One of the ways that Microsoft makes itself increasingly valuable to users is by constantly adding new features to its core software.
For instance, many of today’s tech-related headlines revolve around artificial intelligence and all the new AI companies sprouting up to offer solutions for creating articles and images—even videos from simple text entries. However, with its forthcoming AI tool called Copilot, Microsoft will immediately threaten some of these startups because the software giant will offer many of their solutions right from within Office 365.
While Copilot won’t be in full release for a few weeks, one handy tool already lives in O365, one we’ve realized most users aren’t taking advantage of: Bookings With Me.
Bookings has been a feature of Microsoft 365 for some time, but a newer feature called Bookings With Me is a direct Calendly replacement, a tool that eliminates the back-and-forth emails when trying to schedule a meeting time that works for all attendees. Enable Bookings With Me, which syncs automatically with your outlook calendar, then share your personal link by email. The client or prospect can see your available times and book a call or Teams meeting that fits their schedule and yours.
Bookings With Me is as simple to use as Calendly, and it provides functionality that Calendly users would have to pay for — features well beyond Calendly’s free service.
How does a user enable Bookings With Me?
- You can browse to https://outlook.office.com/bookwithme
- To find Bookings With Me in a browser, visit my account on Microsoft.com and look for the app launcher – the 9 dots in a square at the top/left of the page (click the all apps link to find if not listed):
You will land on Microsoft’s team scheduling feature, Bookings. To find the personal calendar tool, Bookings With Me, click the “Go to booking page” button, as pictured here, and you’re all set.
Once in the app, it is easy to customize the types of meetings you wish to offer by length, type (phone call or Microsoft Teams), and public or private visibility. You can also create bookings based on the schedules of members in a group, like a team or a department. The flexibility and simplicity are such that we suspect most who try Bookings With Me will quickly wonder why they’re using anything else.
Advanced user tip
Once you set up your Bookings With Me page, you’ll notice the scheduling URLs can be pretty long. To create a concise, professional-looking link, consider using Bitly (www.bit.ly), a useful, free link-shortening tool.
Here’s how our new Director of Sales and Marketing, Chip Hanlon, uses Bitly to make Bookings With Me more useful:
He has created four meeting types – two webinars and two phone appointments – and his default Bookings With Me page shows all four of these options: https://bit.ly/ChKitMeetings
Each meeting type has its own URL, however, so if he wants to offer a specific meeting type, he can send that distinct link to the recipient: https://bit.ly/ChKitCall15
Chip loves to chat, so feel free to book a meeting on his calendar!
And as you can see, he has also used Bitly to shorten that URL. Not only that, but even the free version of Bitly allows users to customize the back half of the URL, as has been done here.
Add a Book With Me link to your email signature to allow for even easier scheduling.
Conclusion: Try Bookings With Me
Recently, we have made quite a few clients aware of Bookings, which in some cases allowed the companies to cancel redundant subscriptions across their employee base.
Realizing how many of our clients were learning about this feature for the first time, we thought we’d share this tip with a broader audience. If you need a hand with it, please let us know. We’re happy to set it up with you or do a screen share to show you how.