Recently I caught up with an old friend and learned that both of us are using appointment scheduling software.
And coincidentally we are both using Appointlet, one of the many in the market.
It got us talking about why so few people are using such time-saving softwares.
Traditionally when you want to fix up an appointment with someone, you will jump into a game of ping pong on email or WhatsApp to find a slot that works for both.
If you throw in the waiting time, each set up would costs between 10 to 30 mins.
Let’s not even talk about meetings with more than two people.
That led me to put up a poll on LinkedIn asking people why they are still not using such software.
I must admit the poll question and choices are somewhat leading since I am unable to collect respondants who are already using these softwares.
That aside, at the date of this writing, a whopping 44% did not even know such software exists. The next larger lot of 26% did not know how to set it up.
22% actually prefer to do the email ping pong (seriously?) and 8% have secretary to do the scheduling for them.
Given what I do, I get to speak with and sell to many HR departments of different company sizes.
They range from 10 pax to 10,000 pax.
A lot more would be in the SME category, i.e. less than 200 pax.
And I don’t remember a SINGLE one of them sending me a calendar link when I want to fix up an appointment with them.
My point isn’t just about using such software but it is a broader inclination to take the harder path especially when it comes to low-value work.
This includes doing payroll on excel sheets, getting job applicants to fill up the hardcopy application form which requires someone to convert them into a digital copy, and many more.
And we wonder why many feel that HR departments are not necessary?
Look, I can understand if using software would mean paying for them. And these are budgets that HR may not have.
But when the software is free (Appointlet has a decent free version and you can use the free Google Form to replace the hardcopy application form), what other reasons are left?
I feel there are two key reasons:
One, the notion that mundane low-value admin work is always part of HR somewhat erase the curiosity gene in people to constantly find a better/easier way to do things.
Two, doing new things means embracing change and people don’t like changes
With iron rice bowls buried deep underground, the invasion of AI/automation at work (whether you like it or not) and the rise in the gig workforce, I don’t think people have a choice other than to constantly innovate just to sustain their own value proposition.
So before we get all hype up about the Future of Work, let’s take a step back to free more the margins and bandwidth in our lives to make room for them.
And it can begin by embracing and testing out these one-trick pony that are not just free and easy to use, but able to shave time off your busy schedules.
Today, we can start with appointment scheduling software and I will be running through how Appointlet works.
I don’t have the exact number but there are many appointment scheduling software available in the market.
Going by this article by Hubspot, you can be certain that there are at least 21 of them.
Some of them may be better than what I’m using now but I more or less stopped experimenting in this space since Appointlet can meet my needs.
To get started, head over to Appointlet homepage and hit the sign up button on the upper right.
From here you need to enter your first name, work email and a password.
The next page will be to name your page and event.
Appointlet has on-screen onboarding so it is quite hard to go wrong. At this step, you want to connect your calendars. For now, they can only connect with Google Calendar or Office 365.
The next step is to preview your booking page. A default one is already created but you can customize on the next step.
From then on, you can choose to create a new event or edit the existing one.
In the screenshot below, I am making edits to the 15 minutes intro. You can change the name, duration, add a description and even a picture to go with it.
Given that many meetings are done virtually, you may want to set that as the default option. Appointlet also allows integration with Zoo so any selected slots will auto-generate a Zoom ID and embed it into the calendar invite. (I will show you that setup later.
For simplicity, I would ignore the rest of the settings but you may wish to define the required notice (e.g. I don’t want a new one-hour meeting on the day itself) and define the downtime before and after meeting to cater for transition.
Hang in there, you are almost done.
The final second step is to define your schedule. This may be entire optional for some of you. Personally I don’t want to do meetings before 10am and after 5pm. So I define that in settings.
I also removed Friday as that is my admin day.
One key reason why I choose Appointlet is that the free version allows me to integrate with more than one calendars.
Besides my company Office 365, I also use my personal Gmail and I want to make sure there is no overbooking across calendars.
Save and you are done.
Now you just need to share the calendar link out to people you wish to meet with.
They can pick the slot and the both of you will get calendar invites straight into your calendar.
Here is a link to mine:
No more email ping pong and you get to save wasted time.
I hope this article will bring more awareness of such amazing tools that are available and dismiss all
excuses reasons for not knowing how to set it up.
If this article inspired you to give it a go, let me know how the experience is for you and whether it is as useful as I wrote.