Work days can be relatively busy and hectic compared to those of previous generations. For instance, since everyone is easily connected, it’s become more straightforward to set up meetings, take business calls, and have your clients reach you virtually any time.
For starting businesses and entrepreneurs, it can be confusing trying to organize your free time slots and schedule meetings. And with lots of calendar organizing software, you can fall victim to scheduling conflicts, such as double bookings, or miss a meeting since you entered it on Google Calendar and not your phone calendar.
Luckily, Calendly understands how frustrating it can be to get your schedule and scheduling platform in order. So keep reading to learn how to organize your time slots, set up new meetings, and get your booking page in order with this software.
How to Use Calendly – In a Nutshell
After you’ve set up your Calendly account, you’ll choose your event type and the days and time range when people can book a time slot. And depending on the event type you choose, you can set up a custom meeting link.
You can also determine the method of contact for your meeting, such as Zoom, Google Meet, or a phone call.
What Is Calendly?
Calendly is the ultimate tool for scheduling meetings and appointments. It gets rid of the unnecessary back-and-forth of email chains, messages, and phone calls needed to set up a suitable meeting time for all parties involved.
Through Calendly, you can share your calendar with your clients and applicants so that they choose the empty time slot, depending on your event type, that best suits them. And even if they don’t use this tool, they’ll still have complete access to your scheduling page to check your availability.
If your work requires you to deal with people from different time zones, Calendly has you covered. All the information about the schedule and open time slots is automatically adjusted to the user’s time zone for added convenience.
Calendly also connects to all your calendars to eliminate any chance of scheduling conflicts. For example, it connects to platforms like Google Calendar, Office 365 Calendar, and iCloud Calendar and syncs them, so you’re never double-booked.
Calendly’s Pricing Plans
Since the scheduling and communication needs of a small fitness coach will vary greatly from those of a marketing firm, Calendly offers five plans to choose from, depending on your budget and requirements.
For most non-commercial users, the Basic plan will be sufficient as their day-to-day scheduling page. And although it lacks some features, like the ability to sync multiple calendar platforms, it still allows you to do other things. You can create an event type, schedule unlimited meetings, brand your page, and create a custom Calendly link.
Also, this free plan allows you to send automated messages and notifications, such as reminders that a meeting will start soon.
You can also add Calendly to your website for free for the convenience of your clients. This increases engagement since you won’t have to redirect traffic elsewhere to set up meetings.
Furthermore, to actually set up and join the meeting, you can connect Calendly to tons of conference software, like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Slack.
You can also add your phone number as an option for the meeting and even choose whether you want to call the second party or have them call you.
Aside from the features of the Basic plan, additional features you’ll receive with this plan include the ability to link two other calendars up to your Calendly account and create an unlimited number of event types.
Also, instead of only having access to one-on-one meetings, the Essentials plan lets you have group meetings and events—an essential feature for many businesses with multi-dimensional operations.
You can send your invitees reminders and notifications of upcoming meetings, as well as send automated thank-you messages after the meeting has concluded.
And while the Basic plan provides the user with 24/7 email support and a help center, the Essentials plan gives you access to live chat support, which generally helps get any customer problem sorted out quickly.
The Professional plan builds upon the Essentials one. For starters, you can now connect Calendly with up to six external calendars, and this is the upper cap for all the plans moving on.
This is also the first plan that takes automation up a notch, as it allows you to automatically create custom notifications and reminders.
But perhaps one of the most valuable features in the Professional plan is the introduction of insights and analytics, which you can use to improve your workflow.
The Teams plan has the same core features as the Professional one, but it’s much more expansive in terms of cooperating with your team, hence the name.
With this plan, we see collaborative features like creating round-robin event types and updating event templates across the team’s workspace.
Apart from that, the only additional feature is the ability to integrate with Salesforce.
Enterprise is the ultimate Calendly plan. It features everything in Teams but adds more low-level collaborative features that can help you fine-tune your Calendly experience. This includes an audit log, employee onboarding via SCIM, and automated group segmentation.
You also get high-priority 24/7 email support, phone support, and a dedicated Calendly account partner.
The Sign-up Process
To get started, you first need an account. Go to the Calendly main page, enter your email in the box in the middle, then click “Sign up.” From there, go to your inbox to verify your email address.
Next, you’ll be asked about your personal details, such as your name and password, which you can fill in until you’re taken to the home page.
Setting up Your Profile for the First Time
Once you’re on the home page, it’s time to customize your profile. To do this, click on “Account” from the top-right corner and choose “Account settings.”
The first page you’ll see is your public profile. Here, you can set your name, profile picture, bio (welcome message), language, country, and more.
Customize your account
Once you’re done, we recommend you click on “My link” from the left menu to customize your Calendly link. By default, it uses your email address prefix, but you can change it.
How to Create Your First Event
You’ll already find default events in the Calendly dashboard. You can edit those by clicking on the event box or choosing “Edit” from the gear icon in the upper-right corner.
The two essential edits you need to make are the event description (“What event is this?”) and timing (“When can people book this event?”), both of which are at the top of the page.
- The first button lets you set the event name, location (i.e., Zoom, phone call, in-person, etc.), description/instructions, calendar invitation link, and color.
- The second button will take you to a scheduling page, where you can define when your invitees can schedule a meeting, event duration, availability, and a buffer time before or after the event.
At the bottom, you can click “Additional rules” to tinkle your event further or even make it a secret event.
Once you’re done with the event description and time, you’ll find additional options, such as:
- Invitee Questions: This helps you collect info from your invitees before the meeting.
- Workflows: Automate messages before or after the meeting.
- Notification and Cancellation Policy: Choose how to notify your invitees, and let them know about your cancellation policy (i.e., potential fees – this is not enforced by Calendly)
- Confirmation Page: Set the confirmation page your invitees will see.
- Collect Payments: If you’re collecting an entry fee, you can make this easier via this tab with PayPal or Stripe.
Previewing and Sharing Your Event
To preview your event (from the invitees’ perspective), simply click on “View live page” from the event editing tab.
Sharing is also very intuitive. From the events tab in your dashboard, you’ll find a “Share” button on the bottom-right corner of each event.
Once you click on “Share,” you’ll see three sharing methods:
- Via link: The old-fashioned way of copying the link and pasting it to your invitees.
- Add time slots: Give your invitees specific time slots to choose from and send via email.
- Website embedding: Lastly, you can embed the invite link to your website online as a pop-up or as a widget.
There you have it! Getting started on Calendly is smooth sailing, from signing up to customizing your public profile and creating your first Calendly event. This is mostly thanks to the software’s intuitive user interface, where you’ll find all the options you need within reach.
If you’d like to try it out risk-free, you can use the Basic plan for a bit before upgrading to one of the paid alternatives, which will gain you access to more expansive features to streamline your scheduling process.