This is What Saves Me Hours on Scheduling
Welcome again to the 2nd installment of my 5 part series on my favorite business tools / apps. In this series, you'll learn about several tools I discovered when I took all of December off to do intense business development (aka “Batch December” - learn more here).
2nd BUSINESS TOOL: Acuity Scheduling
Acuity (https://acuityscheduling.com/) is an online appointment software that I started using back in December. Acuity is critical to my business, works seamlessly with other favorite business tools, and easily has saved me HOURS of admin time. Here's why it rocks and you might find value in it.
By removing scheduling "back and forth" emails, Acuity swiftly saved me 8+ hours a month of time.
In the work I do, I set a lot of meetings like:
- Project meetings with clients
- Discovery sessions with prospective clients
- Virtual Coffee Dates
- Coffees / Lunches
- Guest Webinars
And setting meetings, as you may know, is a HUGE time drain. My first roles in the film industry at Lionsgate and Disney were rooted in setting meetings and there's a serious art to doing it well.
Acuity put it all to shame.
Here's what I used to do for business scheduling:
- Email a person I want to meet with and provide availabilities
- Have that person reply and say they aren't available
- Email and send more availabilities
- Have that person reply to confirm a time
- Email again to decide on location
- Email again for confirm our meeting (or send a Zoom link)
That's like 6 emails and a lot of my attention. Have they written back yet? Oh I need to send them new times... etc.
Here's how the same process goes with Acuity:
- Email a person I want to meet with and send them a link to view my calendar on Acuity
- That person clicks the link - chooses a time that works for them and input their info and even takes their preferences on location (if it's in person)
- Acuity sends a calendar invite confirmation to me and the other person... DONE.
When it comes to Acuity, I have 50% less steps in the process and only 1 step that involves me.
Acuity does more than scheduling, and it does these things really well.
Here are other things I've been able to do with Acuity:
- Specific Meeting Types: Create specific meeting types so I have customized links to send to people (for example, I have a "Virtual Coffee Date" link I can send for that use)
- Block Availability Per Meeting: I can block time and set specific availability for certain meetings (for example, I could make it so I'm only available for a Virtual Coffee Date on Tuesday / Thursday)
- Collect Preferences: For the Virtual Coffee Date meeting, I've been able to add questions on preference - for example, "Would you prefer to connect via phone or Zoom Video call?" So I already have their preference when they book the meeting, without having to send a separate email to ask.
- Include Forms in Meeting Confirmations: I often have prospective clients fill out a form to tell me more about their business. With Acuity, I can add a link to that form in the email that confirms the meeting - it goes out easily and automated!
- Zoom Video Chat Links automatically added: As I mentioned in my first post in the series, I love Zoom video chat for my digital meetings. Zoom offers a seamless integration with Acuity so it automatically generates a meeting link and puts it in the email for the meeting confirmation. One less thing I have to do!
- Accept Payments for Mentoring Sessions: Acuity is a powerful platform especially for service-based businesses. When I do my invite-only mentoring sessions, I can send clients links to book a session with me and they can pay directly via Acuity. Super simple and I don't have to set up a separate payment link since it's integrated (with Stripe)!
Acuity is GREAT for Squarespace
Acuity also now has a seamless integration with Squarespace (there's actually a Squarespace block) and new Squarespace accounts come with a year of the emerging level of Acuity Scheduling. It's awesome.
Oh, and there's a free level.
I love sharing inexpensive and free resources. Acuity has a free "solo" level.
For Greatest Story, I'm on the $10/a month plan which allows me to have a bit more functionality and seamlessly integrate with Zoom for digital meetings.
Looking to Next Week
I’ll be back next week with a spotlight on another business tool I really love and use to save me time, money or both.
What are your favorite business tools or apps? Let me know with a reply.
One great suggestion I received was IFTTT, a nifty service that automates and makes some of your apps work well together.
Related articles for further reading:
- Tutorials on Getting Started with Acuity Scheduling (Acuity)
- How to use the Acuity block in Squarespace (Squarespace)
- 10 Reasons Why Acuity is the Best Online Scheduling Tool (Christie Inge)