We've all had someone send us their Calendly link to book a slot in their calendar and though efficient for many situations, it can feel impersonal to the person on the end. So, how did we improve on that experience?
Wether using Calendly or Venncal, sharing linkes are defined with a set of scheduling criteria in a template (Calendly calls them Event Types), like the duration, within which time and date range, etc.
These criteria are used to lookup availability from integrated calendars and present it to the recipient to choose from, which Venncal present in a much improved view that resembling the calendar week-view.
We do this to accommodate people in prioritising a timeslot over a specific day and provide a better overview of the available times. This too gives non-users an easier way to compare with their own calendar in another tab.
If the receiving user, too, has integrated their calendar with Venncal, we'll automatically find the users' mutual availability, giving full confidence that the selected time works for everyone. Calendly use a small green dot on the options to indicate which times work for both parties.
The problem with these booking-links is that they can feel impersonal, and to be honest, they are. However effective it may be, it sends a signal of disengagement, which as an antisocial pattern and feels rude, though it's rarely the intention.
How is it different from an invitation, which feels super personal? It's a matter of personalisation. Booking-links are general, one for all templates, while an invitation or a reply to an e-mail is personal.
Recently Calendly added a Single-use links and Add times to calendar features, which may've been a way to address this, but there's no personalization, so what's the use? 🤷♂️
With Venncal, templates become personal links with one click, and everything from title, to location, times, and participants can be personalized. Another way is simply copy/pasting availability into an e-mail with a click of a button.
Lastly, with Venncal's privacy settings it's possible to skip the entire back-n-forth, by granting individual access to checking mutual availability. That means no links, no invitations, no e-mails, just one shared calendar.
Sidenote: Booking links are not all bad! They're fantastic for automating workflows, like adding a scheduling page to a website, automated e-mails etc.
Calendly and Venncal alike works well for scheduling 1-1 meetings. However, a lot of meetings – like workshops, dinners, etc. – include more than two people, which Calendly doesn't support. Luckily Venncal does.
When scheduling something with multiple guests, Venncal works just the same. One, two, or any number of guests, Venncal finds mutual availability for all guests and merges them into one single calendar, easy to read and select from.
In that sense it works a lot like Doodle, except with zero overhead of manually copy/pasting availability from a calendar in one tab and into Doodle in another.