If there’s one thing that many of us can’t live without, it’s our smartphones. It kind of feels naked leaving the house without it. And while most people think of smartphones as only being a distraction – and they certainly can be one – it’s important to acknowledge the ways that we can use the smartphones we have with us everyday to make our workdays easier and more productive.
One of the best ways to do this is by supercharging the scheduling capabilities of your phone, particularly iPhones. In this article, we’ll go over how to schedule on the go with iMessage, as well as a few different strategies for different devices that will help you keep a handle on your schedule while you’re moving and grooving. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Scheduling with iMessage
Dedicated iMessage apps
If you’re working remotely, as so many of us are these days, chances are you’re constantly scheduling meetings. These might be conference calls, Google Hangouts or Zoom calls (I don’t know about you all, but I think I’ve been in enough Zoom calls to last a lifetime these past few months). Scheduling can be a bit of a headache to keep straight. It can be difficult to keep all my different meetings in my head at the same time. Luckily, there are a number of ways to schedule meetings with your team using iMessage. The easiest way to do this is to use an app that can be opened within iMessage.
If you’re already using Woven to schedule your team’s meetings (and, guys…c’mon) their iPhone app automatically integrates into iMessage with a little applet. This cuts out all the friction of checking calendars, discussing times, and copying and pasting information back and forth from your calendar. This will allow you to quickly schedule meetings and iron out issues within the iMessage conversation. One of the biggest pains that comes with using smartphones is juggling multiple apps at the same time – it’s easy to accidentally close apps that you mean to check on and vice versa, but dedicated iMessage apps like Woven let you schedule from within the actual conversation.
Here, we’ll show you how.
When you’re texting back and forth and your contact agrees to have a call, simply click on the app bar just above your keyboard, where the images, animojis and iTunes links are and scroll until you see the Woven app. The more often you use it, it’ll move further to the left in your iMessage apps.
After you click on the icon, it’ll give you the option to choose a meeting template. This is yet another reason to build out templates and Smart Templates for the kind of meetings you hold most often. For this example, we’ll use sales calls.
In this example, I’m going to choose the Pitch Call option, which offers the option to book in the hours I have set aside for them, and includes a standard invitation to my Zoom meeting room.
That takes me to the screen you see below. “Offer available times” will send your contact a scheduling link, like a normal Woven invite, which offers them a chance to book any of the available times on your calendar within the time and date ranges that you’ve set. “Choose specific times” is fairly self-explanatory – you get to either send an invitation for the specific time you and your contact have agreed upon, or offer a range of options that suit you, if you don’t want to let them just pick any open time on your calendar.
Group polls, though, are one of Woven’s most exciting features, and one of the ways in which we think it stands out as the best calendar and scheduling tool on the market. Why? Well think about how many hours of your life have been wasting trading emails or texts back and forth between a group of your colleagues trying to find a time that works for everyone who needs to be on the call. If you choose the option for a Group Poll, you’ll see this screen that allows you to choose a date and a range of available times.
This will allow your fellow attendees to share the times that they’re available, and Woven will settle on the time that’s best for the greatest number of you. This is an enormous help when you’re trying to arrange team meetings, all-hands, or a sales call with multiple stakeholders and decision-makers involved.
Once that’s all done, Woven’s iMessage will cut back to the text window with a handle little thumbnail for your contacts to click on, whether they use Woven themselves or not. At that point, you’ll have a chance to customize the message you want to send along with your scheduling link.
Not only will this save you time, it also makes the entire scheduling process much easier. Text messages always tend to get a faster response than emails, so by doing the scheduling over iMessage, chances are you’ll be able to line up meetings and work out scheduling conflicts without dealing with irritating back-and-forth email chains.
This makes scheduling meetings seamless, especially if your coworkers have a group chat already. Imagine avoiding all the headaches that come with scheduling meetings when you work remotely if you could just shoot out a text and have it be done. It’s a great option to streamline your scheduling process.
Sending calendar invites
But let’s say you (or your team) don’t necessarily want to commit to an iMessage app but still want to be able to schedule meetings on the go. You could always use your phone’s default Calendar app. You probably already know how to create an event in your Calendar, though.
The challenge with this approach is that you need to manually add in all the details for your event: the name of your event, start and end times, details about what will go on in this meeting, and, most importantly, the “Invitees.” Once you’ve scheduled your meeting you still have to send an email with a link to the calendar event and its associated details.
