The new calendar has been released on November 27th 2017 and you may activate it anytime you are ready to begin using it. (This upgrade has not been activated automatically in order to allow you to get accustomed to the new features).
On March 1st 2018 all systems will be migrated automatically to this new calendar version.
New / Redesigned features in this new calendar version
- New appointment types allow you to set different blocks of available time and different appointments for different types of meetings and contacts.
- Setting specific call strategy forms and reminders for certain appointment types, so you can customize which type of contact, prospect or client receives what type of confirmation and reminders, and also what type of form to complete prior to your appointment.
- Available time redesigned in the new calendar so you can have more flexibility regarding the right types of contacts scheduling the right types (and durations) of appointments.
- "Busy" calendars from Google that automatically block out available time so you can minimize the potential of double booking yourself.
- New client monthly view and appointment wizard to see how easy and flexible you can be when working with your schedule.
- Editable appointment confirmation page so you can provide additional information or steps for your clients to take immediately after setting the appointment.
- Ability to set automated follow-up messages after the appointment so, for example, you could send to the client a Post Session Recap form to complete.
Before activating the new calendar
If you'd like to see how the migration process takes place, you can watch this video showing the current calendar, activating the new one and the main new features.
To be able to use the new scheduler, the coach account needs to be upgraded using the "Activate New Calendar Version" button from Calendar Settings. This upgrade affects the way appointments and available time are stored in the database and it cannot be reverted. Coaches need to plan making the upgrade before actually doing it, allocating some time to watch the Tues@2 demo and tutorial videos.
After the calendar upgrade, the old version will be available until March 1st 2018. This allows coaches to migrate to the new calendar when they are ready.
- The period of time in which contacts can schedule appointments varies from a minimum of 1 hour in advance to a maximum of 1 year in advance.
- The printable version of the calendar Start Time and Stop Time is flexible.
- Timezone, Date Format and Time Format.
- Default Calendar View for the coach: Monthly View, Weekly View, Daily View.
- Default Calendar View for clients: Date & Time options list, Monthly View.
- The calendar can be included in an external website using an iFrame code available under Website Settings.
Key new features
Defining Appointment Types
The new calendar introduces appointment types. This improvement speeds up the daily usage of the calendar. The appointment types are similar to other templates and group together some related features:
- Appointment duration (which is now fixed by the coach and can’t be edited by the clients).
- Scheduling buffers (breaks): reserved time before the appointment and reserved time after the appointment.
- Ability to choose a default color for an appointment type.
- The Call Strategy Form (as type) and any of the custom forms can be assigned to appointment types, to be completed by the client before the appointment.
- Limit for the number of appointments of one type that can be scheduled during one day.
- Custom contact and group permissions for an appointment type; plus a "hidden" option so that only the contacts provided by the coach with the direct link to an appointment type can access that specific appointment type and use it for scheduling.
- Custom notification templates (for confirmation, reminders, cancellation and follow-up messages) can be linked to appointments types.
- Editable Thank You confirmation message displayed for the client after scheduling.
Defining Appointment Notifications
The Console already allowed the use of appointment confirmation and reminder templates. The new calendar improves the use of appointment notifications.
Appointment Notification templates can be used by multiple appointment types and have their own Settings page where the coach can review their usage, the subject and the content. Beside the two standard notifications that cannot be deleted (Appointment Confirmation and Appointment Cancelled), the coach can define an unlimited number of appointment notifications. Unused appointment notifications can be deleted.
When linking appointment notifications to appointment types, the coach can specify the template used and when the notification is sent by email, from 72 hours in advance to 24 hours after the appointment. The reminders can be sent from 1 hour and up to 72 hours before the appointment and the coach can schedule several reminders to be sent, not just one. The follow-up messages can be sent from 1 hour to 24 hours after the appointment. (This is all done from the appointment type wizard, in the "Reminders & follow-up" tab/step.)
Scheduling available time
A major change to the calendar is the way available time is managed.
In the old version, a time slot could be available, scheduled or none. Scheduling an appointment over an available time would switch the time slot from available to scheduled. A cancelled appointment could be replaced by available time. This caused the available time to be fragmented.
In the new calendar, scheduling an appointment over an available time will not overwrite the available time, but only block that time to prevent other bookings.
So, available time is now a way to declare the business hours. Available time can be limited to certain appointment types and this allows the coach to have different business hours to different contact types/groups.
Although the interface works differently, existing features on working with available time are present in the new calendar. Old calendar features migrated to the new calendar:
- Scheduling available time for prospects.
- Scheduling available time for contacts and groups.
- Creating daily, weekly, monthly and custom recurring available time.
- Deleting an entire recurring series of available time.
- Deleting part of a recurring series of available time.
Some minor changes were made to the way the coach schedules appointments:
- The coach no longer chooses between appointments and available time when scheduling an appointment, but chooses between appointment types. (There is a separate button for adding available time.)
- There is a single confirmation reminder sent instantly to the client and the coach can choose if the confirmation will be sent and if sent, which notification template is used.
- If there are multiple reminders linked to the appointment type, they are all listed for the coach to choose the right time to be sent to the client.
- Each appointment is colored. The coach can change the default appointment color.
Old calendar features available in the new calendar:
- Scheduling individual appointments with a contact or with a group of contacts.
- Creating daily, weekly, monthly and custom recurring appointment series.
- Cancelling appointments.
- Setting appointments as missed.
- Re-scheduling an existing appointment.
- Deleting individual appointments.
- Deleting an entire recurring series of appointments.
- Deleting part of a recurring series of appointment.
- Multiple Calendar views: Monthly View, Weekly View, Daily View.
Client Interface of the Calendar
- The simple client scheduling was replaced by a scheduling wizard.
- Scheduled appointments are listed before the scheduling wizard in the Upcoming Appointments section.
- After the contact selects one appointment type from the ones allowed by permissions, the wizard shows a list of available time slots for that appointment type.
- The available time slots take into account the scheduling lag as it is defined in the appointment type (reserved time before the appointment and reserved time after the appointment).
- The available time can be displayed now to the clients using a Monthly Calendar View. The List View is also available for coaches that are used to it.
- The wizard ends with a confirmation of the scheduled date/time of the appointment and the description. This confirmation/Thank you message can be customized for each appointment type.
- The contacts can download a .ics file for adding the scheduled appointment in their own calendars or use the sync calendar feature available.
Google Calendar 2-Way Sync
Available/Busy time from Google Calendar can be taken into account when trying to schedule appointments in the Console calendar that overlap with synced events from the Google Calendar. If the Google calendar is marked as busy by the coach in their Console Calendar Settings section, appointments can’t be scheduled in their Console Calendar during the Google events. If the Google busy time option is left unchecked in the Console Calendar Settings, then the clients and the coach can schedule appointments that overlap with the synced Google events.