First, my usual disclaimer for App Hacks: I do not receive compensation for writing these App Hacks, and I do not have any relationship with the companies that create them. I write these blogs to share hacks I have found useful.

One of my Vistage colleagues introduced this App to me recently, and the timing couldn’t be better. Same as you, these days, my meetings are primarily via Zoom. Calendly is ideal for this.  

Rather than the usual back and forth on availability, I simply send a link to my calendar, the recipient chooses a date and time they like, and Calendly does the rest. It sends me a notice that a meeting was scheduled, and then it automatically sends both of us a meeting invite, including a Zoom link. 

Unlike some of the other scheduling apps that give you access to the other person’s calendar, leaving it to you to search for an available time, Calendly presents a clean interface showing only availability, thereby making the selection process quick and easy. 

If you make use of the features offered, Calendly becomes more than a scheduling tool, it is also a self-management tool.  

Here are some of the features I like:

  • You can set up meeting time slots. The default is 15 min, 30 min, and 60 minutes, and you can add as many other slots as you want.
  • By using the time slots, you can decide how much time you want to allocate for a meeting and send only that time slot for scheduling; conversely, you can send all your time slots and allow the receiver to choose the length of the meeting.
  • You can block days and times and set buffers between meetings, e.g., no meetings on Fridays and 15 minutes between every appointment. 
  • You can set a limit on the number of meetings or meeting types you want to schedule in a day, e.g., no more than two 90-minute meetings or no more than five meetings total in a day. 
  • Perhaps you want to schedule a particular person this week. You can create a time slot just for them, make the link private, and send it only to them.

Sadly, Calendly doesn’t have built-in holidays, so you need to add these manually as “busy” times on your calendar. Additionally, it isn’t smart enough to allow for location-based travel time, so if you are scheduling this type of meeting, you must block travel times in your calendar before offering a Calendly link. Besides these two wish list items, I haven’t yet found anything else missing.

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