Google has completely redone its appointment scheduling tools to be far more flexible and usable for both you and those who want to make appointments with you. It has a number of features that make it more useful than the old Appointment Slots:
- Times when you have something else on your calendar will automatically be made unavailable for booking
- You can have multiple booking types
- You can automatically create and distribute Google Meet links for your bookings
- You can set how far in advance to allow bookings
Activating Appointment Schedule
For now, the setup for the calendar is still the old Appointment Slots tool. To turn on Appointment Schedule, open the settings menu by clicking the gear icon and choosing Settings.
Choose "Appointment schedules" from the menu at the left.
Check the box next to "Create appointment schedules instead of appointment slots." If this box is already checked, you're ready to create appointment schedules.
Setting up Appointment Schedules
You can set up appointment schedules one of two ways: regular recurring appointment times, or a one-off set of appointments.
One common use case for appointments is recurring appointments that happen on the same dates/times each week. You can easily set these up by choosing Appointment Schedule from the Create menu.
If you want one-time set of slots, you can click and drag on your calendar like you're creating a regular event, then select "Appointment schedule". Then, select either "Create a new appointment schedule to make a new set of appointments" or "Add availability to an existing schedule"
Either way, the Appointment Schedule window will pop out. You first need to give the appointment bookings a title and set how long they should be.
Next, set your schedule. It defaults to Monday thru Friday 9-5, but you can set whatever schedule you want.
If you have multiple blocks of time during the day (for instance, I take lunch at noon, so mine are 9-12 and 1-5), click the plus sign (). That will add a line that allows you to type in multiple blocks on a day.
To remove a time block, click the remove button ().
To copy the schedule to every day with availability, click the copy button next to the day you want to copy.
Next, set up when you want people to be able to book appointments with you by using the Scheduling Window menu.
In this menu, you can set whether the bookings start immediately and go forward with no end date by choosing "Available now". To only accept appointments during a limited date range, choose "Start and end dates" and pick dates.
"Maximum time in advance that an appointment can be booked" allows you to set the farthest-out appointment available. This is useful so that you can make sure people don't book appointments farther out than you can plan your schedule.
The reverse is "Minimum time before the appointment start that it can be booked." This setting prevents people from booking an appointment so close to the current time that you're unable to plan and prepare for the appointment.
If there's a specific date you want to change availability for, you can use the "Change a date's availability" link under Adjusted Availablility.
The "Booked appointment settings" menu allows you control over your workload on a given day.
"Buffer time" allows you to set a number of minutes between appointment slots to help you get ready for the next one. These buffers will be automatically added between the available slots.
"Maximum bookings per day" will only allow the specified number of appointments to be made during a particular day.
When you've got the date and time settings that you want, click Next.
Your "Booking page photo and name" is simply your Google name and picture. There isn't a way to change it, so you don't need to do anything with it.
Next, set a location for your meeting.
You can choose from the following:
- Google Meet video conferencing, which will generate a Meet link for all participants when an appointment is booked
- In-person meeting, which will allow you to specify a location like your office
- Phone call, which will allow the person making the appointment to enter their phone number
- None/to be specified later, which allows you to add a location to the calendar invitation (just like the old Appointment Slots)
You can set a description for your booking page to display to users using the Description fields. This will show up when they click on your booking link and in the e-mail that is sent after a booking is made.
Next, you can add questions to the form that users will fill out.
If you click "Add an item," you can add either add a phone number question, or ONE custom question.
You can also control whether Google sends an email reminder of the appointment.
Once you do that, click Save and your appointment page will be created. If you want different appointment lengths, locations or other settings, you can create multiple appointment links.
Distribute Booking Links
Once you have created the appointment links that you want, you need to distribute them. Click on any of the areas on your calendar created by the appointment scheduling form.
To view the booking page for just that appointment type, click the copy icon next to the "Open booking page" button.
If you want a unified page for all of your bookings, click on "See all your appointment schedules"
You'll see the page with all of the booking options. Copy the address at the top and distribute it to allow people to view all booking types.
Once you get the links, you can add them to your Scholar courses, personal website, or e-mail signature.
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