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How to share your availability for any occasion

READ TIME: 7 MINUTES

Thad Thompson, June 10, 2022

Your meetings aren’t all the same and neither are the people you meet — your invitees. You might want to let some people schedule time with you whenever they want, while others only need to schedule just one meeting. And if you’re meeting with a group of people, you might want to let everyone vote on their preferred time before writing a meeting invitation.

That’s why Calendly offers different ways to share when you’re available. From evergreen Event Types to one-off meetings and Meeting Polls, Calendly’s scheduling automation gives you more flexibility to share your availability for any meeting need so you can make more effective connections. (If you already know about these options, jump down to our pro tips to learn about ways you can share them.)

 

Getting started: Your availability options in Calendly

Event Types: the most popular way to schedule meetings

The old way of booking meetings involved emailing back and forth — sometimes for days — trying to find a time that works for everyone.

Bob: Does 4:00 Pacific work for you?

Alice: No… I’m on Eastern time, so that’s 7:00 p.m. for me. What about 8:00 a.m. Eastern on Friday?

Bob: Sorry, I’m just waking up then. What about Monday at 9:00 a.m. Pacific?

Alice: I have an all-hands company meeting then…

What if you could share your availability — connected to your existing calendars — and allow someone to book a time with you? With one click, someone can find a time that works great for both of you. That’s the essence of scheduling automation tools. 

Event Types take the convenience of automated scheduling convenience a step further.

Multiple Event Types screenshot

You can create a perpetually available URL for sharing with others so they can book a meeting today, tomorrow, a month from now — whatever is most convenient. There’s no risk of getting double-booked, because Calendly checks your availability across every calendar connected to your account. Depending on your subscription, you can connect up to six calendars, including iCloud, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange

Related reading: More than a scheduling link: Get more out of Calendly with multiple Event Types

Calendly offers additional controls for how people access your availability. Using an Event Type’s advanced settings, you can:

  • limit the number of meetings you have per day 

  • block off time before an Event Type to prevent last-minute bookings

  • make an event secret, hiding it from your scheduling page so only people you’ve given the link to can book this Event Type

One-off meetings: Reserve special availability for VIPs

Event Types are great for organizing the meetings you normally have throughout the week. They let you make connections without disrupting your daily workflow.

But what about those times when a rare connection opportunity comes along? 

When you get the chance to meet with a VIP, you must be ready to make room in your calendar immediately. A one-off meeting link opens up your availability whenever you need it, so you can create exclusive or high-priority meetings outside of the standard Event Types on your scheduling page.

One-off meeting link animated GIF KB

Once you send a one-off meeting link to your invitee, Calendly reserves the time on your calendar so no one can schedule a conflicting appointment. This exclusive availability is great for quickly scheduling a meeting not covered in your Event Types, offering times outside your regular availability, and giving a VIP meeting higher priority over your existing meetings. All your invitee has to do is pick a time that works for them, and you’re ready to go.

Meeting Polls: Find the best meeting time for everyone in a group

One of the biggest scheduling headaches is trying to find a meeting time that’s convenient for everyone in a group. Factor in different time zones, and it’s a tedious and time-consuming process.

Fortunately, Calendly’s Meeting Polls feature makes quick work of finding the best time for groups of up to 40 people. Before scheduling a meeting, let your invitees vote on their preferred times. They see the proposed times in their own time zone, so there’s no risk of miscalculated time zone math. Once you surface the most popular time, you can book the meeting directly from the poll results — all within Calendly.

Meeting invitees share their preferences by selecting the times that work for them.

Best of all? Unlike other polling tools, there are no ads shown in Meeting Polls — and polls are free for all Calendly subscriptions.

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How to share your scheduling links

The quickest way to share your availability is to copy your Event Type link with a single click. Just click on the drop down-menu next to “Copy link”  and pick the option that works best for you. Once it’s added to your clipboard, you can paste it into your preferred communication tool.

If you have the Calendly for Chrome extension, you can access your scheduling tools with just a click — without ever leaving your browser.

 

Pro tips: When to use different Calendly links

Calendly offers the same flexibility for sharing scheduling links as it does for sharing your availability. Once you’re ready to invite someone to meet, use these tips to create a better booking experience for your invitee.

Standard Event Type links

To generate an evergreen scheduling link, just click “Copy link” on that Event Type. These links don’t expire, even when a meeting is booked. They work well for mass communications like marketing automation campaigns or embedding on your website. 

Check out these posts on link sharing best practices and sending a calendar invite for ideas on engaging messaging you can use when sharing your availability.

KB Share link to booking page

Add times to email

Let your invitees choose from several meeting time options directly from an email, regardless of the email provider you use. After selecting “Share,” use the “Add times to email” option to pick multiple time slots on up to seven days. 

Once you’ve made your selections, select “Copy times to clipboard” and then paste into an email. The meeting time options will appear as buttons, which your invitee can click to book the meeting. And if those times don’t work for their schedule, they can still follow an included “See all available times” link to find a more convenient time.

 

Single-use link

If you want to share your availability, but limit the number of times someone can meet with you, single-use links make it easy. For each Event Type, you can generate a unique link which expires after someone books time with you. Your invitee can’t access your scheduling page again unless you send them another scheduling link. The single-use link also prevents someone from sharing your link with others who could book meetings on your calendar without permission.

Once your friends know you work at Calendly, you get all the user feedback.

Single-use links work best when your invitee doesn’t need multiple appointments. These links are especially popular among customer support teams wanting to offer help quickly while maintaining boundaries. They’re also useful for recruiters scheduling interviews who want to make sure they don’t mix up candidate interviews.

Show why someone should meet with you

No matter which sharing method you choose, do more than just share a link. Sending your link by itself doesn’t give a good impression — or get good responses. Create a better, more engaging experience by clearly stating the value of meeting with you. All it takes is creating a message that’s more mindful of your invitee’s needs than your own. 

If you need help getting started, check out the tips and strategies in the Make scheduling human: the Calendly guide to etiquette e-book.

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What’s the best way to start sharing Calendly links?   

Try it out for yourself! Now that you know the ways to share when you’re available, you can start booking meetings with the option best suited to your workflow. Then you get to see the power of making stronger connections.

Ready to explore more Calendly features? Sign up for free today.

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Thad Thompson biography
Thad Thompson

Thad is a Content Marketing Manager at Calendly. When not sharing scheduling and productivity insights, you’ll find him hiking trails with his family or thumping a bass with a power pop band.

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