Do you use Google Calendar? Do you feel like you spend unnecessary time setting up meetings with individual students or colleagues? If you answered “yes” to both questions, you might be interested in using an online scheduling service called Youcanbook.me.
You Can Book Me links up with your Google calendar and allows individuals to see which times you are available and schedule an appointment. The best part? Even the free version of the program offers a robust platform for customizing the service for your needs. A few highlights:
- You can set the minimum and maximum appointment length
- With a customizable ‘minimum notice’ setting, you won’t be surprised by a last minute meeting
- Upload your college or department’s logo, as well as change nearly every part of the appearance (including font, color, layout)
- Determine which days/times will be shown
- As soon as you put something on your calendar, that time immediately become unavailable to individuals using your You Can Book Me link
- Receive immediate notification when someone sets up an appointment
- Typically hold office hours? You Can Book Me can also be set up to only allow appointments during those times
I began using You Can Book Me this year to set up conduct meetings and have already saved an incredible amount of time. But the best part is that it’s allowed students to perceive me as accessible. I put the link to my You Can Book Me calendar in my email signature, as well as in a QR code on my office door. I’ve already had several students take the initiative to schedule conversations with me about a variety of topics.
When asked, all of the students who reached out to me in this way indicated that they enjoyed how easy it was. One student in particular told me “the fact you have the link in your email signature sends the message that you actually like talking with students”. This response was certainly amusing, but it also reminded me that as our students utilize technology more and more each year, it is important to engage them in ways that work for them.
Of course, streamlining my day is also a pleasant benefit.
If you’d like to learn more about You Can Book Me, or how I use the service, I’m happy to geek out with you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Twitter at @MikalResLife – or use my You Can Book Me site to schedule a phone meeting! You can find it at http://mikalkenfield.youcanbook.me/