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Scheduling etiquette

Scheduling etiquette

How to share your availability for any occasion

READ TIME: 8 MINUTES

Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson
Jun 10, 2022

How to share your availability hero - blog - OG

Your meetings aren’t all the same and neither are the people you meet — your invitees. You might want to let some people schedule time with you whenever they want, while others only need to schedule just one meeting. And if you’re meeting with a group of people, you might want to let everyone vote on their preferred time before writing a meeting invitation.

That’s why Calendly offers different ways to share when you’re available. From evergreen Event Types to one-off meetings and Meeting Polls, Calendly’s scheduling automation gives you more flexibility to share your availability for any meeting need so you can make more effective connections.

Getting started: Your availability options in Calendly

The old way of booking meetings involved emailing back and forth — sometimes for days — trying to find a time that works for everyone.

Bob: Does 4:00 Pacific work for you?

Alice: No… I’m on Eastern time, so that’s 7:00 p.m. for me. What about 8:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday?

Bob: Sorry, I’m just waking up then. What about Monday at 9:00 a.m. Pacific?

Alice: I have an all-hands company meeting then…

What if you could share your availability — connected to your existing calendars — and allow someone to book a time with you? With one click, someone can find a time that works great for both of you. That’s the essence of scheduling automation tools. 

Event Types take the convenience of automated scheduling convenience a step further.

GIF showing a user creating a new Event Type from their Calendly home page. The user clicks Create, selects One-on-One, enters the Event Type name, and can instantly preview the Event Type.
Think of an Event Type as a template for a meeting that you’ll schedule regularly, like a sales demo, customer call, or office hours.

You can create a perpetually available URL for sharing with others so they can book a meeting today, tomorrow, a month from now — whatever is most convenient. There’s no risk of getting double-booked, because Calendly checks your availability across every calendar connected to your account. Depending on your subscription, you can connect up to six calendars, including iCloud, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange

Calendly offers additional controls for how people access your availability. Using an Event Type’s advanced settings, you can:

  • limit the number of meetings you have per day 

  • block off time before an Event Type to prevent last-minute bookings

  • make an event secret, hiding it from your scheduling page so only people you’ve given the link to can book this Event Type

One-off meetings: Reserve special availability for VIPs

Event Types are great for organizing the meetings you normally have throughout the week. They let you make connections without disrupting your daily workflow.

But what about those times when a rare connection opportunity comes along? 

When you get the chance to meet with a VIP, you must be ready to make room in your calendar immediately. A one-off meeting link opens up your availability whenever you need it, so you can create exclusive or high-priority meetings outside of the standard Event Types on your scheduling page.

Screenshot of the Create dropdown in Calendly. One-off meeting is selected.
One-off meetings make it easy to book special meetings outside of your normal working hours.

Once you send a one-off meeting link to your invitee, Calendly reserves the time on your calendar so no one can schedule a conflicting appointment. This exclusive availability is great for quickly scheduling a meeting not covered in your Event Types, offering times outside your regular availability, and giving a VIP meeting higher priority over your existing meetings. All your invitee has to do is pick a time that works for them, and you’re ready to go.

Meeting Polls: Find the best meeting time for everyone in a group

One of the biggest scheduling headaches is trying to find a meeting time that’s convenient for everyone in a group. Factor in different time zones, and it’s a tedious and time-consuming process.

Fortunately, Calendly’s Meeting Polls feature makes quick work of finding the best time for groups of up to 40 people. Before scheduling a meeting, let your invitees vote on their preferred times. They see the proposed times in their own time zone, so there’s no risk of miscalculated time zone math. Once you surface the most popular time, you can book the meeting directly from the poll results — all within Calendly.

Screenshot showing results for a Calendly Meeting Poll. The meeting times invitees have voted for are highlighted in blue and show how many invitees have voted for that time.
Meeting Polls lets invitees select the times that work for them.

Best of all? Unlike other polling tools, there are no ads shown in Meeting Polls — and polls are free for all Calendly subscriptions.

For a deeper dive into setting your availability in Calendly, check out this blog post.

The quickest way to share your availability is to copy your Event Type link with a single click. Just click on the drop down-menu next to “Copy link”  and pick the option that works best for you. Once it’s added to your clipboard, you can paste it into your preferred communication tool.

If you have the Calendly for Chrome extension, you can access your scheduling tools with just a click — without ever leaving your browser.

