Meeting making, making you mad?
Save time and money with Microsoft tools!
Meetings – their purpose is wildly debatable, but they still happen, and at the end of the day, someone has to coordinate and schedule them. If you are spending more time than you’d like trying to coordinate time zones, and timeslots, and tagging attendees for responses on meeting requests or appointments, don’t get mad, read on!
Not all of the estimated 1 billion meetings1 per year are effective – see Learn how to run effective meetings using Microsoft 365 apps - Microsoft Support for further information on how Microsoft can help improve outcomes.
Our Microsoft Superhero AZAAM! (Ask Zach Anything About Microsoft), is going to dive into the world of meeting scheduling options available to Microsoft 365 customers.
Here’s a question we received from a client:
“I’m an executive assistant who constantly has to juggle schedules and coordinate meetings with people outside of my company. I spend most of my time writing emails asking for availability so I can align across attendees. Is there a better way to do this?”
As a leading Southern California technology consulting firm, we regularly repeat the same exercise that you describe here. We meet with dozens of clients every week and bring together audiences across many time zones. Meeting scheduling is quite demanding! To lighten our load, we use two options provided by Microsoft to help ease the burden, reduce scheduling time, and get resources aligned to drive meeting forward.
What two magical options am I referring to?
- Microsoft’s Scheduling Poll – Previously named Findtime, this option is great when you need to coordinate with multiple folks, want to incorporate visibility of internal employee free/busy time, and need to engage outside clients, vendors, or attendees from other companies. You can simply compose a new email in Outlook to attendees, select the ‘Scheduling Poll’ in Outlook, choose some timeslot options and send! Those invited can vote for times that work for them and when a consensus is reached, the meeting is automatically scheduled. No back and forth! Follow the step-by-step directions here.
- Microsoft’s Bookings with Me – This is a great option when you want to book mutually agreeable meetings. Using this tool gives you the flexibility of a webpage where someone can book a timeslot that already works for you, on your conditions, without juggling calendars. It’s always up to date based on your calendar. We see people use this for coordinating support ticket follow-ups or sales staff members having an open door for business discussions. You share your meeting link with your intended recipient and let the magic happen. Follow the directions here.
- BONUS OPTION: Microsoft Bookings – This is a great choice for business’s looking to have professional appointment scheduling pages. Using this tool you can customize appointments, provide flexibility for your customers, and more! Your business may be closed for the day but don’t let that stop you from booking appointments in the future. Directions here!
Now that you know what options you have, take Superhero AZAAM’s advice and don’t Hulk smash the keyboard wasting time, energy, and effort scheduling meetings. Let the power of Microsoft work for you.
Want to speak with our Microsoft Superhero AZAAM? Book a time with him using his own ‘Bookings with Me’ page:
- Aren’t there 3rd party applications that can do this? Yes, but they frequently come with additional costs and free versions are limited (for example, they don’t let you have your own company branding)
- Do I have this available to me? – Yes, these features are available in most Microsoft 365 subscriptions
- Will this really save time? Yes, spend less time scheduling and more time investing in effective meetings
- Does this work with Microsoft Teams – Yes, Microsoft Teams is key to effective Modern Work
- Can FMT help me work through options? – Absolutely, we are a Microsoft Solutions Partner and can guide you through all Microsoft questions you may have for your business
1- Zippia. "28+ Incredible Meeting Statistics : Virtual, Zoom, In-Person Meetings And Productivity" Zippia.com. Feb. 14, 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/meeting-statistics/