Anyone who has ever tried to coordinate a meeting knows how challenging trying to find an agreeable time and date can be. Services like Doodle and Tungle.me have emerged to help resolve this challenge, and are great solutions for scheduling everything from meetings to happy hours between two or more people without an annoying email chain to decide a date. Realizing this real problem, Google is introducing appointment slots right in Google Calendar.
With appointment slots, an individual or business can manage their appointment availability online, 24/7, by creating appointment slots that other Google users can book. If you’re a user of Google Calendar, you can start setting up your appointment availability by clicking anywhere on the calendar and then on Appointment slots. Then, you can create a single block of time or split of a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots. To share your available appointments so that others can sign up for an appointment slot, just find the URL for your unique personal appointments sign up page at the top of the setup page for each appointment, which is accessible via the edit details link for each timeslot.
If you want to sign up for someone else’s appointment slot, just visit their appointment sign up page. Your calendar will be displayed on top of their appointment page, so you can see when you’re available, too. then, just sign up for an appointment and a shared event will be created for both of you and each of your Google calendars. This means, of course, that the person making the appointment also has to be using Google to book an appointment, which means services like Doodle and Tungle.me aren’t quite threatened — yet.
If you don’t see this feature yet, sit tight. Google is rolling out the feature to all Google Calendar users within the next few days. If you do see this new feature, let us know what you think about it. Will you use appointment slots in Google Calendar to start managing your availability?