Whether you’re working at the office, fully remote, or in a hybrid work model – your calendar is likely (generously) peppered with meetings. Between one-on-one meetings, team meetings, and client or customer meetings, just the average professional sits through 25.6 meetings every week. The busiest professionals, with 15 or more meetings a week, attend an average of 39.3 meetings – a 37.9% increase since February 2020.
Unfortunately, juggling a jam-packed meeting calendar isn’t just a simple inconvenience for today's employees. The average burnout rate across industries sat at a shocking 60.2% rate as of October 2022 – in big part because employees report not having enough time for focused work on their tasks around everything else in their calendar.
With over half the standard workweek dedicated to collaboration, busy professionals are looking to optimize their meeting scheduling so they can spend less time writing back-and-forth emails, avoid meeting conflicts that derail their weekly plans, and unblock more hours for their actual task work.
In this blog post, we’re going to look at the top issues with scheduling tools, and share 4 effective automations to help you book appointments faster through a smarter meeting scheduler for Google Calendar in 2023.
What is a meeting scheduler?
If you feel like all you do is sit in meetings these days, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Meetings have increased a shocking 69.7% across the board since February 2020! Top that with heavier task loads, more responsibilities compounded by waves of The Great Resignation, and now mass layoffs – it’s no surprise that 78.7% of professionals are regularly stressed because they don’t have enough time to get it all done every week.
In an effort to create more productive hours in the week, teams are looking for ways to automate routine processes that eat up precious minutes. And what better place to start than by streamlining the meeting scheduling process that already takes up so much valuable time every week?
If you’re unfamiliar, you might be wondering, what exactly is a meeting scheduler? A meeting scheduler app helps people instantly find time to meet around the availability on your calendar. In combination with your calendar app, like Google Calendar, the right meeting scheduling software can plan around your existing calendar events and make booking appointments easier and faster than ever – even across two, or more, busy calendars. All without the inefficient (often downright frustrating) back-and-forth communication traditionally involved in the process.
There are many productivity-boosting benefits to optimizing your meeting management with a scheduling app for Google Calendar.
7 top benefits of a meeting scheduling app:
- Cut down back-and-forth communication finding a time to meet.
- Instantly schedule meetings directly in your calendar.
- Avoid double-booking by sharing your true availability.
- Empower meeting organizers with custom scheduling preferences.
- Improve experience for invitees with quick and easy scheduling.
- Better plan capacity around other scheduled commitments.
- Improve productivity by managing when you’re available to meet.
- Automatically add breaks to avoid back-to-back meetings.
The most popular type of meeting scheduler is a shareable 'meeting links' that allow people to book time directly on your calendar through a custom URL. Other advanced features of meeting scheduling links can include automatic rescheduling, task management capabilities, multiple calendar sync, automatic reminders, video-conferencing links, and automated email follow-ups after a meeting.
In fact, the average professional already uses scheduling links 7.1 times a week, and over 96.4% of scheduling link users leverage them at least once a week to book meetings. But while there are dozens of availability calendars and scheduling link apps on the market that promise less hassle for Google Calendar users, even the most popular options come with complications.
Common issues with meeting scheduler apps
In order to learn more about what people really want from a meeting scheduler, Reclaim.ai surveyed over 800 busy professionals on both how they’re using scheduling links and what they’d like to improve – unearthing these major issues in the stats below.
Top issues with meeting scheduling links:
- 60.5% report issues being able to prioritize booking more important meetings over others.
- 57.8% report issues with flexibility of links like offering options for duration length.
- 54.6% report issues with availability regarding actually open time slots on their calendar.
- 53.0% report issues rescheduling & canceling meetings via scheduling links.
- 52.7% report issues with ease of use for existing apps on the market.
- 52.3% report issues with etiquette of not wanting to come off as rude or impersonal.
The top issues highlighted by the report show that meeting scheduling tools users want more control to prioritize their meetings and availability, and the ability to offer more flexible options during the booking process.
So how do you reap the productivity benefits from a meeting scheduler, and address these valid issues to optimize for everyone involved?
4 solutions for better meeting scheduling
Unfortunately, meeting scheduling isn’t as simple as just booking a time in the first opening on your calendar. The best meeting scheduler should consider your individual priorities and offer real flexibility for yourself and your invitees
This is where Reclaim Scheduling Links come in. Specifically developed around user pain points – this free Scheduling Link tool for Google Calendar helps busy people schedule meetings faster by creating more availability around your existing schedule and priorities. Let’s take a look at how Reclaim’s meeting scheduler is changing the game for Google Calendar users.
1. Share high-priority meeting links
Ever send (or receive) a scheduling link hoping to book a meeting this week, only to find there actually aren’t any openings this entire month? The reality is, 32.7% of scheduling links do not show enough availability and result in major meeting delays, which leads to 33.7% of people manually deleting events to create more availability for their scheduling links.
When it comes to your most important meetings, you’re probably willing to adjust your schedule to accommodate - for example, moving your lunch break back an hour to make time for a high-value customer meeting. Unfortunately, no other scheduling link app knows that. So once again you’re kicking off another email chain to find time to connect, while manually rearranging Google Calendar to make the space you need.
