You have two appointments to schedule: a meeting with John, a VIP at your company, and coffee with Rachel. You email John first, proposing Friday at noon plus two additional times. You eat lunch, do a little work, have a cup of coffee, and email Rachel, “Hey, let’s get coffee next week.” She responds, “Great, are you free Thursday afternoon around 2?” You open a tab to view your calendar. “Hmm, no, how about Friday at noon?” Your inbox pings, “I have a thing then, what about next Monday after work?” Well, your mom’s been nagging you to meet for lunch anyways, so you go ahead and book her for Friday at noon and check your calendar again, “I can do after 8, maybe?” She responds, “Oh, never mind, something just came up. I can do Friday at noon after all, are you still free?” Ugh. “Damn, I wish, I just booked lunch with my mom.” She responds, “What does next week look like for you?” Before you can type the novel that is next week’s availability you receive a message from John, “Let’s do Friday at noon.” Crap–you forgot you offered him that time.
The moral of this story is that scheduling meetings via email sucks. First, your busy schedule means that unless you propose literally all the times that you’re free in the first email, it’s unlikely you’ll find a time to meet without playing a round of email “ping-pong.” Second, there’s the inevitable time lag between the point a message is sent and the point you receive a response, lengthening the match by requiring you to send and resend your availability as your schedule changes.
At Baydin, we hate metaphorical ping-pong. Like, really hate it. So, we created Boomerang Calendar, which works entirely within email so you no longer need to bounce between your inbox and your calendar. And unlike other scheduling platforms that post your availability through their website and leave it to your recipient to suggest times (awkward), Boomerang Calendar gives you the power to propose meeting times yourself. Think of it as a personal assistant who works 24/7 for free.
Boomerang Calendar has been updated to include these cool features:
When emailing Rachel, suggest a meeting by clicking available time slots on your calendar. Boomerang Calendar embeds this interface into the body of the message and lets you choose whether you’d like to include your existing appointments marked as “Busy.”
When she asks, “What does next week look like for you?” you can click to embed your availability over the next few days or next week.
Rachel clicks one of your proposed times to confirm the meeting and add it to everyone’s calendar–no additional action by you required.
And everybody gets nifty calendar reminders. Sweet.
This feature is the “ace” that preemptively ends a game of scheduling ping-pong. In the scenario above, you’d use Boomerang Calendar to email Rachel several time slots, including Friday at noon. When you schedule lunch with your mom and add it to your calendar, the noon time slot automatically updates to “busy” in Rachel’s email, allowing her to choose a different proposed time. Additionally, this dynamic scheduling feature makes it easy for a recipient to counter-propose meeting times. If none of your remaining time slots work for Rachel, she can see your calendar and propose alternative times that will work with your availability.
This feature is perfect for scheduling VIP meetings, the kind you would do anything to book. When you propose times to a VIP like John, select “mark as tentative” so they’ll be blocked on your calendar as “busy,” preventing you from offering the time to Rachel or scheduling the time with mom. When John confirms a time, the remaining tentative times are automatically removed from your calendar, freeing them to be offered to someone else.
How will you put Boomerang Calendar to work? Let us know in the comments and check back on Wednesday to see how Boomerang Calendar works wonders for teachers.
P.S. We would like to give a huge shoutout to Alexey Komissarouk, who conceptualized and built virtually all of the new functionality, managed the user feedback process, helped scope and define the new features, and gave amazing feedback during the writing of this post. Make sure to contact Alexey if you’re looking for a product engineering consultant or just want to grab a beer and kick around ideas about the future of productivity.
All graphics created by Mai-Chi Vu (except “Cats Playing Ping-Pong,” which was found here)