From the beginning, Meetingbird was designed with calendar power users like executive assistants in mind. With easy ways to share availability, schedule meetings, and automate email reminders straight from Gmail, Meetingbird provides a suite of powerful tools that make life as an executive or administrative assistant a bit easier. What follows is a guide on how to use Meetingbird to help with some of the most common tasks that executive assistants deal with every day. You can get started by installing the Meetingbird Chrome extension, which works alongside Gmail and Google Calendar.
Scheduling Meetings on Behalf of other Team Members
The core functionality of Meetingbird involves scheduling links that you can create to share the availability of yourself or any team member. As long as you are shared on a colleagues calendar, you can create a link for them (they don't even have to create a Meetingbird account). These links can also be edited and updated in the future -- they are not simply one time use. You can share them as URLs or by inserting their available times directly into an email. This makes the scheduling experience extremely easy for those booking meetings with you - it's often a one-click experience.
To create your first link, click the green "Share Availability" button in the web app or Chrome extension.
You'll be presented with a variety of settings to configure the link and a calendar view of the week:
Many of the settings in the left sidebar are optional, but they all provide a lot of flexibility for how you'd like to schedule your meetings. As an example, let's pretend we're scheduling a meeting between our colleague John and someone outside our team. Here's how we'd set up a link to help with that:
We'll first click and drag a few time slots we know that John is available for -- Wednesday 3-5pm and Thursday 2-5pm.
We'll call the link "John's Phone Calls" -- this will not be shown to meeting requestors, but will make it easier to find the link later if we want to change or update it.
Duration and Location
In this case we know we want to schedule a 30-minute phone call, so we'll set the Duration to 30 minutes and the Location to "Call 123-456-7890."
Calendar to Schedule On
This is the calendar that the event will be added to -- in this case we'll want to set it to John's calendar, [email protected]
Prevent Double Booking On
This is one of the biggest advantages of using Meetingbird links as opposed to manually sending a list of times -- by selecting calendars to prevent double booking on, we can ensure that John never gets double booked. In this case, we'll select both John's personal calendar and his work calendar. This way, if John is booked for a meeting from 3-4 on Monday, we'll make sure to automatically hide that time from anyone booking John using the link. Conversely, if we wanted to make sure that any meeting booked using the link overrides John's existing events, we can simply deselect John's personal and work calendars.
If we know that John will need 15 minutes to prepare for this meeting, we can set a buffer of 15 minutes to ensure that when the meeting is booked, there will be at least 15 minutes of free time beforehand to prepare.
If we want to protect the time slots we've made available for this link, we can check "Hold Slots." This will automatically create hold events on John's calendar during the times we've marked as available. That way, they'll be reserved for bookings using this link.
That's it! At this point, we can click "Create Link" to generate the link and save it to our existing links.
When sending links to others, we can either insert the link as a URL or insert the slots directly into the email body. We recommend the latter because it makes scheduling a one-click experience for the meeting requestor. Whichever method you choose, they are both easily accessible via the buttons at the bottom of the Gmail email window:
Keep in mind that any links you create are still useable after sending them for the first time -- you can share them as many times as you want and can always add new availability to them. To do so, simply click the "Scheduling Links" button to view a list of your links. You'll see a list of your links similar to the following:
Scheduling Automatic Reminder Emails
Reminding people about their meetings with colleagues a few days or hours in advance is a simple way to prevent no-shows and ensure meetings start on time. Today most executive assistants manually write these emails, but with Meetingbird, those emails can be sent for you. To schedule a reminder email from Google Calendar, simply click on any event and then select the checkbox next to "Send a reminder email to attendees." You'll also be able to select when the email should be sent, from a few hours to a few days in advance of the meeting start time.
Events scheduled using your links will default to sending a reminder email a day before the meeting start - this can be changed when creating or editing a link.
Note - if the meeting is postponed, the reminder email will automatically follow suit, and still be sent at the appropriate time.
Meetingbird makes organizing meetings for others and managing email reminders easier than ever. Get started by downloading the Meetingbird extension for Gmail.
Questions or feedback? We'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us at [email protected].