Update (4/28/2020): Assistant.to is no longer being supported. At this time, I do not know of another service that does what Assistant.to does (allowing you to offer up selected free times on your calendar to individual clients). Many services attach to your calendar. They provide a link you can give to clients. Clients use that link to reserve any available time. The service I use is You Can Book Me. They offer a free plan. I would also recommend looking at Calendly.
Update to the update (4/28/2020): With a little research, I found a replacement for Assistant.to. What I found is Boomerang Calendar. I’m pleasantly surprised to find some things I like about it even better than Assistant.to. Look for a blog post/podcast/YouTube coming up in May 2020 to tell you all about it.
Don’t you hate trying to schedule a meeting by email?
Here’s the typical exchange:
Jed: “Let’s get together. How’s Monday at 10:00 for you?”
Ned: “Nope, can’t do that. How’s Tuesday at 2:00?”
Jed: “Sorry, can’t do that. How about Wednesday at 8:00 or 2:00?”
Ned: “Wow, neither of those are good…”
It’s like playing a game of “Battleship” by email. Each person is trying for a “hit” on a calendar he can’t see. Finally, you unload the heavy artillery: “I’ve got Monday at 9:00, 10:30, and 2:00. Tuesday at 10:00 all the way through 2:00 are OK. Wednesday, I’m free from 8:00-10:00.” Three days later when the other person finally replies, the one time slot he picked has already been gobbled-up by something else.
And so it goes…back & forth, back & forth. There are some great tools to put a stop to “Email Battleship” and allow you to take control of your calendar. Today, we are going to explore a great one for scheduling one-on-one meetings.
After installation, when you create a new Gmail message, a large “A” appears in the lower-right corner:
Click the “A.” A calendar overlay appears, preventing you from double-booking yourself. Click and drag to highlight time slots you want to offer as possible meeting times. You can select as many different times over any three days as you wish.
Click the orange button to insert the available times into the email message. Everything you see in the image button is inserted automatically. Compose the remainder of your message and send.
Your recipient clicks on a time slot that works for him/her. The software checks to be sure that time is still available on your calendar. The recipient gets a colorful message across the entire screen as it checks your latest availability. The person then sees this message:
As the sender, you receive an email that the meeting has been scheduled:
Finally, the meeting is automatically inserted into your Google Calendar:
For those who schedule many one-on-one meetings, this free tool will make a big difference.
You’ve just put an end to “Email Battleship.”