This guide explains how to set your availability and customize scheduling options for a specific appointment type. The numbered steps below will help you navigate to the Availability Page of your desired appointment type.
If you're already on the Availability Page, ignore these steps and start at the blue bullet point belowface
- Log into your account on AppointmentThing.com
- Click 'My appointments' at the top of the home page
- Click the 'Appointment Types' link in the menu on the left side of the page to navigate to your Appointment Types Page
- From here, click the blue 'Edit' link on the white tile of the appointment type you want to set your availability for. This will take you to the Details Page for that appointment type
- Click the 'Availability' link in the menu on the left side of the page to navigate to the Availability Page for that appointment type
The Availability Page is where you let AppointmentThing know when you'd like to offer appointments of this type. Once you've entered when you're available and used a few simple rules to define things like 'appointment length' and 'time zone', AppointmentThing will automatically generate appointment slots that fit these requirements that you can then share with your users.
The Availability Editor makes it quick and easy for you to define when you're available for a specific appointment type. AppointmentThing will only generate appointment slots during hours you define as "available" using this tool.
For example, if you work from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Mondays, but only want to offer appointments of this type from 10:00am to 3:00pm, simply set your availability for Mondays to 10:00am to 3:00pm, and AppointmentThing will only generate appointment slots during that time range.
- To edit your availability for a specific day, click on that day in the Availability Editor. Notice that when you hover your mouse over a specific day, a blue border will appear around that day with a blue pencil icon in the center of the square.
- When you click on a day, a simple drag-and-drop editor will appear. The blue section(s) show blocks of time when you are available to take appointments. Customize these to define your availability.
- To change when a blue availability section starts and ends, drag the top and bottom edges of the blue section up or down
- To move an entire blue availability section, hover over it, click and hold with your mouse, then drag it up or down
- To add additional blue availability sections, click, hold and drag anywhere on the white space of the editor
- To remove a blue availability section, hover over it and click the trash can icon that appears in the upper right corner
Note: It often makes sense to use multiple availability sections during one day . For instance, if you take a lunch break from 11:30am to 12:30pm, use an availability section for the morning that ends at 11:30am, then a section section for the afternoon that starts at 12:30pm, as shown in the image above.
- When you've finished defining your availability for this date, click the blue 'Apply to...' button on the bottom of the drag-and-drop editor shown in the image above. This will open the screen shown in the image below. Here you can use simple rules to apply the availability you've just set for this date to either only this date or to other days in the future.
Note: If you apply your availability for this date to other days of the week using the blue day circles at the bottom of the popup, the "Apply to other days" option will automatically be selected. All days of the week selected in this way will have this date's availability going forward until this appointment type can no longer be scheduled or until you edit your availability for those days in the future
- When you've finished with this page, click the blue 'Apply' button to apply the availability and settings you've chosen, or the white "Back" button to return to the drag-and-drop editor. Whenever you make availability changes for one or multiple dates, be sure to save your changes using the blue 'Apply to...' and 'Apply' buttons or else your changes will not be saved.
- To set your availability as unavailable for an entire day, either delete all the blue availability sections for that date or simply click the white "Unavailable" checkbox at the bottom left corner of the drag-and-drop editor. For both methods, be sure to apply your changes to that date or they won't be saved.
AppointmentThing automatically generates appointment time slots during the times you're available, which you defined in the steps above.
To accurately generate appointment slots during these times you're available, however, it uses your preferences in the settings below to calculate exactly when and for how long each appointment slot should be offered.
- Meeting length
This is the duration of this appointment type. You can use one of the pre-set options or customize the exact length. Remember, if you'd like to offer your contacts multiple appointment lengths to choose from, you can simply create another appointment type with a different length and offer your contacts both options to choose from.
- When can this meeting be scheduled?
Use this to set how far into the future, or between which dates, your users can schedule an appointment of this type.
- Over a period of rolling days: use this setting to offer appointment time slots for this appointment type indefinitely but to prevent your users from booking appointments with you farther than X days in advance. For instance, if you're always offering appointments but you don't want your contacts to book appointments with you farther than 2 weeks in advance, use this setting and set the number of days to '14'.
- Over a date range: use this setting to offer appointment time slots for this appointment type within a specific date range. Your contacts will only be able to book this type of appointment with you within the defined date range. Once the end of the date range is past, this appointment type will no longer be available to your contacts to sign up for.
- Be sure to click the blue 'Apply' button to save your changes.
Use buffers to set aside time you need before or after appointments, for instance if you need to prepare or travel between appointments. If you define a 5-minute buffer before this appointment type, AppointmentThing will ensure you have 5 minutes without anything scheduled before each appointment of this type. This means it will not generate another appointment slot of any type that falls within this buffer period, nor will it generate an appointment slot of this type that starts within 5 minutes of an event it detects your calendar (this last functionality only works if your calendar is connected to AppointmentThing. If it isn't yet, connect it now.)
- How long before a meeting starts can it be booked?
Use this setting to prevent your contacts from scheduling an appointment of this type with you X minutes before the appointment start time. That way you won't be caught unawares by someone scheduling an appointment of this type with you at the last minute.
- Adjusting time slot frequency
Use this setting to adjust how frequently AppointmentThing generates available appointment slots for this appointment type. For example, if the length of this appointment type is 15 minutes, listed below are your options for how frequently you'd like this appointment type to be offered:
- Every 10 minutes = 6 appointments offered per hour with their start times 10 minutes apart. Because the appointment length is 5 minutes longer than the time slot frequency in this case, once one of these appointments is scheduled, the appointment immediately following it will also be made unavailable, since its time slot would overlap with the now-scheduled preceding appointment.
- Every 15 minutes = 4 appointments offered per hour with their start times 15 minutes apart
- Every 30 minutes = 2 appointments offered per hour with their start times 30 minutes apart
- Every hour = 1 appointment per hour with the start time between each appointment 1 hour apart
Note: the actual appointment time slots that are generated may not exactly match the example above, since AppointmentThing also factors in your other settings such as buffer periods before or after appointments.
- Setting time zone
Use this setting to define the time zone for your meeting. This is the time zone that you, the host, will be in at the time of the meeting. On your booking page, AppointmentThing will detect the location of your contact and present your available appointment time slots to them in their own time zone. This makes it easier for your contacts to check their own schedules and only book an appointment time slot with you that actually works for them.
- When your availability details are how you want them, click the blue 'Save' button at the bottom of the page, then click the 'Questions' link in the menu on the left side of the page. This will take you to the next step of the Appointment Editing Flow - the Questions Page - where you can customize questions to ask your contacts during the Appointment Booking Process.
Next Article: Customizing invitee questions