Currently, Google Calendar has a feature called Appointment Slots. Using this feature, you can set up a block of appointments on your calendar that other people can reserve. For example, you can set aside 2 hours that you’re available to meet with parents in 15-minute slots. Parents can then book one of the 15-minute slots at a time that works best for them.
It’s a great feature, BUT… the one big issue with appointment slots is that a Google Account is needed to use it. This was a limiting factor to it being useful to schools.
Google is going to fix this with their new Appointment Schedules feature, coming soon!
According to Google’s Workspace Updates blog:
The new appointment scheduling feature is suited for external use cases, allowing external users, including those without a Google account, to schedule meetings. Additionally, with automatic conflict detection with existing Calendar events, this feature helps reduce time spent finding and rescheduling appointments.
It sounds like this will be much easier for parents and guests to book time without needing a Google account. It brings Google Calendar more in line with other external booking tools like Calendly, which we currently use at Northern Buckeye.
Appointment Schedules started rolling out last week and should be available to all users by mid-April. If you’d like to get a head-start in learning more about this feature, check out this Google help article. It explains the differences between the current appointment slots and the new appointment schedules features and even provides some scenarios where you might want to stick with the old for now.
Check it out – happy scheduling!