

calendly

It might seem a little bit terrifying to just hand control of your calendar over to someone else, but there are some cool tips and tricks you can use to make Calendly work:

  • You can specify timeframes in which events can occur based on your event type (ie, ‘office hours’ might be only Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 10:00am to 2:00pm)
  • You can limit the number of times an event can occur in one day (ie, “consultation scoping meeting”) might only take place only 1 time per day
  • You can program in buffer time between events (30mins is what I set) and specify when in the hour a meeting can start (ie, start on the :15, :30, and :00).

Calendly checks your calendars and finds the times in your calendar in which events can take place. If none are available, no spaces are listed as bookable.

You can do all kinds of other things, too, like make events hidden from your Calendly home page, as a way to ‘ladder’ engagement up through your process.

My simple take home

I’m not a big app reviewer, but this one has made my life so much easier that I felt that I needed to share! Instead of sending 15 emails back and forth, and holding 10 different Doodle options on my calendar only to have everything shift, sending my Calendly link out to someone who needs to make a meeting with me is so much easier.

Check it out. You’ll appreciate it too, I bet.

About Kevin Harding

Kevin Harding is a principal of the Incipe Cooperative, and is a volunteer board member of the Art for Impact Society. He has worked in the nonprofit, public, and cooperative sector for some time, and has a passion for working with coops, nonprofits, and advocacy groups that want to make a better world. A coop developer, he strongly believes that cooperatives can build a better world.

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