To have guests on my podcast, I’d email them asking if they’d be interested in coming on, they’d respond saying they’d love to, then I’d send over some times/dates that would work, then they would respond with some other times/dates that would work for them, then we’d agree on one, but then something would change, and I would get frustrated and say “podcast recording is for people with unlimited free time and no jobs”.
Recently, my friend Lauren (not to be confused with my wife, also named Lauren) agreed to be on my podcast, and we had this exchange trying to pick a good date/time, which is when I started complaining about the scheduling surrounding a podcast, and she patiently said “Dan. Why don’t you use Calendly?”
Calendly, which is free, syncs with your calendar, whether you use Google (Gmail) or Microsoft (Office 365). It sets you set up times people can book you – but if you already have something scheduled during that time, people won’t be able to schedule you. It looks to see when you’re free, and then gives those as options to people booking you. It lets you give them the feeling they’re selecting a time that works for them – except they’re picking from times that work for you.
When someone selects a date/time, they get an email with a calendar appointment that’s automatically added to their own scheduler.
Calendly also supports settings like allowing a maximum number of appointments per day, and making sure you have at least some kind of break between appointments. It also lets you create a survey for the person who books you, where you can ask questions and the answers will be included in your calendar invitation. For instance, I ask for the person’s Skype username, what they want to talk about, and if they mind recording their side of the interview.
Since I’ve started using this over the past week, I’ve booked 8 podcast guests. Booking 8 guests would normally take me months of back and forth emailing. One person who booked me realized she had a conflict, so she went in and changed our appointment to another date, then added a note explaining what happened and why she had to change the date. I did nothing, and I wasn’t even upset in the slightest, because I knew the time she chose to reschedule was already open for me.
Calendly has changed my scheduling game, given me time back in my day, eliminated my frustrations, and it’s 100% free. Go check it out right now.