Using Microsoft’s FindTime to schedule meetings effectively.
If you have an Office 365 subscription and aren’t using Microsoft’s free addon called FindTime; You are doing meetings all wrong. This fantastic Outlook plugin allows you to create meeting appointments, choose some times that make sense to you and then send out to all recipients for them to vote on the time. Once a time is agreed upon (majority rules), FindTime sets up the meeting in the calendars. It’s super easy, free and works REALLY well. Check out the scheduling process below:
In a normal message, you would click the New Meeting Poll option.
This would allow you to choose some options for available meeting times. If the contacts are part of your organization, it would show conflicts right in that right hand screen.
After clicking on Next, you get to add in the location or Webex links for the meeting.
Here you can see the following options:
Notifications – to remind users to vote on times periodically
Holds – which will set up temporary meeting placeholders in your calendar for all chosen time options
Auto Schedule – which schedules the meeting and removes the holds once all required (from the TO line) recipients have voted
You can then insert the meeting request block into your email message.
You click send and then your recipients can vote on the times suggested (or suggest new ones) and you don’t have to have a million calls or emails back and forth to find an agreeable time to meet.
When the recipients get the message and click Select Options, they are taken to a Microsoft hosted webpage to make their selections. They can choose multiple times as well as preferred times. The system will then book the first available agreed upon time.
In the example above, only 2 out of the 3 invited people are required for a consensus.
I really like this tool and it has proven to make scheduling meetings with multiple people much more streamlined and easy to manage. If you have an Office 365 subscription, check it out, I think you will like it.
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