Scheduling apps are a cornerstone of modern work, especially with the explosion of online meetings and the trend towards remote work. It’s hard enough scheduling a meeting between two people with complicated users, much less getting a whole team involved. They make it quick and easy to set up a call, but some are a lot easier than others.
In this post we’re going to highlight Woven’s scheduling capabilities, as well as some of the best you can use to quickly and easily manage calls and meetings.
For fast, easy scheduling – Woven
Speaking of which, Woven has a robust scheduling tool, built to replace one of our favorite Sunrise features and add much more. Natural language scheduling was a game changer when Sunrise introduced it, and Woven has innovated on the concept to make it easier than ever to just hit “new event” and tell the app what you want to do.
Simply tell Woven who you need to meet with, where you want to meet, and a time and it’ll pick the best time for the meeting.
It also includes a number of other ways to set up meetings. You can create a one-off scheduling link to send to a contact to book a meeting based on your availability, say for a specific phone call. However, you can also set up a public scheduling link for something like sales calls, office hours, or just a standard meeting link for your email signature.
Woven also makes it easy to create templates for meetings you hold frequently so you don’t have to fill out all the same information every time you want to set it up. Some users set them up for the groups of participants they work with most often, like if they want to get the marketing team together, while others use them for things like a short introductory call, a sales template that includes information they need to know before their call with you, or an all-hands meeting that saves you from adding every participant over and over again.
You can even send a poll out to everyone you need to meet with to find the time that works best for everyone. In short, Woven’s like five different scheduling tools built right into your calendar. Download it at Woven.com
For a smart, automated scheduler – Skedpal
There’s nothing worse than going back and forth by email comparing schedules when you need to schedule a meeting, throwing out times that work for you and hoping there aren’t any conflicts, then having to shuffle your whole schedule around to accommodate important meetings.
Let’s face it: not everything on your calendar has the same importance, or urgency about when they get done. So what do you do when an important client wants to have a chat but the time they want to meet is already filled on your calendar with busy work?
Fortunately, Skedpal makes that a thing of the past. Skedpal automatically adjusts your schedule depending on the priority you set for each event, your preferred working schedule (for instance: do you prefer calls in the morning or afternoon,) and what new events get booked during the week.
That means when you send someone your Woven scheduling link and they book a meeting or call, Skedpal shows times that are currently full of low priority tasks as if you’re available, then automatically adjusts the rest of your work to fit it into your calendar.
That way you can automatically make time for the most important things in your work, without having to rearrange the whole calendar yourself or play musical chairs with multiple calendars.
Skedpal includes a built in to-do list to help lay out all the things you need to get done before you schedule them, but it integrates with a number of project management tools to pull your tasks directly from there. This way you can also schedule projects that are assigned to you by your team in Asana, for instance.
Skedpal pros include:
- Automatically scheduling your work week
- It takes into account your priorities for what work is most important in a given week, as well as your preferences for what day or part of the day you prefer to have meetings vs. deep work, email, etc.
- It has a 14 day trial so you can set it up and try it out for free
- It links up easily with Woven, giving you a powerhouse scheduling and calendar stack
Skedpal cons include:
- It can be a bit of a heavy lift initially to sync it with your calendar
- Since it’s job is to maximize how much you get done, it can fill your calendar up – fast!
- There’s a bit of a learning curve to teach it your priorities before it really gets humming
You can try it out at Skedpal.com
For scheduling around the world – EveryTimeZone
Let’s face it: our grandparents wouldn’t understand what most of us do for work. In fact, if yours were like mine, they might not think it’s “work” at all! The world has changed dramatically in the last few decades, and with the boom of knowledge workers and rise of remote work, a lot of us sit at a desk collaborating with people all over the world. Whether you’re working with support staff in the Philippines, developers in India, or just have colleagues scattered around the country, one thing is for sure – time zones are a pain in the butt.
For every advancement we make in remote work, there’s a new wrinkle, right? But luckily for us, someone thought up EveryTimeZone.
The free version of EveryTimeZone you see when you go to the website is simple – it’s just a list of different cities, displaying the current time there, with a tool that lets you add or remove cities depending on who you need to talk to. Then there’s a handy slider you can move to different times in your location to see what time it will be in your coworker’s locations. It’s simple, it’s intuitive, and it’s free!
But where things get really cool is the newly released EveryTimeZone Pro. It starts as little as $39 per year for up to three users and unlimited contacts but it’s a powerhouse. While other tools are focused on booking meetings with clients and prospects outside your organization, EveryTimeZone Pro has some amazing, unique features for booking internal meetings with your team.
