Scheduling Appointments in Google Calendar the Easy Way

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whenfreeJust wanted to announce a handy Google Gadget I created to help automate the task of scheduling appointments.

Install ‘When I’m Free’ Google Calendar Gadget

Background

I use Google Calendar and schedule appointments all the time with people who are outside my company and don’t use Google Calendar, so we can’t see each other’s calendars. That means I spend a lot of time looking at my calendar and suggesting available times to people.  I spend a few minutes looking over my calendar to prepare an email that includes something like this:

Would any of these times work for you?
– Tues 11/17 3:00 – 5:00 pm
– Wed 11/18 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
– Thurs 11/19 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

That looks simple, right?  Why do I need a tool to help do that?  Because I do this all the time, and every time it takes 3-5 minutes to scan my calendar and suggest times.  …AND, if I’m booking an appointment in a different time zone, I like to be nice and translate it to the other party’s local time zone, which takes another second or two.  …AND since I book a lot of appointments, my calendar is constantly changing, so and every time I want to suggest some available times, I have to go back and do it again.  I’m not one to enjoy repetitive tasks, so I looked for a solution.

I used Xobni for Outlook because it has a nice feature called “Schedule time with so and so” that will look at your calendar and automatically prepare an email to someone with suggestions for upcoming available times when you can meet.  But I couldn’t find anything like this for Google Calendar, hence this Gadget.

calendar_gadget_diagramWhat it Does

It’s a tool that can look at your calendar and create a list of available times that you can easily copy and paste into an email message.  All you do is install it, tell it how many days out you want appointments, the timezone, and how much buffer you want between your existing appointments (to avoid getting booked on back-to-back meetings) and you’ll have a list of times that you can easily copy-and-paste into email whenever you need it.

4 thoughts on “Scheduling Appointments in Google Calendar the Easy Way

  1. Chloe

    I love this idea and wish I had heard of it earlier! I actually use several calendars to schedule my day (class, work, personal, etc), and the gadget only takes into my main calendar into account. Is there a way to specify which calendars should be taken into consideration when scheduling meetings?

  2. Thanks man. This tool is genius. Lots of students are annoyed by my tight schedule and the complication.

    This makes things very easy for my assistant.

  3. Kevin McIsaac

    Great gadget. I live and work in Australia. Extending the TZ to other countries would make this useful for me.

  4. Beth

    This is great! Would suggest a feature that lets you say ‘I need X minutes for this meeting’ so the gadget can figure out how much time to look for. So helpful though!

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