It's been raining a lot on my side of the world, so that title felt appropriate.
Today's tech-letter is dedicated to every one who did not pull of a (bad) prank on April 1st. We're too old for this (this includes the toddlers who are subscribed to this newsletter).
Nonetheless, isn't it fascinating how March 2021 lasted all of 3 seconds? Maybe that's the universe's prank. We'll blink and it will soon be April 3021.
But speaking of dates, today's tech-letter is very clearly related to that. So if you're into... days.. and... months... stick around.
You know how when you're scheduling a meeting, whether it's with a friend, for an interview, or for work, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the endless back and forth of "What date/time works for you?"
"Oh I can't Friday at 2, what about at 5?". "Oof, have to lay on my carpet and do nothing. Let's shoot for Monday at 12 pm". Anyway, you get the picture (because you've probably lived through this scenario before).
Full disclosure: I'm not typically a calendar person. I do not (currently) use any calendar app in my day-to-day; mostly because I have a to-do list app where I can schedule tasks for certain days and don't find the need to use an external calendar app. Plus, they all look so... complicated.
But Calendly is different. It's not like other calendars... (mostly because it's not exactly one). It's also been around for some time now, so you might have come across it before.
In a nutshell, Calendly cuts that entire back and forth.
Let me elaborate.
Once you sign up for Calendly, simply go ahead and create your own calendar. This is where you'll decide what time slots to let people book (15 minute/ 30 minute/ 60 minute meetings). You can also choose how much in advance someone can book a meeting with you, what communication platform to use (or meet face-to-face), and describe what the event's purpose is.
For reference, my Calendly is currently set up to allow for 30-minute meetings, every day, and according to my schedule (5 pm onwards on weekdays, all day on weekends).
After you're done, send out your personal link. Again, for reference, here's my Calendly link. If any of you access this, you'll see what times I'm available, and get to choose the one that works best for you. Calendly even lets you sync your new calendar with other popular ones (Google Calendar, Outlook Calender, iCloud Calendar...) so you never have conflicting events.
Let's talk pricing.
At its core, Calendly is free to use (and the plan I use for now). You get 1 calendar that can be integrated with your existing ones, unlimited events, and your own Calendly link (e.g. calendly.com/prithvi-rakhyani).
Unfortunately, the free tier is limited to 1 event type. So if I have one 30-minute meeting configured, even though 1,000,000 people can book a meeting with me, I can't create another type of event (e.g. a 15-minute meeting) until I delete the 30-minute one.
The free version also includes (email) event notifications (whereas the paid versions even include SMS notifications). You can integrate Calendly to your website using pop-ups and embeds, as well as access to Calendly's email support.
If you want more, the paid version offers a lot. For $8 or $12 a month, you get more calendars, event types, group events, integration with hundreds of other applications, and even analytics. Check out their pricing page.
All in all, Calendly is a pretty convenient method to organise meetings and events without the constant back and forth involved in picking a good date and time. Simply register, set up your calendar, and send your personalised link to others.
This is very useful to me because I'm the annoying person who goes "any time works for me, just let me know!".
So if you are too, then... it's time for us to make a change.