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So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 06, 2014 09:36AM
I need to manage a small group, say 3-5 other people, 3 of which are within my company. I would need to know when they are available before approaching/scheduling with the client.

As you can imagine it's fairly informal but nevertheless requires a flutter of emails to confirm prior to sending out a calendar invite.

My side has Outlook on their Macs but I don't know if they know each other's schedules and suspect they do not. I only have Calendar on my Mac and would prefer not to have to use Outlook just for company email and calendar stuff. I know I can send invites through Calendar and they see/accept right away.

What's the sane method for doing this?
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 06, 2014 09:39AM
I guess what I'm imagining is to see a hole where everyone (on my side) is available and sending out the invite. They accept and that hole fills up on their calendar or on the shared company calendar and spits out a notification of some kind that says, "Hey, you've been scheduled for a meeting ..."

Sorry if this all incredibly basic but I've never had to set this stuff up before.
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: dmann
Date: October 06, 2014 09:40AM
One of my lines uses a public Google calendar for this. The email gives some dates and times options and we populate the calendar with our availability.

DM
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: Mike's Mac2
Date: October 06, 2014 09:59AM
I have used Doodle.com as the free option to get the date / time, then I use Outlook (our internal Exchange server) to schedule the meeting and send it to folks outside the organization. It helps most if you are several days out since you need people to see email, look at their calendar, and then clicking their available times, then you look at the best doable date / time. Good luck - it can be corralling cats, especially if folks do not have a great incentive to coming to the meeting!
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 06, 2014 10:00AM
OK.

It seems what I'd want here is for everyone to be able to remotely add availability to a central calendar, which would default to fully available until they have a personal appt. and then essentially go in and block that time as unavailable on the work thing.

Ugh, but that's gonna have issues too. I'm expecting too much there.

The email gives some dates and times options and we populate the calendar with our availability.

Can you walk me through an example of how "the email" works? Is it related to their business app, [support.google.com]
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 06, 2014 10:02AM
Quote
Mike's Mac2
I have used Doodle.com ...

Ooh I'll have to look at it again, thanks. Forgotten that one. Something about the free version looked unappealing.

Since they have Outlook maybe I should gravitate to that ...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2014 10:02AM by deckeda.
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: October 06, 2014 10:10AM
Do they have an Exchange Server? That will allow you to see busy/away information for all users. I believe that a OS X Server also has a calendaring app that might work too, but I haven't used that.



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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: October 06, 2014 10:45AM
Quote
ztirffritz
Do they have an Exchange Server? That will allow you to see busy/away information for all users.

This is exactly what you are asking for. If you don't do Exchange, or Google Calenars, or some sort of integrated calendaring system it will never work. You also need to get all the users to "buy in" and actually use the calendar to keep it accurate,



C(-)ris
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: dmann
Date: October 06, 2014 10:52AM
Quote
deckeda
OK.

It seems what I'd want here is for everyone to be able to remotely add availability to a central calendar, which would default to fully available until they have a personal appt. and then essentially go in and block that time as unavailable on the work thing.

Ugh, but that's gonna have issues too. I'm expecting too much there.

The email gives some dates and times options and we populate the calendar with our availability.

Can you walk me through an example of how "the email" works? Is it related to their business app, [support.google.com]

Honestly, I'm not sure how they set it up from their end. I'm the recipient, not the sender. I get an email with a calendar link attached. In the body of the email, they simply list the options as text:
Monday, October 6 at 2 or 4pm EDT
Thursday, October 9 at 9am
etc.

I then go to the calendar and add dmann at the time(s) I'm available. When they sort through the filled in calendar on their end, I get a confirmation email with the final schedule and an updated link.

DM
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: October 06, 2014 11:58AM
Another vote for doodle.
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Re: So ... scheduling meetings for others ... what are my options?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: October 06, 2014 03:15PM
Any sort of master calendaring system will work, as long as, as has been noted, everyone buys in, Several years ago I wrote some scheduling software that did that sort of thing, keeping individual calendars, and merging and comparing as needed, for both people and facilities at the same time. Again, everyone had to buy in, or have an assistant that took care of it. Today's publc and private resources are excellent, but all invoved still have to somehow connect with the master schedule keeper. I'm assuming there are voice activated alternatives now, but probably no viable thought activated ones yet. You simply have to know your users, and try to find the least intrusive option that everybody will play nice with. Good luck.
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