One of the most common productivity suckers we hear about is scheduling appointments with students. It can be a major pain to go back and forth via email about what time would work best to meet. Luckily, there are quite a few free options out there to help you. Here are 3 tools you may wish to try.
For as long as we can remember, COLI employees would spent countless hours each week going back and forth with people via email about the best times to meet. We have been using 10to8 for a little over a month now and our work lives are forever changed. 10to8 is a free appointment management software that have built in automatic text reminders. Though there is a premium version, the free version is robust enough for all of our (and your) needs. It allows for up to 100 appointments a month. You get a link to a personal ‘Web page’ that contains all of your options for meeting (we recommend you add this link to your email signature so you can easily point to it in replies). You might offer options such as a ’30 min’ or ’60 min’, or ‘advising’ or ‘ PHI101 meeting about final paper’. These scheduling options are set for the same time frame each week, so you can block them off easily on your calendar. Individuals receive email and text (optional) meeting confirmations automatically. You always get the option of approving an appointment.
Calendy is another option for scheduling appointments. Like 10to8, Calendy also allows users to select a time within the blocked time that you have set. The significant limitation on the free, Basic account is that you can only schedule one kind of event, such as “meeting about paper”. However, if you are only looking to give people an option to schedule an appointment with you, then this tool will suffice. Like 10to8, you get a Web link people can use for easy scheduling. Check out this Chronicle article about using it to schedule appointments with students.