The People Grid gives you a visual representation of everyone on your team, not just where they are in the world, but what timezone they’re in and their availability. For instance, let’s say you prefer to do deep work in the morning and take calls in the afternoon. That’s fine on a normal day, but what happens when your dev team in Eastern Europe needs to discuss something that has to happen on a call?
The tool will show when you’re normally available for calls using a color coded label, but also when you might be available for something really important. Your normal work hours will be green, but 7am-8am and 6-8pm might be yellow, indicating your open to it for something important, while 6am and 9-10pm might be orange, indicating you’re reachable but only for real emergencies.
The Time Buckets show that color-coded availability for everyone on your staff so you can see when a call would be acceptable, at a minimum, for as many of you as possible.
If you don’t want to do that all on your own, though, ETZ’s Design a Meeting tool can offer you the best time instead. Select the day that you’d like to talk, and the participants you’d like to be on the call, and Design a Meeting will suggest the time that works best for the most people.
If that time doesn’t work for some reason – let’s say you’re already booked, or it excludes someone critical to the all in favor of someone more junior – you can tweak the time as well to see when you get the best mix of people, or if you’re feeling generous, set it in one of your “yellow” time buckets so the call stays in your team’s normal working hours.
Once you’ve found a time that works, you can send an email invite to everyone from the same page. That’ll give everyone a simple Google Calendar link that should work for everyone’s calendars, including Woven.
Last but not least, ETZ Pro lets you customize the free tool to be more relevant to your team and contacts, saving the time zones that are most relevant to your work.
EveryTimeZone pros include:
- An easy way to visualize what time it is for all the people relevant to your work
- An automated tool to suggest the best time for a call based on your team’s availability
- Easy meeting invites to include as many people as possible based on their location
EveryTimeZone cons include:
- The free tool is very simple, although the Pro plan is great
- It can be a little overstimulating if you have people spread across many time zones
Try it out at EveryTimeZone.com
For barebones call booking – Zoom
Last but not least, if you’re on a budget and literally just need to book a call, you can do it directly within Zoom, arguably the best video chat app out there.
It can’t do much more than offer you a shareable link and a calendar invite, but you can email participants by inviting them to the event on your Woven or Google calendar. If you don’t need to book meetings except for calls, and you’re always using Zoom, it’s an extremely quick way to set up a call and dash off a link to your colleagues.
However, it’s extremely barebones, and you can do a lot more using Woven’s scheduling platform and a standing Zoom invitation. If you set up a Zoom event once but set the Meeting ID to your Personal Meeting ID, instead of generating a new one automatically, you’ll get one standard link for hosting all your meetings, which you can then integrate into a Woven template.
That allows you to get all the scheduling options of working with Woven’s tool without having to worry about sending the right link to the right person. You can also allow your invitees to join the room before you even start the software, just in case they show up early and you don’t want them to worry about whether it’s working right.
The combination of Woven’s scheduling and Zoom’s video calls make for a powerful meeting stack whether you’re trying to run sales calls or manage meetings within your company, with the flexibility to do both if you need to.
Let’s start with this: we all miss Sunrise. It was a beautiful calendar app that made it fast and easy to manage multiple calendars.
But it was also a great scheduling app, and the spiritual forefather for how we schedule events with Woven.
Unfortunately, Microsoft bought it in 2015 and decided to shut down its servers in 2016, leaving many of us without our favorite calendar and scheduling app in one fell swoop. It even inspired some of us to start working on a calendar app of our own!
Check out how Woven has integrated Sunrise features into the calendar.
At the end of the day, the best scheduling app for you and your team really depends on what you want to get done. There are some very simple, general tools that are fast and inexpensive, but if you’re trying to schedule a specific aspect of your business, there’s probably a specialist app that can do everything you were hoping for and a few industry best practices you might not have thought of.
We’ve built Woven to have the option and flexibility to be the best of both worlds. If you just want to schedule a quick call, you can do it in seconds and a couple of clicks of the mouse. If you’d like to give a group of people the option to find the time that works best for everyone, you can do it with Woven’s polls.
If you’d prefer to have a one-off meeting at the time that’s best for you, you can generate a quick link in no time, but if you’d prefer to have standing availability for people to be able to put time on your calendar, you can make a public scheduling link as well.
And if you have something more ambitious in mind, whether it’s systematizing your company’s meetings, managing a consulting practice, or building out scheduling for your whole sales process, templates are robust enough to help make a complicated schedule into a well oiled machine.