I used to do that. I spent forever trying to find available time.
My email would be overloaded and often times the meetings wouldn’t happen because I’d forget to respond (or the other person would). The other problem that I had was that once I scheduled a phone call I’d be frantically checking through emails trying to figure out who should call who.
Those who know me know that I’m big on efficiency, and I love finding tools to help me save time and effort.
There are 2 tools that I use to schedule my life.
The first is DOODLE – a group meeting scheduler.
I use the free version of Doodle – it allows me to suggest a number of meeting times and people can simply add a checkmark if they are available. This saves FOREVER on group emails asking who is available when and then tallying it manually. With Doodle everyone can see all of the other responses as well.
I find myself frequently recommending this tool to people.
The second is ScheduleOnce – where people can automatically schedule time on my calendar.
This has saved my life in so many ways. Basically, I send people a link where they can automatically schedule time on my calendar (it syncs with my calendar availability). They can choose the length of the meeting and I can control what time on my calendar shows as available.
Now, when people want to book time with me I just send them a link.
No more “we can meet at these three times” back and forth. PLUS if the person booking the meeting wants to invite multiple people they’ll coordinate availability separately and then schedule the time. This means that I’m not at all involved in all of this coordinating.
When they schedule a time I set it up so that they automatically get conference call information (I use an open line with GoToMeeting, but you could use any conference call service where you can always re-use the same #). Now I don’t have to run around finding call-in information.
Plus if they need to reschedule or cancel they can also do that all automatically online.
Both of these tools save me hundreds of hours a year.