Efficiently Book Meeting With External Parties
Save time booking meeting with external parties using this free tool provided by Microsoft!
Working for a service company, we often need to book a meeting with our clients. Previously we were using email to send our availability and then try to find mutual availability by exchanging multiple emails. What a waste of time, while most of your meeting involves external parties.
They are multiple tools on the market, such as Calendly, that let you quickly book a meeting in those scenarios. Still, it could be hard to implement within SMB and large enterprise and bring additional cost and security concerns.
Here are where FindTime comes to the rescue for all Microsoft 365 users.
Installation is relatively easy and supports Outlook for Windows, Outlook for MAC, and Outlook for the web, and it's all documented here. I will also highly recommend deploying at scale to all your users by using the Exchange admin portal.
Once installed, you will find this new little button in your ribbon while writing a new email.
Here are some Pros
- Automatically sent the meeting invite when consensus is reached with Team meeting details.
- Easily vote for your available, unavailable, and preferred time slot.
- Hold all suggested time slots in the organizer's calendar until a consensus.
- No security concern since data stored in the organizer's mailbox
- No user registration needs
- No installation needs for recipients
- Multilingual based on Office or browser language
- Mobile friendly
And some Cons
- No company branding
- Limited to 1 calendar, which means you cannot bring your calendar and see availability.
- Hold time slot only for the organizers
First, let said that this tool saves me a bunch of time easy week without any doubt! While you can add up to 20, available time slots ensure you don't offer too many options if you choose to "Hold" an all-time place in your calendar.
Ensure you adequately used required vs. optional attendees since optional attendees are not considering unless required attendees reach consensus on multiple times.
Since meeting pools are sent by email, FindTime will use the email subject as the meeting name, so ensure you have an appropriate email subject and change the name of your meeting via the FindTime dashboard.
What should we expect next?
There is not that much on the Microsoft roadmap for FindTime. As of writing the article, only Feature ID #68699 is planned in the roadmap this November.
- Force attendees of a poll to authenticate themselves before voting
- Prevented attendees to add, remove, edit other attendees
- Prevent attendees from suggesting new time options
Also, feel free to submit or vote for your suggestion on UserVoice.
While 3rdparty tools bring a lot more functionality and flexibility, most of us will find answers to our need with Microsoft's free options at no additional cost.
Microsoft Booking, is another option that could cover different scenarios.
I hope you enjoy it!