Scheduling appointments can quickly become a nightmare if you do not have some automated method of implementation.
Do you have home and work calendar? Perhaps trying to juggle appointments and activities for the kids? Sound familiar?
I have three major calendars to manage my life...work, home, and family. My family calendar is used for all appointments that the entire family can view such as the numerous volleyball practices and tournaments for Auntie's Angel plus doctor's appointments, school events and more. You get the idea.
I reserve the home calendar just for my appointments. They are generally tasks and reminders for me of what needs to be completed but do not impact the family. Last of course is the Work calendar and naturally, that is for work associated appointments and tasks.
My Mac keeps everything in sync via the cloud but as I began to schedule appointments with clients, managing this was starting to take a toll on my time. Add in timezone differences, back and forth emails and phones too coordinate times was starting to wear on my nerves.
As my nickname, @QueenGeek indicates, I looked to technology to assist in my scheduling needs. I found Calendly, which is a great scheduling tool. It receives high praise and I did find it quite easy to use. However, when I wanted to upgrade from the Free plan to a paid plan, that is where it felt like a letdown.
Anyone who knows me gets that I love technology but I do not want a product just to say I have it. I want products that reduce my workload, not increase them.
I try to follow the work smarter, not harder philosophy. This is why I chose Acuity Scheduling.
I use Zoom A LOT. If you are not familiar with Zoom, it is an online video conferencing platform that offers a slew of options for personal and business needs. The base plan is FREE for unlimited 1-on-1 calls. Think of Skype when it used to work well years ago. Yes, I said it!!! Instead of Skype or Facetime, Zoom works well and plays with a variety of platforms (Windows, Mac, Desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, etc). Best of all, it is not complicated.
Why am I ranting about Zoom? When I need someone to book an appointment with me, I want an automatic Zoom meeting scheduled for me even if we are only speaking via telephone (or computer audio). With Calendly, I needed a 3rd party tool to make it happen and I just did not feel like doing extra work.
I wanted the easy button!!
With my chosen scheduling tool, Acuity Scheduling, it integrates with Zoom (and GoToMeeting and Join.me) seamlessly. There are a host of other functions but NATIVE integration with Zoom sealed the deal for me.
Any scheduling service worth its' weight syncs with the major services, Google, iCloud, Exchange and Office 365. My iCloud home, work, and family calendars sync flawlessly as well as my Google calendar and life is good.
Timezone adjustment is a big deal. Ask anyone who travels or has clients in various parts of the country (or world). Having the timezone automatically adjust to your default time is a must. Fortunately, Acuity handles this in all the paid plans.
Accepting payments online is a big deal. Acuity also integrates with Stripe, Paypal, Authorize.net and more.
Acuity also allows group events, workshops and more. This is huge!! If you have speaking engagements or other group events, then the ability to schedule and accept payments in a single platform is a big deal.
There are more features than these but these are some of the highlights. Since it also integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and other accounting software, it will grow as your business grows and incorporates some of these solutions.
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