Calendly offers the same flexibility for sharing scheduling links as it does for sharing your availability. Once you’re ready to invite someone to meet, use these tips to create a better booking experience for your invitee.

To generate an evergreen scheduling link, just click “Copy link” on that Event Type. These links don’t expire, even when a meeting is booked. They work well for mass communications like marketing automation campaigns or embedding on your website. 

Check out these posts on link sharing best practices and sending a calendar invite for ideas on engaging messaging you can use when sharing your availability.

On your booking page, hit "copy link" to grab the scheduling link for a particular event type.

Add times to email

Let your invitees choose from several meeting time options directly from an email, regardless of the email provider you use. You can add availability to an email with Calendly’s browser extensions or Outlook add-in, or from your Calendly homepage.

Here’s how to copy and paste available times into an email from your Calendly homepage:

  1. Go to your Calendly homepage.

  2. Click the Share button on the relevant event.

  3. Select “Add times to email.” A calendar will display based on your selected Event Type’s availability.

  4. Select a day and times to include.

  5. Click "Continue."

Screenshot of "Add times to email" screen, showing available times with four time slots selected.
You can choose time slots on up to seven dates to include in your email.

If the times you listed don’t work for their schedule, recipients can still follow an included “See all available times” link to find a more convenient time.

If you want to share your availability, but limit the number of times someone can meet with you, single-use links make it easy. For each Event Type, you can generate a unique link which expires after someone books time with you. Your invitee can’t access your scheduling page again unless you send them another scheduling link. The single-use link also prevents someone from sharing your link with others who could book meetings on your calendar without permission.

Text exchange: "I interviewed somebody for a job 4 months ago and I gave them my link but I don’t remember giving it to them. And they just used my link to set up a call with me without reaching out first." "Hahaha. Gotta use the one-time link feature!"
Once your friends know you work at Calendly, you get all the user feedback.

Here’s how to create a single-use link:

  1. On your Calendly homepage, find the Event Type that you want to share.

  2. At the bottom right of the event tile, select Share.

  3. Select “Let this link expire after the first booking.”

Screenshot of the share screen for a Calendly Event Type. "Let this link expire after the first booking" is toggled on.
Single-use links work best when your invitee doesn’t need multiple appointments.

Single-use links are especially popular among customer support teams wanting to offer help quickly while maintaining boundaries. They’re also useful for recruiters scheduling interviews who want to make sure they don’t mix up candidate interviews. Single-use links expire after 90 days.

Customize Once and Share

Sometimes it makes sense to change just one or two meeting details before sharing a scheduling link (versus clogging up your Calendly account with Event Types you’ll never use again). 

For example, you can customize for temporary time zone differences. A sales rep only offers sales demos between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. so they can do school pickup — but they’re making an exception for an exciting prospect. The prospect is based in Beijing and the rep is in Chicago, so the rep’s usual hours won’t work for him. The solution? Use Customize Once and Share to update availability for the event before sharing the link.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Navigate to your Calendly homepage.

  2. Click on the Share button from one of your existing event types.

  3. Click on the Customize and Share button in the bottom-right of the pop-up.

  4. Customize the event details (event name, duration, location, date range, schedule, and/or date overrides)

  5. Once you click Share Link, your changes will save and you can send the link to your invitee.

Customize-once-and-share-option-screenshot-2023
Calendly's Customize Once and Share option lets you make one-time changes to a meeting without having to create a whole new Event Type.

Show why someone should meet with you

No matter which sharing method you choose, do more than just share a link. Sending your link by itself doesn’t give a good impression — or get good responses. Create a better, more engaging experience by clearly stating the value of meeting with you. All it takes is creating a message that’s more mindful of your invitee’s needs than your own. 

If you need help getting started, check out the tips and strategies in the Make scheduling human: the Calendly guide to etiquette e-book.

E-book: Scheduling etiquette

E-book: Scheduling etiquette

Are scheduling links rude? Depends on how you share them! Download this e-book for advice on sharing your calendar link politely.

What’s the best way to start sharing Calendly links?   

Try it out for yourself! Now that you know the ways to share your availability, you can spend less time on manual scheduling tasks — and more time for the meetings that matter.

Get started with Calendly

Ready to make scheduling easier than ever?
Thad Thompson

Thad Thompson

Thad is a former Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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