With Reclaim Scheduling Links, you can share high-priority links that offer up more free time for the important meetings that need to be scheduled sooner. High-priority links work by showing the other smart events on your calendar as free and available time to schedulers (like Tasks, Habits, Smart 1:1s, and Decompression Time). And when the high-priority meeting schedules over something else, Reclaim automatically moves that event to the next best time in Google Calendar so you can stay on track with your priorities. No manual maneuvering required!
2. Offer flexible meeting durations
When it comes to good meeting scheduling etiquette, offering flexibility to invitees shows that you value their time and are making them a priority in your schedule. But this can be difficult when choosing whether to offer a 15-minute, 30-minute, or 45-minute scheduling link. Making assumptions about how much time someone needs with you, or sharing a link without enough openings certainly doesn’t make the best impression.
No one wants to make an invitee feel like they need to ‘get in line’ to meet with you, or that your busy calendar is more important than theirs. But Reclaim’s flexible meeting links support up to three different duration options to open more opportunities to connect. This shifts more power to your invitee, allowing them to choose how much time they actually need and whether they’re willing to flex on time to schedule sooner – for example, selecting a 30-minute slot this week vs. a 45-minute slot next week.
3. Find the best time across multiple calendars
Scheduling meetings across two busy calendars is hard enough. What happens when you’re trying to connect for a team meeting, or co-organize meetings with another person? A meeting scheduler that facilitates finding the best time across multiple schedules can unblock the serious time-sink of manually coordinating calendars, and avoid the sacrifice one attendee usually makes to accommodate the group. Reclaim facilitates collaborative meeting workflows in a couple ways.
You can create Link Groups to share custom scheduling pages with a specific selection of meeting links to book the right meetings faster - for example, a page with meeting links for just your engineering team, or just your sales team.
For the meetings involving multiple attendees, Team Links allow you to instantly get a meeting on the calendar for your whole team so you can always find the best time for everyone to connect. Just add your team members, and let Reclaim automatically find the best opening across everyone’s availability, meeting preferences, time zones, and work hours – so you can focus on planning a productive meeting vs. just getting it on the books. Team Links can be added to your main booking page or in specific Link Groups.
4. Schedule meetings around your priorities & preferences
The biggest thing that sets Reclaim Scheduling Links apart from other meeting schedulers is that it doesn't just look for open time on your calendar, but actually understands your priorities to align your meetings with your goals. By optimizing your meeting scheduling without compromising your other commitments, Reclaim allows you to build the perfect daily plan around the things that matter most.
And all this magic happens through smart events. Instead of jamming up your Google Calendar with fixed time slots, you’re able to transform your schedule into smart events that can dynamically change around your priorities. So instead of manually scheduling time blocks every week, you can integrate your project management app to book task work, create smart recurring events for shiftable events like lunch, automatically schedule buffer time after meetings, sync and defend time across multiple calendars, even automate your 1:1 meetings to find the best time for both attendees.
Because Reclaim is already finding the best time for your Tasks, Habits, 1:1 meetings, and Breaks in your calendar – it’s uniquely positioned to now manage your meeting scheduling around these other commitments, like your own personal assistant.
How to set up Reclaim Scheduling Links for Google Calendar
Here’s a closer look at how to create and customize your new Scheduling Link for Google Calendar:
- Sign up and connect Google Calendar to Reclaim.
- Get started with Scheduling Links in the Reclaim app to set up your booking page.
- Create a new Scheduling Link, or start with one of the three premade templates.
- Customize your individual Scheduling Link titles, URLs, and descriptions for invitees.
- Set preferences for attendees, duration options, scheduling hours, time range, priority level, video-conferencing links or meeting location, icons, and visibility.
- Set up a Link Group for a booking page with a collection of specific meeting links.
- Copy and share your unique Scheduling Link URLs to automatically get meetings booked right to Google Calendar!
- PRO TIP: Install the free add-on for Google Calendar and Gmail to easily manage, share, and create your meeting links via email.
Now invitees can choose both the type of meeting and select a time right from your Scheduling Page. But what many people love most is that ‘preferred times’ are highlighted with a green dot, gently encouraging invitees to book a time that aligns with your daily plan. For maximum control, you can also share a specific meeting Scheduling Link URL for your invitees to book through.
It’s also super easy to reschedule or cancel meetings right in Google Calendar so if something comes up, you can find another time without a single email exchange. Scheduling Links also work with non-Reclaim users, but will not show overlapping availability across calendars on Scheduling Links booking pages. You can learn more about the feature in our overview help doc here.
Smarter Scheduling Links for smarter meetings 🤝
With the average professional managing over 25 meetings every week – optimizing the booking process with scheduling links is a great way to unblock the back-and-forth expense of finding a time to connect.
Reclaim Scheduling Links deliver even more capability to the market with better prioritization and maximum flexibility for both meeting organizers and invitees. Get started booking smarter meetings in Google Calendar around your ever-changing schedule to see the difference for yourself. Now available to everyone in public beta – we can’t wait to hear what you think of the feature. Ready to try it out? Create a Scheduling Link here.
Questions? Feedback? Tweet us @reclaimai to get in on the conversation. We love hearing from you! 👋
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