Obviously, this is not as convenient as having a dedicated iMessage app like Woven that allows you to schedule meetings without even leaving the conversation. Where that process is extremely streamlined, sending a calendar invite from your phone is a little more cluttered and a little more to manage. Even if everyone on your team isn’t running off of an iPhone, they’ll still be able to access your Woven invite through their web browser, and it’ll save you a ton of time.
Scheduling Zoom meetings on smartphones
If there is one thing that all of us have become intimately familiar with this year, it’s Zoom calls. It feels like the program came out of nowhere, and now whole workplaces are largely dependent on Zoom to stay connected, on task and productive. Switching so much of our lives over to Zoom wasn’t fun at first, but it’s grown on us, and a big part of that is due to how easy Zoom is to use on a smartphone. This fits into what we’re talking about today really well, so let’s go over some ways to schedule Zoom meetings on your iPhone.
The first way is fairly similar to the Calendar invite method we mentioned before. Simply go into the Zoom app on your smartphone, click “Schedule Meeting,” and enter all the details about your meeting; what day it’s on, how long it will last, the name of the meeting, etc etc etc. Then, you can add invitees from this screen the same way you did with the Calendar app a little earlier. This will send out an email invite to the attendees, including all the information you entered when you scheduled the meeting as well as a link to join the call. Again, this is a good option if you have a team with multiple brands of smartphones, as well as if you want to cover all bases (or devices) at once by sending an email instead of a text message.
There is another option that requires an extra step or two but does allow you to communicate meeting information using iMessage. The process starts the same as the email invite; create a meeting, enter the details, and add invitees that you want to receive an email invite. But let’s say someone got left off the original invite list, lost the email containing the link, or just generally suffered a communication breakdown and they need the link sent to them again. It’s really easy to just copy the Zoom meeting link and send it to them as a text message or iMessage.
Now, to be fair, this is not the best way to handle meeting scheduling. For one thing, it doesn’t really allow you to fully integrate the entire process through iMessage the way the dedicated Woven iMessage app can. You’ll have to have all the details figured out already if you want to schedule meetings like this. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it’s something to consider. Secondly, don’t try this strategy if you need to send the meeting link to more than two or three people. If a couple people lose track of the email with the link and need it sent again, that’s fine, but sending 10 or 20 text messages with the meeting link is a recipe for disaster. Because as thorough as you probably are, chances are someone won’t get your message. Then they won’t be at the meetings so they’ll be behind on what they need to do, and they probably won’t be very happy with you at all. Sometimes it’s better to just stick to what’s simple, or meeting in smaller groups, so that no one gets looked over.
Advantages of scheduling meetings with iMessage
This is something that’s been sprinkled throughout the tips we’ve been discussing so far, but it might be useful to just lay out the advantages of scheduling with iMessage in one place so you can return to it later for your reference (or to convince some stubborn coworkers.)
The biggest advantage to this method – and why we use it whenever we can – is the convenience. Instead of getting mired in email after email, just shoot your team a quick text. This is especially great if you’re already working on something on your work computer and don’t want to go into a whole new window. Using one device or screen and jumping between scheduling meetings and whatever you were already working on is a bit of a pain (to say the least) and it can also lead to errors in both tasks. Many of us have found that it’s a lot easier to manage meetings on our phones and reserve our desktop for actual work tasks. That’s why we decided to create a dedicated iMessage app to make scheduling as easy as possible and leave more time for focused work.
The second advantage is speed. Even though we all check our email day in and day out, the fact of the matter is that sometimes emails don’t carry the same urgency that a text message does. I’m not saying that we can (or should) ignore emails, but for many of us, it’s a lot easier for an email to fall by the wayside than forget about a text message. Obviously, when you’re scheduling meetings, you don’t want to be sitting around all day waiting for everyone to email you back with their availability. If you use iMessage, though, chances are you will get a much quicker response simply because it’s over text messages instead of email. That also makes the overall scheduling process that much quicker and easier.
I won’t lie to you: scheduling meetings is always a bit of a pain, especially when you or your team is working remotely. It simply isn’t always easy to communicate availability and scheduling effectively enough to make the process easy, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies that you can use to make the process a little less of a nightmare, and Woven has put a lot of time and effort into making it as easy as possible (at least when you’re the one sending the invites!) . In my experience, using smartphones to schedule meetings can be a really powerful way to 1) utilize all the technology available to you and 2) keep your coworkers in close communication with one another. This is far from an exhaustive guide, but these tips will help you get started scheduling meetings on the go with Woven for iMessage and save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.
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