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What is a scheduling assistant and how does it save me time?

Cathy Reisenwitz

by Cathy Reisenwitz on November 10, 2020

In a calendar app, the scheduling assistant helps you find the best time to meet based on everyone’s availability. It’s a feature built into most calendar software. There are also standalone tools that integrate with your digital calendar to make your scheduling assistant more powerful.

Clockwise is one such app. In addition to surfacing all available times to meet, Clockwise also prioritizes the available times based on their potential impact on your productivity.

Research shows that Focus Time -- two or more hours of uninterrupted time to dive deep on a task -- is associated with getting more done, faster. It’s even associated with higher revenues. That’s why our scheduling assistant ranks available meeting slots based on which preserve the most Focus Time for you and your teammates.

Plus, the Clockwise now integrates with Zoom so you can add a Zoom call to any meeting with just one click.

The key benefits of using a smart scheduling assistant

Using a scheduling assistant reduces the amount of time you have to spend going back and forth with team members trying to nail down a meeting time. Unlike with online polling services, you don't have to send out additional emails, wait for responses, and worry about changes in availability while waiting for responses. With Clockwise:

  • Your team can see when you’re free by default (no appointment details are visible)
  • You can control which colleagues can see when you’re available to meet
  • You can easily view the availability of your teammates
  • Lunch holds appear automatically (based on your settings) so your teammates know when they’re scheduling over your lunch
  • Team calendars integrate automatically so your OOO are respected
  • You can sync your personal calendar easily so private events show as busy (with no details)

How to use the Clockwise for smarter scheduling

To schedule your next meeting with the Clockwise, first download Clockwise for Chrome if you haven’t already.

After onboarding, click the “Schedule Meeting” button from the Clockwise sidebar on your work calendar.

Then, add attendees by typing the email addresses (internal or external) of the people you would like to meet with where it says “Add Attendees.”

The scheduling assistant will show you the "Best Time" and the "First Available" time to meet. You can see more times under "View more available times."

Clockwise will tell you how much Focus Time each meeting will cost at each available time, so you know why certain times are better than others at a glance.

The "Best Time" is the time that ensures everyone in the meeting has the most Focus Time after adding a meeting to everyone’s schedules.

If you choose “Find the Best Time”, Clockwise will automatically select the time that preserves the most Focus Time that also meets your duration and time and date range preferences. Clockwise won’t automatically schedule the meeting. You’ll still need to confirm the selected time.

Note: By default, meetings scheduled with "Find the Best Time" are on Autopilot, and might move around within the day to open up more Focus Time.

Whichever time you choose, click on it and add your meeting details. Then to book, just click "Schedule," and Clockwise will book your meeting and send out your invitations.

Bottom line

A scheduling assistant saves you time and energy by making scheduling easier and faster. Clockwise goes even further, integrating with Zoom, preserving your focus, taking lunch into account, and blocking off private events. Try it today!

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is Head of Content at Clockwise where she oversees the Clockwise Blog and The Minutes Newsletter. She has covered business software for six years and has been published in Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

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